How Flat is Flat? Tile Flooring Lippage is Number One Callback
Every tile contractor knows that the primary reason for a callback from a customer is lippage. In some cases it is real; in others it may be perceived and caused by lighting conditions. Regardless it is something that must be dealt with to ensure customer satisfaction and a recommendation to other customers.
If you do not belong to the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), this is an excellent time to join. What follows is a very brief summary of bullet points made during a webinar conducted for NTCA members by Dan Marvin, Director of Technical Services for Mapei.
There are many factors to consider when dealing with or discussing lippage. What is it? What causes it? How can it be fixed? How can it be prevented?
A flat substrate makes all layers above it easier to install. The flatter the subfloor, the flatter the installation. It is crucial for installers and contractors to understand subfloor preparation. Essentially, we all need to avoid having situations where one edge of tile is higher than the adjoining tile. There are many facets of this including the size of the tile, the size of the grout, warpage and the condition of the subfloor.
Industry trends and conditions will come into play in the discussion of this problem. Larger format porcelain tiles are more popular as are rectangular tiles and even thin tiles. Factor this in with different types of subflooring and you have a witches’ brew of possible problems.
There are solutions but this article cannot address all of them. Read through the bullet points presented by Mapei to get an overall understanding of the problem then speak with your trained sales staff at any of the nine conveniently located D&B Tile Distributors showrooms or any of our authorized dealers. Ask them specific questions and they will direct you to the proper products to use and will advise you on how to deal with subflooring problems.