Tips for Successful Floor & Wall Tile Installation With No Lippage

Many contractors contact NTCA technical advisers regarding acceptable tolerances for floor tile installations, but our trainers also tell us that with the increased use of large format tile being specified for walls, it is becoming increasingly challenging for tile contractors to successfully install these products without lippage. Contractors should be aware that the tolerances for both floors and walls are the same, and that this issue should be addressed before installing the tile.  Many applications in dry areas are to be installed directly over gypsum board or drywall, and there is little opportunity with the adhesive to make up for imperfections in the surface. Lighting can also wreak havoc on a tile installation on a wall, making the edges appear to be even more uneven and imperfect. Industry tolerances for both floor and wall tile applications state that the substrate should have a maximum variation of /14” in 10’ from the required plane, nor more than 1/16” in 12” when measured from the high points in the surface.  If a builder wants a tile installation to be flush with no or minimal lippage, they need to make sure the framing and drywall contractors are delivering a surface that meets tile industry tolerances.  If the tile contractor doesn’t check for this, and accepts the substrate as is, they run the risk of having a serious issue take place that can cost everyone money and time.  

For more information on this subject, you can order the TCNA Handbook or ANSI A108 Book for tile installation on the NTCA website at

Product Spotlight: NXT Level by LATICRETE

LATICRETEⓇ NXT™ Level is a cement-based underlayment for use in leveling interior substrates including concrete, vinyl tile, cement terrazzo, exterior glue plywood, cement mortar board, cement backer board, ceramic tile and stone. NXT Level produces a flat, smooth and hard surface for the installation of finished flooring. 

The NXT Level formula is a factory-prepared blend of cement, aggregate and other materials to produce a flowable, fast hardening underlayment that can be distributed via pour or pump. Common applications include interior thin bed floors and renovations.

NXT Level can be placed from 1/8 – 3″ (3 – 76 mm) in a single lift and applied directly over concrete testing at a relative humidity of 95 percent or less per ASTM F2170. Once cured, NXT Level is durable, fire- and heat-resistant, non-combustible, non-sensitive to moisture and maintenance-free. For more information, visit

Mapei Mapeguard UM

MAPEI recently introduced Mapeguard® UM. This crack-suppression, waterproofing and vapor-pressure-equalizing underlayment membrane has been approved for use with latex-modified mortars as part of a warranted system for installation of ceramic tile and natural stone. Mapeguard UM equalizes vapor pressure, so it can be applied over young concrete in fast-track construction or concrete with high relative humidity. The lightweight membrane can also be applied over single-layer plywood floors. The uniquely engineered tri-layered design of Mapeguard UM absorbs lateral stress from the substrate without transferring this force to the tile or stone, which maintains exceptional bonds.

The engineered cavity design – including the mesh-fabric top layer – allows easy single-pass filling of the surface core with less mortar, reducing the amount of mortar needed and making the installer’s job easier.

American Olean Introduces Six New Collections

American Olean® introduces six new collections, expanding its array of outstanding tile and stone offerings to include stylish products inspired by textiles, marble and watercolor, all enhanced with Reveal Imaging.

The new product offerings include:

  • Elemental Canvas, an organic, woven fabric look with rich colors and graphics in six neutral shades in 24” x 24” and 12” x 24” formats with 1” x 3” mosaics. This ColorBody porcelain features TruEdge technology, and includes a linear mosaic option.
  • Theoretical Bold, a bright and colorful ColorBody complement to the Theoretical series with a light graphic variation for visual depth and richness. In 24” x 24” and 12” x 24” formats in six eye-popping colors.
  • Abound glazed veramic floor, wall and mosaic tile evokes polished marble aesthetic in five neutral shades. Abound offers a full package of sizes, with mosaic and decorative wall accents.
  • Horizon glazed ceramic is an elegant wall tile with a watercolor graphic in four neutral hues and a large format linear design – 6” x 16” format with 1/2″ x 12” coordinating jolly trim
  • Harvest Grove is a rustic wood look in glazed porcelain floor tile in 6” x 24” formats and a glazed ceramic 2” x 2” mosaic
  • Serentina, a striking glass- and-stone mosaic available in three geometric designs and six color blends.

Visit for details.

Peronda Harmony Collection LINS by YONOH

Peronda adds to its designer-sourced Harmony Collection with LINS by YONOH which plays with light, using crisscrossing lines to generate visual effects perfect for transforming wall surfaces into huge murals. LINS by YONOH takes advantage of the subtlety of lines as opposed to differing levels, so that shadow play and volumes are generated by the actual delicacy of the lines. The collection’s choice of neutral Mediterranean colors reflects its restful spirit.

SecuraTrac mPERS Mobile Defender Model S

SecuraTrac has introduced its mPERS mobile emergency pendant, the MobileDefender™ Model S (MD-S). The model S (MD-S) is developed on the same platform as the powerful MobileDefender™ and introduces new capabilities that will help to ensure the safety of those who use the MD-S and the SecuraTrac® platform.  Companies that dispatch employees into unknown environments and situations can rely on the MD-S to relay information about employee locations while providing them with an instant connection to help if an emergency occurs. From real estate agents and home healthcare workers meeting with clients to construction workers and engineers alone in the field, the MD-S has a variety of useful applications. It also offers a built-in Fall Advisory to detect if an employee falls or is knocked over on the job, which automatically triggers a help alert. A Wake-on SOS feature allows the unit to operate over 30 days on a single charge.

Schluter-Systems All New Thin-Set Mortars

Schluter-Systems has developed three new thin-set mortars for ceramic and stone tile installation. Schluter SET™ unmodified thin-set mortar, Schluter ALL-SET™ modified thin-set mortar, and Schluter FAST-SET™ rapid-setting modified thin-set mortar are all specifically formulated for Schluter® membranes and boards to provide a single source for their tile installation systems, with guaranteed product compatibility. The Schluter ALL-SET modified thin-set is engineered for use both under and over all DITRA® and KERDI® products. The Schluter FAST-SET rapid-setting modified thin-set is ready to grout in four hours for fast-track projects. All three products, including the Schluter SET, are approved to set porcelain tile over Schluter boards and membranes. The modified mortars have been specifically formulated to set and gain strength in a timeframe that fits typical installation practice, even when sandwiched between Schluter membranes or boards and porcelain tile; extended dry-times not required.  Performance has been validated through both laboratory and practical testing.  When Schluter-Systems’ new thin-set mortars are used within certain Schluter applications, an extended lifetime limited warranty is available.  Schluter-Systems will continue to warrant its systems when other manufacturers’ unmodified thin-set mortars meeting ANSI A118.1 are used to install tile.

Ege Seramik The ROAD Collection

Ege Seramik introduces The ROAD Collection, a matte-finish, glazed porcelain tile created specifically for the North American Market. Taking two tile trends and combining them into one, the ROAD Collection offers a balanced mixture of both textile and cement looks. Ege worked with design partners to replicate a piece of gauze embedded in cement, with a matte finish and digital printing accents that reinforce its textile theme. Available in grey, ivory and taupe and available in 12”x24” and 18”x36”  formats, the ROAD Collection is ideal for both residential and commercial applications, indoors and out for floors and walls.

Ergodyne Chill-Its 6690 Cooling Arm Sleeves

Ergodyne has introduced another cooling item to its Chill-Its® Line, the Chill-Its 6690 Cooling Arm Sleeves which activate instantly when wet, using evaporation for extended cooling and protection from the sun’s UV rays. Saturate the sleeve with water and expose it to air to wick away moisture from the body and create an evaporative cooling effect. Machine-washable and reusable, the sleeves also cool key pulse points, shield skin from the sun with UPF 50+ protection, and even guard against light levels of abrasion. Even when dry, they absorb sweat and wick away moisture.

Florida Tile’s Glamour Collection Evocative of Hollywood’s Golden Age

Lexington, KY: March 31, 2017 – A single glance at the new Glamour wall and floor collection from Florida Tile cannot help but evoke the timeless allure, sophistication and visual texture of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

“It is an obvious nod to a famously enchanting time, says Sean Cilona, Director of Marketing for Florida Tile. “Glamour is a perfect headliner for those seeking to add an element of drama to their surroundings, especially in a luxury hospitality environment.”

“These porcelain floor and ceramic wall tiles are uniquely structured with visual texture for spaces in which the architectural component is vital – one in which a surface’s design is the main story, not the backdrop,” Cilona says.

Spotlighted in the collection is a glossy white ceramic wall tile in three sizes: 9×18, 12×24 and, in keeping with current design trends, a 14×29-inch large format tile.

The coordinating floor tile is a 12×24 inch rectified, semi-gloss, glazed, white porcelain tile with a geometric microstructure that adds a subtle design accent without sacrificing an easy-to-clean surface.
Awaiting its own close-up is a 12×12 sized, 1×4 straight-stacked mesh mounted porcelain mosaic. This uncomplicated contemporary piece fits perfectly within the look of the line.

“The real stars of this show,” Cilona stresses, “are the 10 beautiful decos.” Glamour features a 9×18 (pressed), plus 12×24 and 14×39 large-format rectified ceramic wall tiles in chic colors of pristine glossy white, mirror and gold. Bold architectural patterns in waves, geometric shapes and straight-lines add movement and dimension to any room.

Completing the Glamour collection is a full package of trims including bullnoses coordinating with the glossy ceramic wall and porcelain floor tiles, as well as a glossy ceramic chair rail and stop.

Glamour porcelain floor tile is appropriate for all residential and commercial wall, countertop, and backsplash applications, and all residential floor applications. Ceramic wall tile is appropriate for all interior wall, countertop and backsplash applications and is GREENGUARD® certified.

Florida Tile is a fully owned subsidiary of Panariagroup, a publicly owned company traded on the Milan Stock Exchange (MILAN: PAN IM). Panariagroup is a leading manufacturer and distributor in over 60 countries around the world with six manufacturing sites in Italy, Portugal and the USA and eight brands positioned in the high-end of the market.

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