Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lippage Prevention

Have you seen the adverts in the trade journals about the anti-lippage systems or lippage prevention systems for use with large format tiles and stones?

One such system is called the “Tuscan Leveling System” - (notice the LATICRETE® 4237 Latex Additive and LATICRETE 220 Medium Bed Mortar being used in the installation video).

These systems claim greater productivity and the elimination of lippage. It is important to note that to achieve the productivity claimed, these systems should be used for large format tile (greater than 12”) and the system should only be used to install evenly gauged tiles in order to function correctly.

Our concerns with these systems are as follows:

  1. Voids / hollow spots can arise when one edge of the tile / stone is lifted in an effort to prevent lippage.
  2. There is potential of breaking the adhesive bond entirely if the adjustment is made after the adhesive mortar has reached its initial set.
  3. Walking on the stones / tile while the mortar is still fresh, can also compromise the bond.
  4. Part of the strap could still remain in the grout joint.

If these systems are used, we would still stress the need to achieve the minimum industry standards for coverage according to ANSI A108 – minimum of 80% for interior non-wet areas and 95% minimum for exterior and interior wet areas.

In addition, we would still suggest that a piece of tile or stone is periodically pulled up to verify the adhesive coverage.

Although, we are not fundamentally opposed to the use of these systems, we would encourage installers to achieve the minimum industry required coverage standards.

Feel free to contact one of our Technical Service team people to discuss this matter further. Toll Free: 1 (800) 243-4788 x 235 or technical

This post courtesy of Art Mintie, Technical Service Director, Laticrete International -



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