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Unread 11-15-2022, 08:43 PM   #1
traderfjp
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Spin Doctor Tile Alignment & Marble

This is an important piece of advice if you are laying marble tile or any soft natural stone. I'm a bit of a handyman and have tiled a few bathrooms. I've never used Spin Doctors. It's a great concept and works well. What I like about them is that they are easy to put on and to remove. They do a good job of aligning tiles. I bought a "kit" that included 250 clips and 100 red spin tops off Amazon. The pictures for the it shows clear protective shields to keep your tile from scratching. It apparently doesn't come with the kit but can be purchased separately but I didn't see this written anywhere so my impression was you get what you see. I laid my marble tile and noticed after putting on about 6 or 7 that the spin doctor leaves a round scratch on the tile. Unbelievable? It's down low so hard to see but they are new tiles so total BS. I used plastic freezer bags and cut out squares to make my own protective covering. So the moral of the story is to make sure you buy their Clear View Shields for softer tiles. They should include them in all "kits." Now what I didn't like about the system. They can scratch your tile. I first used my hands to tighten them and if I over tightened them the clips would break off. I felt that the spin doctor worked when I made sure the tile were pretty flat but when you are doing a lot of tiling poop happens and sometimes you want the spin doctor to help fix a possible mistake. So there are one or two tiles that could have less lippage. Not the end of the world. I also found that some of the clips don't break off easily. Most do but there were one or two that gave me a challenge. There is another system that uses wedges. There is a plier like tool that gets the wedges really tight which seems like more leverage than using your hands. I've seen them used but never have used them but I would investigate them as an alternative.
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Unread 11-15-2022, 10:07 PM   #2
Tool Guy - Kg
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Thanks for the thread, FP.

Both of the systems you mention are relatively inexpensive knock-offs that raced to the market after the original Tuscan Leveling System was invented by one of our members on this forum. They definitely have the short comings you mentioned.

I’m not trying to be a snarky or anything when I say this: you want to know the secret to installing tiles really flat to each other? Prep the floor so it’s flat as a pancake. That, alone, will improve the flatness of your final product by a great deal. But prepping a floor is vastly overlooked and under-appreciated…even by some pros that have been doing tile a long time.

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Unread 11-16-2022, 12:33 AM   #3
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I didn't know these products are knock offs but doesn't surprise me. Yes. It does start with the floor. Plus I laid pebble mosaics so that doesn't help either. My floor was pretty level. I did have to cut a tile or two on a slight angle to get level. The tiles were 1/2" marble 12 x 24" laid vertically. They are heavy and it's hard work so it's easy to miss a perfect level surface on each tile. The spin doctor system has some short comings. Overall it looks nice. I'm getting some diamond polishing pads to remove scratches. I'm pretty sure the protective discs don't come with the "kit "
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Unread 11-16-2022, 07:00 AM   #4
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FP I think all the lippage system should be called "fine tuning" systems to more accurately describe how they work. They aren't there to fix things but to aid in keeping tile in-plane with one another on the edges.

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Unread 11-16-2022, 10:25 AM   #5
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Even though my walls and floor were very flat I used the Spin Doctor system on 12X24 floor and wall tile because I just don't have the experience and skill necessary to minimize lippage. It worked well. The protective disks are sold separately. They not only help protect the face of the tile, they also help prevent the tile from moving when you tighten the caps.
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Unread 11-19-2022, 06:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toolguy
relatively inexpensive knock-offs that raced to the market after the original Tuscan Leveling System
I don't think this is fair. Both the spinner and the wedge systems were removable during installation whereas with TLS you had to break them to remove them and lift up a tile.

So I feel the better wedge and spinner systems are an improvement on the design.

But the wedge systems still need protection underneath with soft and shiny tiles. And, yes, the protective plastic is sold separately.
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Unread 12-12-2022, 09:58 PM   #7
Tool Guy - Kg
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To each his own.

I do think it’s fair. I agree with Justin that these are more accurately described as fine tuning systems. If you need to remove the cap when installing, they are probably being used to do more than the fine tuning they are meant for and the floor hasn’t been prepped flat enough. I think the wedge system doesn’t have as fine of tightening adjustments as the original leveling system Mick invented. And the spinning system likes to wiggle the tile and scratch delicate surfaces. But if someone likes them, have at it.
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