Lippage is present when there is a difference in the height of two adjacent tiles. In Section 4.3.7 of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard, lippage is defined as “differences in elevation between edges of the adjacent tile modules.” At Tile This, we offer a variety of tile tools to help contractors successfully complete a wide range of tile installation projects. Below, we look at why lippage occurs and the means of preventing it through a tile leveling system.
The Reasons for Lippage
There are two main reasons for the occurrence of lippage. One reason is uneven subfloors and the other is defective tiles. In some cases, lippage is due to the highly reflective surface of the tiles or the angle of light highlighting the difference in slope. In other cases, there is an inaccuracy in the separation or spacing between two adjacent tile modules, which causes a sudden change in the elevation. The problem of lippage may also be in the substrate upon which the tiles are installed and not in the actual tiles.
It is important to ensure the surface upon which the tiles are installed is even and flat before placing the tiles. It is also important to remove any dirt and debris that can cause unevenness in the substrate. Finally, an ideal way to prevent lippage is through the use of a tile leveling system.
Using a Tile Leveling System
Once an even substrate is in place, it may be necessary to use a quality tile leveling system to ensure the problem of lippage is prevented, particularly when large-sized tiles are being used. A tile leveling system helps interlock adjacent tiles, preventing any differences in angle or elevation.
There are multiple kinds of tile leveling systems on today’s market. Some of the most common you will find are cap and strap systems, wedge and clip systems, and spin top and post systems. At Tile This, we carry some of the best leveling systems in the tile installation market. Our inventory consists of leveling systems from Raimondi, Rubi Tools, Russo Trading Company, Tuscan, and many more.