How to Match Tile Heights for a Perfect Installation

When installing two tiles from two different providers, frequently the thickness of each tile is not the same. “Lippage” describes the difference in heights between tile put side by side. Too much lippage may cause an awkward and uneven look in a shower or bathtub. While lippage can occur on any endeavor, there are a number of things you can do to prevent it and things you need to avoid to not highlight it.

Placing your tile having a 50% counter, or in a brick pattern, may draw more attention to different heights in your tile. The impacts of artificial and natural lighting may also draw attention to it. If a tile comes with an eased edge, the effects of lippage are less noticeable. Frequently, simply widening the grout joint helps, especially when the tile comes with a few irregularities.

Bryant Hill Media

Not planning a tiled surface so may leave the feature tile either recessed or raised in the wall, increasing lippage. Often, extra work needs to be done in order to allow 2 different-size tiles to line up with each other equally. Sometimes just adding a strip of Ditra is all that’s required, or perhaps a thin layer of mortar mixture.

Hint: When working with a tile setter, consider specifying a flush transition from one tile to another. Though this may require more work in the installer, it will make for a more polished appearance.

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Chubby’s about the Level – Carpenters Pencil, ruler and level – CAD 3

In this shot, you may observe the gap in lippage — that the measurement of the elevation difference between 2 tiles put side by side. Assessing this lippage can be quite hard, because many times acceptable levels are less than or equal to 1/16 inch. The Tile Council of North America (TCNA) lists the allowable lippage at 1/16-inch or 1/32 inch in addition to the tile warpage variable, based on your tile selection.

Mike Connell

This is a wonderful tile tub surround. The natural ceramic or stone tile is set using a 50 percent counter, which is extremely popular in today’s bathrooms.

That said, this style is not suggested from the TCNA using a tile that has an edge more than 18 inches, unless your mock-up is prepared and signed off by the customer.

Hint: Prepare a test board to learn how your tile will appear once it’s installed. Specifying the quality of the stone or tile and preparing the tile sample board will go a long way toward getting what you would like.

Lots of lighting is always perfect in bathrooms, but it might draw visual visual focus to tile lippage on walls. I’m convinced this was a really tough installation. Look at the organic mild washing the wall!

The TCNA recommends that bathrooms have no ceiling light over 24 inches of a wall and no light on the wall, if at all possible. Light that’s so close to the wall may exaggerate the visual lippage on the tile and make correctly installed tiles look poorly installed.

Clearly this light recommendation can be hard to follow, so it’s only an aesthetic recommendation.

Hint: in case you’ve got wall-washing lights or wall lighting, get those installed before tiling. In the event the bathroom lighting comprises a new skylight, unwrap it before selecting your tile so you can see how the tile will appear from the pure lighting.

Lippage is most noticeable under the cabinets in kitchens when the electrician installs undercounter lighting after the tile is installed. Get these lights installed first!

Sazama Design Build Remodel

The smaller the tile, the easier it is to hide lippage. Washing a wall using mild like this would be quite hard to do with larger tile. This more compact tile is much more pliable and leaves for a very pleasing feature wall.

Hint: Before you tile any wall, make sure it is well prepared. When you are installing little tile, there is little room for adjustment, so the walls will need to be perfectly horizontal.

Utilize a lashing system to decrease lippage in your tile assembly. This lashing system was created in Italy by Raimondi Tile Levelling Systems. The clips hold the tile tight together while the placing cloth sets. There are many systems on the market, but this one by Raimondi is still one of the very best.

Hint: It may take up to fourteen days or longer for the placing materials to cure before grouting when a waterproofing system and a nonporous tile are used.

More: How To Install Tile Flawlessly

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