Does my porcelain wood tile plank floor have excessive lippage?


I recently had porcelain tile installed on a concrete slab by my GC. I am concerned with how the job came out. I am not really pleased and was wondering if you could tell me what you think based on pictures. The installed did not do anything to level the floor. He told me he would use more or less thin set to make sure all the tiles were level. I feel there is a lot of lippage.


ANSWER - Your floor tile appears to be a porcelain wood plank floor tile, which gives a very authentic wood floor look.  With the ink jet technology being used today in the production of ceramic tiles they can produce very realistic wood floor looks and natural stone looks.

Installing the long and narrow width tile planks is a difficult installation because these tiles do tend to have warpage and the shapes of the tiles being off-set from each other with narrow grout joints is challenging.  You have to properly prepare the substrate and be a good and patient tile installer to avoid excessive lippage.

There are industry standards on what is acceptable warpage in a porcelain tile as stated in ANSI A137.1.  Ballpark they are allowed to have up to about 1/16" warpage.  How that warpage is distributed on the tile can be problematic if it is concentrated at any one portion of the tile.

Acceptable lippage per ANSI A108.02 says that the tile lippage can't be more than the inherent lippage of the tile being installed, assuming it isn't more than the allowable lippage in ANSI A137.1, plus 1/32" for grout joints less than 1/4" wide or plus 1/16" for grout joints 1/4" wide or wider.  So potentially you could have 3/32" lippage or up to an 1/8" lippage respectively if the tile has the maximum allowable warpage.

From a standard of care point of view for professional tile installers, assuming this particular type of tile meets the standards, I would expect the lippage should not exceed 1/16".   There are always exceptions depending on the type of tile being used.

Although if the tile installer did not properly prepare the substrate so it did not vary out of plane more than 1/8" in 10 feet or 1/16" in 24" or if he did not properly adjust the tiles during the installation or if the grout joint is too narrow, then you can get excessive lippage beyond what is acceptable.

There are cases where there appears to be excessive lippage, but when you measure it isn't excessive.  The lighting in the room from either natural or other lighting can cause shadowing at the grout joints that makes it look worst than it is.


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