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Unread 11-09-2020, 03:52 PM   #1
bobiboli
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Tile Lippage

Hi All,

We had recently had new tiles laid. It was tile over tile and unfortunately there are lippage everywhere.

Installer advised to do tile over tile as the original tiles were in good condition and they were having a hard time taking out the old ones.

Anyway, there were lippage everywhere. Installer agreed to fix them all although now that I have seen them fixing one, I am not sure if it can be fixed that way (took one guy about 1 hour or more to fix one and there are about 20 odd tiles need fixing).

A bit of background, the main tiler wasnt the one doing the work. One of his worker did notice about the uneven floor but decided to tile anyway

They are a bunch of nice people so I am not here to rant about them as they do have great work ethic.

I am keen to know though, like what would be the best approach to tackle this. I have no idea about tiling, but to me it looks like some sort of dominos effect, fixing one lippage meaning fixing the surrounding tiles too!

Attached some photos, minimal lippage to be honest but because they are everywhere the floor looks pretty wavy.

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Unread 11-09-2020, 05:25 PM   #2
Autoplay
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Interesting baseboard final finish/elevation.?.
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Unread 11-09-2020, 06:31 PM   #3
bobiboli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autoplay View Post
Interesting baseboard final finish/elevation.?.
Im not sure to be honest but I know for sure that the subfloor is not level the highest point is right at the back of the house and its gradually sloping down all the way to the entrance.

We made a mistake as we didnt do our homework properly...but the installer also admitted the communication breakdown between them (head tiler and the worker) contributed to the lippage. And the worker decision not to use the leveling system

Redoing the floor will cost a fair bit so we try to avoid that...but fixing lippage tile by tile doesn't sound right either

Attached is the one tile he tried to fix yesterday

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Unread 11-09-2020, 08:26 PM   #4
HouseOfJoe
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I’m just an enthusiastic amateur so take this for what it’s worth.

I see only two choices for you. Let them fix the lippage as best they can and live with what will certainly be a far from perfect result or tear out the entire floor including both layers of tile and prepare the surface properly and do the tile again.

When the pros weigh in on your thread you’ll hear the same refrain again and again. The floor doesn’t have to be level but it must be flat. You started with a tiled surface that wasn’t flat to begin with and so you were pretty much doomed from the start.

I am in the middle of my own project where the budget has gone pretty much completely out of control, so I sympathize with the cost factors involved in this decision. At the end of the day you have to decide what you can live with. The floor that you spent a good amount of money on that isn’t nearly as nice as you want it to be (and as it should be!), or spend even more money to get a floor that is exactly what it is supposed to be.

At the end of the day the people you hired to do this job should’ve known better and ultimately it should be their responsibility to make it right. But it won’t be cheap to do that and if you’re going to make them do that you’re going to have to be pretty firm and aggressive with them. I have a hard time doing that with contractors I hire so I know that that’s not an easy thing to do but you are either going to have to do that or haul out your wallet. Best of luck to you, I hope you can get to a solution that works for you.
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Unread 11-10-2020, 06:00 AM   #5
bobiboli
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Thanks for the feedback.

Yes I just emailed the tiler and proposed 3 options

Hopefully they can give meaningful feedback and the very least agree to share the cost of re doing it all

I spent a bit of time today looking at the tiles and not convinced that we can get the lippage fixed without taking it out. Now its either just take everything out including the old tiles...then level the subfloor before commencing...or take out the new tiles and prepare it well and re tile again using leveling system..not sure but its stressful just to think about it haha

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Last edited by cx; 11-10-2020 at 08:50 AM.
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Unread 11-10-2020, 06:49 AM   #6
CaliGrown
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Industry standards allow for minor lippage. I believe 1/16” in some scenarios. Being that your contractor is willing to fix what you have issues with, allow them to proceed as that is their right to exercise in customer service/resolution. Tile over tile, can still be prepped properly via a patching material. As you’ve noticed, prep is key to finish results. Tile has no issues with being out of level, has a preference for being flat though. Industry standards for larger format tile calls for no deviations greater than 1/8” in 10’ or 1/16” in any 2’ direction, also joint size should be a minimum of 3X the deviation in tile size (I.e. tiles are 1/16” different in size, minimum joint size of 3/16”). Btw, LFT typically have a bow/crown in ‘em that can cause issues when unconsidered.
RFI: Tile size and any pics with a straight edge over a section of the finish surface?
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Unread 11-10-2020, 09:53 PM   #7
bobiboli
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Hi Cali, Thanks for the feedback. Attached some photos.

Tile is 600x600 rectified porcelain tiles

Most of the lippage is within 1mm standard..some are even less..but because they are everywhere...they become quite obvious.

Im glad that the tilers are willing to fix them, im just not sure if its the right thing to do. I would prefer them to remove all the surrounding area...re-prep the old tile / make them level..and lay the new ones..

Its gonna be costly but i d rather take the hit now rather than to live with it for God knows...as we are not planning to move out in forseeable future


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Unread 11-11-2020, 12:40 AM   #8
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That is the best route for remedying the issue.
We installed 32” by 32”s bordered with 4” wood tiles in a large home. Our surface prep was key in minimizing lippage and producing a flat install as both the large tiles were warped and the wood planks were crowned. We utilized a combo of lippage clips and strategic tile orientation/placement.
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Unread 11-11-2020, 12:55 AM   #9
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Your picture with the level, highlights support in your decision to bite the bullet and get your prep in order. Please do relay us what your installers proposed plan is to provide you with a better outcome than previous.
Start flat, finish flat.
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Unread 11-12-2020, 01:09 AM   #10
bobiboli
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Thanks Cali

Spoke to the tiler today, and agreed to redo the whole dining area although he said he can fix the other area tile by tile.

Didnt really mention anything about the plan of attack though. I did mention that we have to prep the floor well (the old tile) and use leveling system.

I will have to buy the tiles, but i think its the best outcome. Was thinking to get an inspection done to check if the tiling job is defective, but since lippage is only 1mm i dont know if its a good idea (although i reckon its one too many!)

Have you got any advise on the re-do?

I want to make sure the tiler does it right this time.

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Unread 11-12-2020, 05:04 AM   #11
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Removal of replacement section, down to bare substrate. Self-leveling underlayment strategically poured with elevation pins to ensure proper depth & plane. New tile laid with consideration of the crown direction inherent in the tiles, use of lippage tuning system to help minimize lippage.
During demo of replacement section, good time for installer to note the % of coverage achieved. 80% required for dry area flooring, with full coverage along perimeter edges. Example of proper coverage during install:
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Last edited by CaliGrown; 11-12-2020 at 05:08 AM. Reason: Note on coverage.
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Unread 11-22-2020, 03:35 AM   #12
bobiboli
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Hi Cali,

Thanks for the advice, much appreciated!

The tiler has now agreed to redo the job. I will have to pay for the tiles which is the best possible outcome.

I also asked him about his plan to ensure we have quality finish this time around and basically these are what he is going to do

1. Remove the newly laid tiles
2. He will not remove the original tile (the job was tile over existing tile); and removing the original tiles is not something that he would entertain even though that was what I originally requested
3. He will add leveling compound to ensure surface (the old tiles) are flat (or use more mortar - depending on the situation)
4. He will use tile leveling system

Also that now he will re-do the whole house, I have the chance to buy non-rectified tiles which would be more forgiving for the installer. Would the steps he mentioned above work on non-rectified tiles?
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Unread 11-22-2020, 07:10 AM   #13
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If he won't remove the old tiles, why don't you rent yourself a couple of chipping hammer, invite some friends over for some beer and pizza and get after it. Taking up tile really isn't that hard and goes much fast when you use equipment and not doing it by hand. Harbor freight has a hammer drill that is less than$100.00 I think that is about what you would spend on the rental from home depot
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Unread 11-22-2020, 09:31 AM   #14
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After seeing the close up pics with the level, I’m wondering if that lippage exceeds the industry standard...which is 1/32” PLUS the inherent warpage of the tiles.

Can you tell us how much warpage you’ve got in the tiles?
And what is the measurement of lippage in those close up pics?

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Unread 11-22-2020, 11:02 AM   #15
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I was thinking the same thing as Kurt. You have an unforgiving tile as far as lippage goes. The lippage is noticeable in the photo with the level but I don't know that it exceeds industry standards.

It doesn't matter if the installer is willing to replace them and many installers pride themselves on exceeding industry standards. But a tile with a more sloping shoulder would definitely help their cause.
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