5 Ways to Prevent Lippage


amb MOUNTAIN RETREAT1 1024x683 5 Ways to Prevent Lippage

When installing tile it can be easy to only focus on the pure aesthetics of the tile and the surrounding room, however if not properly installed lippage can occur.

Lippage is defined in the ANSI standard A108.02, Section 4.3.7 as the differences in elevation between edges of adjacent tile modules.  These differences or perception thereof are influenced by many factors.  Here are four common problems that arise during many routine installations.

 

Start on a Flat Surface.

Problem:

The definition of a “large-format tile” is a tile with an edge of 15” or longer.  When laying large-format tile, any imperfections in the substrate will be magnified.

Solution:

When using large-format tile, it is important to use a substrate that is twice as flat as that for standard tile.  Instead of using ¼” in 10’ and 1/16” in 1’ flatness requirement, you must now use 1/8” in 10’ and 1/16” in 2’ flatness.

 

Correctly Offset Your Grout Joint

Problem:

Too often (especially when dealing with plank-shaped tiles) tile will be installed with a 50% offset.  This puts the center of the tile on the adjacent tile’s grout joint.  This can amplify lippage issues as you are placing the two lowest points of the tile next to the high point of the adjacent tile.

Solution:

According to ANSI A108.02 Section 4.3.8.1, offset the tile 33% to minimize lippage and still obtain a beautifully set pattern.

Grout Joint 300x152 5 Ways to Prevent Lippage

Use a Proper Grout Joint Size

Problem:

Most often, using smaller grout joints can sometimes lead to more noticeable lippage.

Solution:

Small grout joints should be no smaller than three times the facial variation.  StonePeak recommends a grout joint of 1/8″ or greater for all sizes modular with 3/16″ grout joint (≈5 mm)

 

 

 

Use a Proper leveling systemphoto 224x300 5 Ways to Prevent Lippage

 

Problem:

 

Many installations are done without a leveling system made for large or rectangular size tiles, relying on the experience and quality of the installer for the final result.

 

Solution:

 

Today many companies offer self leveling systems to help installations

 

 

 

Use Proper Lighting

Problem:

Be aware of your surrounding lighting.  Any type of lighting located on or near the tile accentuates irregularities by casting shadows on the tile surface joints.

Solution:

Locate light fixtures at least 24 inches away from the wall to prevent a “wall wash” effect. 

 

For more information, visit the TCNA or NTCA websites.