News: High number of dislodged tiles in HDB flats due to unusually cold weather: Ministry

Feb 6, 2018

Recent cases of popping and cracking floor tiles have been blamed on the cold weather. (Photo: HDB)

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) offers more favourable terms in repairing dislodged tiles than private home builders, according to an oral answer from the Ministry of National Development published on Monday (5 February).

“In private developments, developers generally only rectify dislodged tiles during the one-year Defect Liability Period (DLP).  Some may offer repair for dislodged tiles for a slightly longer period, for example, three years, but those are generally done on a goodwill basis.

“HDB’s practice has been more generous – besides helping flat owners repair dislodged tiles originally provided by HDB during the one-year DLP, it also offers goodwill repairs for up to 15 years.”

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For cases beyond that, unit owners need to replace the tiles by themselves. Nevertheless, the Housing Board will do its best to help. For instance, it can assist in the removal and disposal of such tiles, as well as laying protective sheets if necessary.

Moreover, HDB has compiled a list of contractors which residents can hire to fix dislodged tiles at their homes at reasonable rates, while those struggling financially can ask for help from Grassroots organisations and Community Development Councils (CDCs).

The Ministry revealed this in response to a query from Liang Eng Hwa, MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, who asked about the recent sharp rises in the popping and cracking of floor tiles at some HDB flats, and how the Housing Board intends to help residents facing this issue.

“Tiles, like all fittings, fixtures and finishes in a flat, are subject to wear and tear over time. They may dislodge due to various reasons, such as differential thermal expansion and contraction of tiles, or the natural deterioration of the bond between the tiles and the screed surface.”

For the high number of cases involving dislodged tiles during the first half of January 2018, the Ministry said that this was likely due to temperature fluctuations and a prolonged period of unusually cold weather.

“The weather changes could have caused the tiles and the substrate to contract and expand at different rates, resulting in the loss of adhesion between the tiles and the substrate. This phenomenon is not unique to Singapore, and has also occurred in countries such as Taiwan and Hong Kong.

“Among the cases reported in HDB flats, close to half involved tiles installed by the flat owners during their own renovations,” it added.


Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email

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