21 Aug 2013

How to avoid tile lippage

We wouldn’t have become what we are today without our very strict commitment to quality. We offer nothing but top line products and, in all matters of quality, our tiles are second to none. It’s only natural that our clients wish their tiled surfaces are perfect, but even though they purchase the very best products, the installation is of vital importance as well.

Lippage is one of the most common defects that occur due to poor technical knowledge. As a definition, lippage is the difference in height between the edges of adjacent tiles. The tiling is supposed to last and it’s not something one wishes to change very often, therefore you must make sure that everything is just how you want it, otherwise you are looking at 5, 10 or 20 years of living with visible defects on your floors. Not a very nice perspective, is it? Assuming you are a homeowner, it is not your duty to take all the necessary precautions in the installation process, but it wouldn’t hurt to keep an eye on what is going on. As it is said, it is better to prepare and prevent than to repair and repent. So what are the elements that require your attention during the process? 1. The subflooring. Carefully examine the subfloor to see if there is unevenness of any kind or slant. What might not be caught by the naked eye might reveal if you use a leveler. 2. The adhesive or mastic. Make sure that the adhesive or mastic coating is spread evenly. It is also important to balance the amount of product you use so it offers enough coverage but it’s not in excess, in which case lippage will most likely occur. If, however, lippage occurs, keep in mind that it’s important to fix it sooner rather than later, as the cementitious materials will increase in strength over the time. In these unfortunate cases, it’s usually required to remove some or all of the tiles and re-tile the surface.