Fed Up With Tiles Giving You Lip?

A quality tile leveling system can prevent the dreaded tile lipping problem from occurring during any tiling project.

By using a tile leveling system, your tiles will be kept level and flush with each other while the tile mortar cures and also help you fine-tune the tiles until they are perfectly smooth.

This review will show you some of the best tile leveling systems available on the market and teach you how to use your new tile leveling system like a pro!

Raimondi Tile Levelling System

Hi there and welcome to Tilersplace.com

My name is Carl and I have been tiling professionally for over 20 years.

I’ve set my fair share of tiles in my time and I know that in order to get the best results, I need to use the latest and best tiling tools available – clique I know but damn if it isn’t true.

One of the newest tools in my belt is the Raimondi Tile Levelling System. A system of self-leveling spacers that makes creating perfectly flat tiled surfaces a snap.

Today we will look at one of the best tile leveling systems out there and some tile clip alternatives that should get you laying like a pro in no time!

The Best TIle Leveling Systems

The Best Tile Leveling Systems:

1 – Raimondi Tile Leveling System

2 – Spin Doctor Tile Leveling System

3 – T-Lock Perfect Level Master 

Continue reading below to learn more about these tile leveling spacers and see which one suits your requirements the best.

Each set is compatible with both wall and floor tiles so all you need to do is decide which one suits your requirements the best.

1 – Raimondi Tile Leveling System

The Raimondi Tile Leveling System Starter Kit comes with everything you need to start leveling tiles like a professional tiler.

The tile leveling kit includes everything:

• Tile Leveling Wedges (Reusable) x100

• Tile Leveling Clips x100 

• Adjustable Pliers to Set the Wedges/Clips

It’s an inexpensive way to get started with tile leveling clips without spending a fortune, they are more fragile in comparison to other tile leveling systems however at their price point, you can easily justify a few breakages.

2 – Spin Doctor Tile Leveling System

The Spin Doctor Tile Leveling System Starter Kit is another popular tile lippage system. It’s more time-consuming to drive the cap around the threaded spacer but offers more strength/leveling over the Raimondi.

The tile leveling kit includes:

• Tile Leveling Caps (Reusable) x100

• Tile Leveling Bases x250 

The Spin Doctor is overall a more expensive and slower tile lippage system to use but it has the benefit of taking more pressures before the leveling bases snap. Great for extreme jobs where you can dedicate the time, otherwise the Raimondi is a perfect everyday tile lippage system.

3 – T-Lock By Perfect Level Master 

The Perfect Level Master system of self leveling tile clips offers more torque over the Raimondi in a similar design. The tile leveling clips can also be used as spacers/wedges.

While it is a great kit, the price to get the full kit costs more than double of the Raimondi tile leveling kit.

The tile leveling kit includes:

• Tile Leveling Clips x300

• Tile Leveling Wedges x100 

• Adjustable Pliers Sold Separately.

The Perfect Level Master is a useful piece of tile leveling kit if you are wanting to utmost best without any breakages. It’s premium price comes with many benefits but overall it’ll do the same things that the much cheaper Raimondi Tile Leveling System can do as well.

TIle Leveling Clips – Grout Gap Sizes

Have you decided on which tile leveling system you would like to go with?

Good! 

Here’s one more factor you need to consider when purchasing a tile leveling kit, that being which size spacer/clip you will need.

Most tilers using these tile leveling kits purchase a variety of different sized clips to suit every job they do. 

The standard size gap created by these tile leveling clips is 1/8th of an inch (3.175 mm) and that covers most of their jobs however, if you need a smaller sized grout gap, you can also get tile leveling clips in 1/16 of an inch (2mm) if needed.

Click below to find the 1/16 Inch Clips For Your System.

Raimondi

Spin Doctor

Perfect Level Master

Your pliers and any other peripherals needed to crimp the spacers will work with whichever sized spacer you decide to go with. 

Advantages Of Using Tile Leveling Systems

There are many advantages to using a tile leveling system, in fact their pros far out weight the cons.

Advantages of Using Tile Leveling Systems:

• Easily Level Floor Tiles

• Fine tune Wall Tile for perfect walls.

• Prevent tiles slumping during adhesive cure time.

• Save time fine-tuning tiles 

• Straighten out crooked wooden plank tiles

• Stop tile lipping in one simple step

• No more clients calling you up about fixing a “lipping tile.”

Disadvantages of Using Tile Leveling Systems:

• Costs a few bucks more

• Takes a few seconds more to lay a tile

How To Use Tile Leveling Systems

tile leveling system made by Raimondi

Despite tile leveling clips and anti-tile lippage systems being on the market for nearly a decade or more, they are still plenty of tilers that haven’t used them.

While using tile leveling clips is by no means rocket science, I’ll try outline some basic guidelines on how to use tile leveling systems.

Remember, whichever kit you go with will have it’s own particular means of use but the basics remain the same, it’s just the manner of how you couple the two pieces that’ll be different.

For that – the manufacturer includes instructions that’ll teach you everything you need to know on how to use their system.

How To Use Tile Leveling Systems

• Spread thinset and lay a tile as usual.

• Slide a tile leveling clip/base underneath the tile until the base is sitting flush with the tile. Generally, four clips are recommended per tile. This is to ensure all four corners are flush with the neighboring tile. You may position the clips near the edges of the tile or in the centers.

For longer tiles like wooden plank tiles, you may use up to six tile leveling clips if needed.

• With another tile laid next to the tile with the clip, you can slide a wedge into the clip and use the adjustable pliers to crimp the wedge tight into the base. If you are using the Spin Doctor, just rotate your base until it’s flush with the two tiles.

The general idea is that your wedge/base pushes any high edges down and makes a flat surface across the tiles. The tile leveling system also helps keeps the tile flush and smooth while the thinset cures overnight, effectively eliminating any slump caused by large format or plank tiles.

• When you are ready to grout, you can use a mallet to knock the disposable clips away, thus creating a clean grout line without any protrusions. The wedges/spin doctor bases can be stored away in a container for the next job.

Be careful to clean up any excessive mortar/thinset from the tile leveling clips as this will make removal more difficult.

Oh and keep your pliers and wedges cleaner than I do! 😉 A simple wash in clean water is enough to clean any thinset off.

With the clip in place, you can push a wedge through the center and crimp it in place using your pliers.
A clip is inserted and ready for the next tile to be placed next to it.

Tile Leveling Clips – Limitations

Tile levelling systems are a much-needed addition to any tiler’s toolkit as they can make any tile job into a masterpiece – but they’re not magical.

They will not perfectly level out any uneven and crooked floor, they will only tune tiles to be perfectly flush and hold them level while the mortar sets. 

In order for a good tile leveling system to create a perfectly smooth surface without any tile lippage, you need to remember a few things.

A tile levelling system is not going to do much if your floor or wall is greatly uneven or has irregularities in it. 

A quality preparation job using SLU (self-leveling underlayment), backer-board or a mud bed is still required before using tile leveling clips as they can only correct minor lippage, not level out tiles that are inches out of plumb.

While this may sound detrimental and make self-leveling tile clips useless, it’s actually good that the clips won’t pull tiles inches above the substrate.

Why?

Because if they did that, they would create hollow points in the tiles where there would be zero thinset/mortar and we all know that is bad.

Got coverage? Nope!

If you are new to tile leveling systems and are now scratching your head wondering, “well what’s the point of using them then?”, you are not seeing the power of this great tiling innovation.

One of the trickiest parts of tiling is getting your tiles to be perfectly level.

On some substrates and with certain tiles, it’s not a problem.

You just trowel out your tile glue and go for gold.

But on others, you can spend precious time levering up tiles, adding or removing glue and hammering with your mallet, to get them perfect – only to come back the next day to see they have slumped down and caused lips.

A bathroom wall fully tiled using Perfect Level Master Clips - Image Is Owned By The Manufacturer.

This is especially the case now that we use large format tiles, plank tiles and tiles with straight edges and not rounded ones like they used to be.

Tiles with straight edges show lippage like nothing else, especially when they have a polished finish and laid on a floor.

A blind man with six layers of duct tape over his eyes could enter a room and pick out all the lippages, let alone your average homeowner (or spouse), expecting nothing but the best from their tiler.

Now factor in your tile leveling system.

You prep your surface just like you would if you weren’t using the tiling system and start tiling. You set your tile, then add a self leveling tile spacer. 

Upon crimping, the spacer/clip will even out the tiniest of imperfections for you and create a uniform level across your tile and it’s neighbor.

Boom.

Keep going and keep adding those tile leveling clips and what do you have upon completion?

A perfectly flat tiled surface.

All done without endless fine-tuning by you.

And the best part is, when you return the next day to grout, your tiles will still be perfectly flat and uniform.

Are you starting to see the possibilities of a tile leveling system in your bag of tricks?

Think back to the last time you laid large format porcelain tile or long wooden plank tiles that were not perfectly straight, how you battled to get them nice and flat, using all your skill and experience to render a crazy tile into a flat surface.

Now imagine how that job would have gone – and how much easier it would have been – if you had used a tile leveling system. 

An example of a tile leveling system in place to hold straight tiles flat.

The Best TIle Leveling System – Raimondi

Out of all the tile leveling systems available on the market now, I believe the Raimondi Leveling System to be the best.

I believe it to be the best tile leveling system because of it’s simple, easy to use design and it’s affordability for a professional system.

It is by no means the cheapest tile leveling clip system available, that honor is left to imitation kits that are made from cheap plastic, but for a working professional or part-timer, the price to get a perfect floor is easily justifiable.

I have been using the Raimondi Tile Leveling System for close to ten years and it’s still my go-to tile leveling kit.

Why do you think my pliers are so dirty and encrusted with thinset? It’s because they’re the original pair I got with my starter kit when I purchased it nearly 10 years ago!

Say what you want, but if any professional tool can last 10 years without any breakages, that’s a damn fine tool in my book.

The main drawbacks of the system is the plastic clips. They can be fragile at times, I have to admit.

Quite often I am tightening a wedge and the clip breaks prematurely, it is annoying but I simply slide in a new clip and continue going.

The Perfect Level Master clips are stronger and offer more torque but their higher price and fiddlier plier design mean I usually leave that kit at home.

The Spin Master System is great for walls as I can access the pads easier with my cordless drill and makes tightening them easier than with the pliers but for small jobs, I still prefer the Raimondi System simply because I can set both floor and wall tiles with the one set.

In all seriousness, there is not much more to prattle on about why the Raimondi is the best tile leveling system.

It works well in any situation, is cheap enough to justify breakages and every day use and the reusable wedges are going on ten years without any cracking or breakages.

It is also one of the very first tile leveling systems to be introduced to the market and its classic design is a testament to how good the original idea was.

I had a dig online and in tiler forums to see what others were saying about the Raimondi and was happy to see the general positivity as well.

Seasoned tilers and even first time DIY tilers were talking about how well the Raimondi worked at leveling their tiles.

There were the expected complaints about the clips breaking but overall, the vote was unanimous.

The Raimondi Tile Leveling System is damn good and it works.

The original tile leveling system.

End of story.

If you are looking for a great tile leveling system to invest in and don’t want to spend too much money, you’ll do well by choosing Raimondi.

It’s stood the test of time and continues to provide thousands of tilers with an easy to use system that provides results.

Give it a go and see for yourself, maybe one day your pliers will look just like mine!

Tile Leveling Clips – Conclusion

When large format porcelain tiles first entered the market, they created many problems for tilers.

Not only were there no tile cutters large enough to cut them, but due to their straight edges and heavyweight, tile lippage became a real problem.

Luckily, tile tool manufacturers like Raimondi were quick to develop tile leveling systems to help tiles combat the inherent problems these sorts of tiles created and the popularity of these systems quickly grew.

As time went on, the tiles only got larger and heavier and eventually, plank tiles came onto the market that brought their own sets of problems – mainly being warped and uneven straight from the box.

The growing popularity of these tile leveling systems meant a great money-making scheme for various companies and soon many copy-cat systems sprouted up like weeds to cash in on the new boom.

This of course only muddied the waters for honest tilers looking for the very best tile leveling system without wasting time or money.

This tile leveling system review highlights some of my favorite leveling systems that I found to work best out of the pluethora that are currently out there. 

Raimondi were one of the first to create a tile leveling system.

All three tile leveling systems by Raimondi, Spin Doctor and Perfect Level Master are quality systems and regarded by tilers are the best tile leveling systems out there now.

A lot of copy-cat systems suffer from inferior plastic quality or design flaws that end up breaking prematurely or taking too much time to work with.

The three systems I mentioned are less inherent to these problems and overall give the best result.

Whether you go with the cheapest option (Raimondi) or the one you fancy the most, you can be sure you will be getting a great product a true asset to your tiling tools.

Got lipping tile problems?

Not anymore you don’t!

Because you are now using the best tile leveling systems out there and no tiles will be giving you lip anymore!

Check Out The Best Tile Leveling Systems

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