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Unread 02-03-2021, 05:52 PM   #1
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We just had 750 square ft of Large Format rectified tiles laid. Contractor used Hardie Backer board onto plywood subfloor. Floor was in pretty good shape. Ardex thinset and Ardex grout were used. He also used a leveling system and clips with spacers. Overall we are happy with the way the tile came out, but there are some concerns. There is lippage in some spots. I’ve counted 6 areas. There are also some grout issues where there is excessive lippage. I noticed that the floor is perfect where he started laying them, and not so great towards where he ended.
This is my first time paying for tile installation. Am I asking too much, by having him come back to pull a few tiles and fix this, or is this common practice?
Thanks in Advance

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Last edited by Tool Guy - Kg; 02-04-2021 at 02:07 AM. Reason: Rotate pictures to correct orientation :)
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Unread 02-03-2021, 07:11 PM   #2
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It’s hard to tell any degree of lippage from my point of view in the pictures, but it does look like the grout was wiped down either too soon or too wet, and washed more of the grout out from the joint than desired. With a rectified tile, you’d ideally want pretty much the grout filled flush to the surface of the tiles. This can also mask minor lippage. Point your concerns out to the installer and see what they come up with as a fix. You might be pleasantly surprised.
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Unread 02-03-2021, 07:34 PM   #3
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Maybe it's the way the camera is taking the photos, but the floor looks to have a crown in it. The middle looks higher than the sides, which usually creates the lippage you are seeing.

The grout also looks to be done as Gozo says, too wet or washed prematurely.

The big question is how was the backer board installed? Hopefully not just laid over the subfloor and fastened down? You'd want some sort of filler underneath it, most use cheap tile mortar.
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Unread 02-03-2021, 08:43 PM   #4
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Welcome, Jason.

In addition to what's been said, measuring and evaluating acceptable lippage in a tile installation is not as straight forward as it might seem. The ceramic tile industry has standards for acceptable lippage which are based upon the amount of height difference between adjacent tiles in addition to the inherent warpage of tiles meeting ANSI A137.1 standards. And another consideration is the grout joint width, which we do not know.

The rectified tile edges will tend to make any lippage more apparent and bothersome, but doesn't change the allowance. And I certainly agree with Jeff that some of your joints appear to have been far too severely washed out, but that's a different consideration.

I can't tell what you're showing us in the photo with the coin.

My opinion; worth price charged.

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Unread 02-04-2021, 02:11 AM   #5
Tool Guy - Kg
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I rotated the pictures to their correct orientation.

Is that a dime or a quarter in the first photo?

Man, that grout is washed-out low!
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Unread 02-04-2021, 12:20 PM   #6
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Thank you for the replies. He is coming back out today to fix a couple areas. Thank you for fixing picture. That is a dime. I can stack 2 Dimes in that area. He said he’ll have to remove 4-5 tiles.
The backer board was put down with thinset and screws.
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Unread 02-05-2021, 06:58 AM   #7
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Hi Jason

I will add a few things to what has already been mentioned. You say he did use a tuning system correct? I can't tell in the pics what size is the tile and is it 50% offset?

The reason I am asking it at 50% with the large format tiles these days and rectified tile(sharp) edges you will get lippage. The manufacturer wants us to set them 33% now for that reason. As mentioned as well with the rectified edges very easy to pull out grout when wiping.

If your installer pulls out tiles and resets them there is no guarantee you will get them better, been there done it. You might have to take out 5 tiles to get one more suitable, you'll see when he does it. I just want you to be educated for when it happens.

Making rectified tiles the industry basically screwed the installer because making the tiles larger and rectified is easy, installing offset with perfectly filled grout joints and even industry standard lippage not so easy. Tuning systems have helped considerably but these issue will always be here.

The best fix and maybe the only one sometimes because of what I have mentioned it to build up the problem areas with grout, this is possible so you are not hitting the rectified edge. This is a problem in this industry I always try to lead my customers to stay away from rectified for floors, but they want what they want. I educate them and let them know there will be no perfection, lippage by standards as CX mentioned is allowed and expected. Have him top off the grout where needed it will help.

Jon Donmoyer

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Custom Tile Installation in Hershey & surrounding areas

Serving Dauphin, Lebanon, Berks, Chester, & Montgomery Counties PA
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