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Old 12-31-2017, 08:00 AM   #1
kittonian
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Leveling System for Polished Marble

I've been doing quite a bit of research into tile leveling systems and the three I like the best are Raimondi, Tuscan, and MLT. Honestly, I like MLT the best because they are the only ones who offer rubber pads to protect a polished stone, but we are about to do a fairly complex floor using 12x12, 3x12, and 3x3 pieces of white and black marble, and from everything I've understood about MLT, it's 12x12 or larger for that system.

The Raimondi system is less costly than the Tuscan seamclips but here's where I need some advice. Both system are plastic, and both slide across the stone when you put the pieces in.

My concern is scratching or etching during installation. It seems to me that dragging a plastic wedge across polished marble would be worse than the Tuscan seamclips, but if either damage the stone what's the point?

If there is another system I am not thinking of that would be better, please let me know. Otherwise, any advice regarding using one of these leveling systems on polished marble would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 12-31-2017, 08:54 AM   #2
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Only one of the three I've used is MLT. I'm curious as to the 12 x 12 minimum size you mention and the reasoning behind it. That's the first I've heard of that spec. Can you cite a source?

I've answered my own question. FAQ on MLT site states size starting at 30cm x 30cm. I really don't see why unless it has something to do with thickness of mortar under tile which would typically be greater with larger tile. Depending on pattern, I don't think I'd have a concern using it on smaller tile.

The developer of that system has been known to post here, perhaps he'll chime in.
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Old 12-31-2017, 10:58 AM   #3
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I'm not sure if there is a reason for a 12x12 minimum other than there not being much need of a levelling system for smaller than that.

I've used lots of MLT. It's a good system. If your using it with marble or sensitive material it's very handy that you can remove the cap after tightening to clean any thinset out of the joint and then put the cap back on and tighten again.

I'm happy with MLT, I see no reason I'd need to change to another system
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Old 12-31-2017, 05:15 PM   #4
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Thank you for the responses thus far.

As much as I love the MLT system, I love it really for two reasons;

1. They make rubber pads so that you don't scratch/etch polished stone
2. You can remove the clips and reapply as necessary

However, as we are architects and not professional tile setters who will use this system over and over again throughout our daily work lives, the cost of MLT is substantially higher than either the Raimondi or Tuscan seamclip systems when you are talking about a one or two time use-case.

The biggest concern, and the reason for my posting, is to find people who have direct experience using any or all of these systems with polished marble, and to know whether or not they experienced any scratches or etching when dragging plastic (wedges of seamclips) across these surfaces (and of course, when kicking them out once the thin-set has dried).

If I take the end of a metal spoon and lightly tap on polished marble, you can see little chips being made. Thus I am concerned about this same scenario with the various leveling systems.
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Old 12-31-2017, 07:43 PM   #5
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There will always be the chance of scratching the tile face when using a hard plastic wedges. There is a protective plate you can buy for use with other systems.

https://www.tiletools.com/product/un...eling-systems/

I use MLT and would reccomend it, removing the strap and cap with the gun eliminates the chance of damage caused by kicking or using a mallet to remove wedge systems.
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Old 12-31-2017, 07:58 PM   #6
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None of the systems want you to install their clips that close to a corner of the tile...there is a real risk of cracking it off if you do - probably more so with a natural stone than a good porcelain. So, to be far enough from a corner, is, I think, the reason why they want a minimum tile size, otherwise, you may only be able to put one in the middle of the edge which probably wouldn't do a lot.

Polished marble is lovely stuff, but can quickly get all marked up, depending on where it is used and the environment.
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Old 01-01-2018, 08:53 AM   #7
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Ryan:
That protective plate looks pretty interesting. Hadn't seen that before. That would allow me to use the much less expensive Raimondi option, but not the Tuscan Seamclips due to their shape/size.

I have to wonder if smacking them off with a rubber mallet (or kicking them off) would be hindered by using those protective plates.

Jim:
Yes, I am well aware of the "too close to the corners" issue with any leveling system. We will only be using a single leveling piece on any 3"-6" edge. Anything larger will get two pieces approx 2" in from the corner.

The MLT system is just too darn expensive when we wouldn't be using it every day. I love everything about it and want to use it, but cannot justify that expense when there are good systems that are far less pricey available.

Part of me wants to use the Raimondi because we are doing 1/16" grout lines and the clips also serve as spacers. Another part of me wants to use the Tuscan Seamclips because they are so easy (though I would have to use 1/16" spacers along with the clips).
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:31 AM   #8
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Bumping this up for more input
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Old 01-08-2018, 12:08 PM   #9
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Been checking on this thread every day and really need some real world advice regarding using a leveling system on polished marble. If I am able to use the Tuscan Seamclips or the Raimondi system without scratching/etching the stone I would like to do so.
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Old 01-08-2018, 05:32 PM   #10
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Unfortunately I can't speak to the other systems. Mainly because I committed to MLT due to the fact it is more versatile than other systems. I understand the cost makes it look unappealing but there arent any other systems that I know of that can offer the protection the rubber base covers with MLT have. Then add in the availability of different bases for different application and I don't have a reason for getting any other systems.
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Old 01-08-2018, 07:27 PM   #11
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Hi Joshua. I use the Raimondi system on every tile job and I can say with certainty that it does scratch the surface of polished stone. I found that out the hard way. This can be avoided by using blue tape on both sides of every clip. It's not as time consuming as you might think. Hope this helps.
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Old 01-09-2018, 08:48 AM   #12
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Thank you both for the responses.

I had a feeling that a wedge based leveling system would scratch polished stone but it's nice to have some real world confirmation on that theory.

I spoke with the product manager for Tuscan yesterday and he said the same thing about the Raimondi system, but is fairly confident that the Seamclips will not hurt the stone. He is sending me a few samples so that I can test on some scrap pieces I have here before making the investment.

The MLT system is awesome but unfortunately it's far too expensive when I am only going to be using it on this one job, and the pieces are too big for the smaller tile sizes in the pattern.

Seems like if someone would make a system like the Seamclips with protective rubber instead of just the plastic, they would have a perfect product on their hands, but we'll see if the Seamclips will do the job.

Fingers crossed!
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Old 01-12-2018, 04:37 PM   #13
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Got the Tuscan Seamclip samples today and wanted to report to everyone that in no way do these hurt polished marble. We tried banging them on the polished side, scraping them (hard) across it, etc. We couldn't do any damage and they are super easy to use.

A+ for a company that not only responded to the request, but put me directly in touch with the product manager who sent the samples at no charge and has been in constant communication via text/phone.
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