All movement joints must, yes MUST be placed directly over each other throughout the floor structure. A moments thought will see that if the purpose of a movement joint is to absorb movement, placing it anywhere other than where that movement happens is not going to help. Worse still, by bridging the area of movement with a rigid tile, (of whatever material), it is obviously going to crack at that point. A typical example of this error is where a fairly straight crack appears in the tiling, usually about 10cms or less away from where the movement joint is actually fitted.

It’s worth noting that straight cracks are usually caused by vertical movement in the subfloor at movement joints. Where “lightning flash” cracks appear this is normally caused by horizontal movement within the subfloor. Tiling early onto unstable surfaces such as green screeds can also cause this problem. Sometimes indicated where tiles “tent” or “pop” under compression.
To avoid the above it must accepted that it might be necessary to cut tiles to achieve correct placement. This is why we produce colour matched profiles to minimise the aesthetic impact.


Miss aligning movement joints may save time in the short term but is the saving involved in cutting tiles worth your reputation?