Tile lippage (pics included) [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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01-17-2017, 12:45 PM
My feet were hurting when I was walking around and standing on my tiles. I noticed that the tiles have an uneven height to them and also some are not spaced evenly. My tiles are 16x16 laid in an offset pattern and most joints 1/4 inch however some have 1/2 inch width!

I did a credit card test and the ones that hurt my feet don't pass the test. It looks like most of the tile are flush with the credit card or just slightly higher. I laid some spare tiles back to back and some rock back and forth ever so slightly when pressed on the corners.

Is this acceptable and within standards?

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01-17-2017, 01:08 PM
It looks a little excessive but there are standards that are dependant upon warpage, tile size, grout joint (I think but don't hold me to it). Grout joints ranging from 1/4-1/2" is pretty ridiculous.

01-17-2017, 01:42 PM
What's a typical grout joint size for my tile?
Edges of these tiles are pretty sharp. I have a couple near my stove top and it actually hurts after standing there a few minutes. How annoying. It seems complicated to objectively measure and assess excessive tile lippage.

From what I have read it seems like 1/16 of an inch is the max allowed by industry standards. A credit card is about 1/32 inch and I don't think my tile lippage is that thick. But I wonder if the size of the grout joints magnify the problem because my feet are pretty thick and I can feel it.

Here's another pic.

01-17-2017, 05:27 PM
1. Minimum grout joint width is 3x the difference in the size of your tiles. So if your tiles are all within 1/16" then 3/16" is the smallest recommended. With that said I typically install with joints no larger than 3/16", most of the time I shoot for and 1/8" if possible.

2. I believe as the grout joint gets bigger the tolerance for lippage becomes less. I'm trying to recall from memory so again not 100% on that.

01-17-2017, 09:38 PM
Welcome, Kevin. :)2. I believe as the grout joint gets bigger the tolerance for lippage becomes less. I'm trying to recall from memory so again not 100% on that.

Ryan, the allowable lippage does vary with joint width, but just opposite from what you're remembering. Larger grout joint width allows for more acceptable lippage.

But in no case does the industry standard allow for more than 1/16th of an inch in addition to the allowable warpage of the individual tiles.

My opinion; worth price charged.

01-18-2017, 08:10 AM
1/16 of an inch is a decent gap in elevation. I think mine is between 1/32 and 1/16; closer to 1/32 since credit card is flush with edges. My tiles are probably slightly warped, just slightly. But if it's 1/16 inch and in addition tile warpage that means a hell of a gap can exist and it would still fall in industry standards!!!

I will still see what they can do about the 1/2 inch grout joints. Wouldn't they use spacers in a job like this?

01-18-2017, 08:49 AM
Some guys don't use them....and some guys have grout joints that range from 1/4"-1/2". Just out of curiosity what is your tile installed over? Do you have any pics of the process?

01-18-2017, 09:17 AM
No way a tile job should have a range of 1/4"-1/2". That's like having some joints twice as wide as others.

01-18-2017, 10:07 AM
Unfortunately I don't know what they installed it over. Not sure if they prepped the space well either (judging from my experience with them).

The grout joints widths are pretty bad in some areas. I'm actually missing grout in some areas and also have little valleys in the grout -- like someone cut a perfect "v" out of the grout.

Kinda unbelievable I'm having these problems, especially with tile, because this is a well respected builder. They don't build them like they used to.