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Old 07-05-2012, 05:27 PM   #1
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Large Tiles Are Not Flat


I just had 13 x 20 tile installed in my home. They were set in a subway tile pattern on the floor. What should be my expectation as to how flat they should lay? The grout lines are all very even. The tiles are nicely set in straight rows. I just don't know if I'm being too picky to expect all the tiles to lie flat. What is the standard?

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Old 07-05-2012, 05:43 PM   #2
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Large Tiles Are Not Flat


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Originally Posted by Julia Kitchen
I just had 13 x 20 tile installed in my home. They were set in a subway tile pattern on the floor. What should be my expectation as to how flat they should lay? The grout lines are all very even. The tiles are nicely set in straight rows. I just don't know if I'm being too picky to expect all the tiles to lie flat. What is the standard?
Standard is what the tiles were layed on.
Do you know the prep work before the tile install?

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Old 07-05-2012, 08:05 PM   #3
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Large Tiles Are Not Flat


Are you talking about lippage? Where the edges of some tiles are higher than others? Generally there shouldn't be much, if any.
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:39 PM   #4
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Large Tiles Are Not Flat


We're not gonna be able to give you definite answers, but. All installations will have some lippage. All tiles have a degree of warpage, the larger they are the more of course. Large tiles set in a subway 50% offset pattern will have more lippage than when set with no offset. That is why it is recommended that the offset be reduced to 33%.

If the subfloor isn't close to perfect to begin with it's gonna get worse once the tiles are set, tiles don't bend much. There's many factors including the type of installation method you paid for, the quality of the tiles and skill of the tile setter.

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Old 07-05-2012, 10:41 PM   #5
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Large Tiles Are Not Flat


A lot of the large tiles themselves are not flat--so achieving a flat floor is not possible--
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:51 AM   #6
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Large Tiles Are Not Flat


Show us some pics of what concerns you. All of the above are good answers but a pic will help narrow it down for you.
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:58 PM   #7
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Large Tiles Are Not Flat


Thank you for the comments. Maybe a photo or two will help. This is typical spot where there is what might be lippage. The coin in the photo is a nickel.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:16 PM   #8
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Large Tiles Are Not Flat


How about a shot from a bit farther back--need to see if the tile is dished or the tile is simply set to low.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:21 PM   #9
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Large Tiles Are Not Flat


Here are two more photos that might help. The man who installed the floor had many years of experience and seemed to try hard, so I don't want to be overly picky. I believe he put down tar paper, heavy wire mesh and a coat of thinset. The tile were put in place with thinset. Should I be concerned about the lippage. Is there a "fix" that I could ask the installer to try? Thanks very much.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:27 PM   #10
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Large Tiles Are Not Flat


Here's one more photo.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:28 PM   #11
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Large Tiles Are Not Flat


Each tile has a slight bow to them so when you made the offset pattern this is what they end up looking like. Eek? Where did you get the tiles from?

And why are they not spaced for grout? You got it looking like a plank style floor did you grout yet?

Are these ceramic tiles?!....

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Old 07-06-2012, 08:58 PM   #12
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Large Tiles Are Not Flat


Yes, the work is complete. The tiles have been grouted. They are porcelain tiles. We got them from the tilesetter's father-in-laws tile store.

I'm so anxious to know what I should do next. We are supposed to have kitchen cabinets installed next. We have been saving up for years for this work to be done.

Thanks.

Last edited by Julia Kitchen; 07-06-2012 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:03 PM   #13
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Large Tiles Are Not Flat


You might be able to tell if it's a tile issue by using a straight-edge along the face of them. This would tell you if it's the tile itself that isn't flat. But if the tiles themselves are flat then it's an installation issue. If the tiles themselves are bowed then they're either defective or they're of the type that has that as a usual variation in them. I don't know which.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:17 PM   #14
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Large Tiles Are Not Flat


Run a 2' straight edge across some of the tiles. If it rocks when entirely on 1 tile, then that's the way the tiles are made and the installation layout of them was incorrect. If that test shows the tiles are flat then the actual bedding of them is incorrect.
And it sounds like your tile setter is a real old timer if he put down a mortar bed and mesh before he set the tiles.
There are newer methods.
Unfortunately, whether or not the tiles prove to be flat individually, i think there are really only three choices - live with it, rip out the most egregious ones and replace or do it over.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:36 PM   #15
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Large Tiles Are Not Flat


I think it's pretty clear the tile were made that way. No good

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