Table Of Contents
- 1 Tile LevelLing System
- 1.1 Fed Up With Tiles Giving You Lip?
- 1.2 Best Tile Levelling Systems
- 1.3 best Tile Leveling Systems – Best Overall
- 1.4 Click below to find the 1/16 Inch Clips For Your System At Amazon.
- 1.5 Top Advantages Of Using The best tile leveling system
- 1.6 How To Use A Tile Leveling System
- 1.7 Tile Levelling System F.A.Q
- 1.7.1 • How Do I Remove A Tile Leveling Clip?
- 1.7.2 • Am I a bad tiler for using tile leveling clips?
- 22.214.171.124 Should I Use a Tile Leveling System?
- 126.96.36.199 Are tile leveling systems necessary?
- 188.8.131.52 Who makes the best tile leveling system?
- 184.108.40.206 How do you stop a Lippage from tiling?
- 220.127.116.11 How much tile Lippage is acceptable?
- 18.104.22.168 best tile leveling system for diy?
- 22.214.171.124 When To Use Self Leveling Tile Spacers?
- 126.96.36.199 Why Use Self Leveling Tile Spacers?
- 188.8.131.52 What are Wedges, Tile Strips & Tightening Tool?
- 184.108.40.206 What Is Tile Lippage?
- 1.7.3 The Great Tile Leveling System Misnomer
- 1.7.4 Best Tile Leveling System – Conclusion
- 1.7.5 Check Out The Best Tile Leveling Systems
Last Updated on
Tilers Place is reader-supported. When you buy through links on this page, I may earn an affiliate commission on qualifying leveling system purchases as a member of the Amazon.com associates program
Tile LevelLing System
Best Tile Levelling Systems For 2020 – Professional Reviews & Top Picks
Professional Tile Setter’s Review Of The Best Tile Leveling Systems Currently Available in 2020
This review of best tile leveling clips is intended for any Professional & Home Improvement project/job.
If your gonna be getting any tile leveling system today, make sure to check out the Raimondi Tile Leveling System. Its one of the original tile leveling systems and the best kit all round.
This system comes with pliers, clips and levelling wedges – everything that’ll get you started leveling tiles. It’s much more affordable over other professional systems and delivers a professional result.
I use this system on a daily and it’s my favorite tile leveling system.
Fed Up With Tiles Giving You Lip?
An easy to use and quality tile leveling system can prevent the dreaded tile lipping problem from occurring during any tiling project. There aren’t any other related products that are as effective.
By using tile levelers like clips or wedges, they will make sure 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.
All systems on review can be used as floor and wall tile leveling systems, in various grout joints sizes so you’ll only need one kit and it’ll cover the whole spectrum of your tile installation project.
Level your floor and wall tiles and get a finish you’ll be proud of for years to come!
Here are some quick links to Amazon.com that show the best systems that I have found work for everyday tiling work.
Continue reading below to learn more about these tile leveling spacers and related products. See which one suits your project requirements the best. Make sure to check the sizes for your grout joints.
Each set is compatible with both wall and floor tiles so all you need to do is make sure which one suits your job requirements the best.
This review will show you some of the best tile leveling systems to level floor and wall tiles available on the market (or show you what to look for) and teach you how to use your new tile leveling kit like a pro!
Warning: This review contains images of the dirtiest clip pliers on the internet. Continue at your own risk.
I like it dirty, what can I say. I’m a sick mofo.
But in reality, these pliers are about 10 years old and have seen the wars and many-a tile project. This photo was taken during a tough week and the thinset was flying. They have since been cleaned numerous times but stand testament that even though their coated like a KFC chicken wing, they still worked.
Hi there and welcome to Tilersplace.com a.k.a Dirtiest Tile Tools.com.
My name is Carl and I have been tiling professionally for over 25 years and it shows. My tools bare the signs of too many long days, one tile job to many and helpers slacking off.
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.
Tile trends keep changing and make sure to keep us on our toes, new tile installation techniques are pioneered and we can barely keep up with it all.
One of the newest tools in my belt is the Raimondi Tile Levelling System™. An easy to use system of self-leveling spacers that makes creating perfectly flat tiled surfaces a snap.
Today we will look at the best systems out there and some tile clip alternatives that should get you laying like a pro in no time and aceing that tiling project!
Hope you enjoy my tile leveling system reviews!
Best Tile Levelling Systems
|Name||Rating||Ease of Use||Clip Strength||No. of Clips In Pack|
|Raimondi Tile Leveling System||A+ Best Overall||Very Easy||Medium||100 Wedges + Clips + Installation Pliers||Check Price|
|Spin Doctor Tile Lippage Control System||A Best For Wall Tiles||Medium||Medium||100 Caps + 250 Base Plates||Check Price|
|T-Lock Tile Leveling System||B Good for all applications but expensive.||Medium||Strong||100 Wedges + 300 Clips (Pliers sold seperately)||Check Price|
best Tile Leveling Systems – Best Overall
1 – Raimondi Leveling System Starter KiT
The Raimondi Tile Level System Starter Kit comes with everything you need to start leveling tiles like a professional tiler.
The tile leveling kit includes everything for your poroject:
- Tile Leveling Wedges (Reusable) : x100 wedges
- Tile Leveling Clips : x100 clips
- Adjustable Pliers to Set the Wedges/Clips on floors (work on walls but dedicated set is easier)
The Raimondi Leveling System Starter Kit – the original clips and wedges that started it all.
The RLS is an easy to use and inexpensive way to get started with tile lippage tuning clips without spending a fortune. In a decade of using them, they’ve always manage to keep up with whatever tiles I’ve used them for. They are more fragile in comparison to other tile clips however at their price point, you can easily justify a few breakages.
The supplied pliers are suited for floor tiles but you can still use them for wall tiles or purchase the wall tile leveling system pliers if you do a lot of wall tile work. It’d be nice if the system comes with pliers for both surfaces but hey, at least we get one pair unlike the t-lock tile leveling system.
If you are looking for tile leveling system clips that suit home improvement work, they would be my pick over other related products.
Customer reviews are mostly favourable as well with users commenting on how easy it was to use and provided nice results for the initial cost of the system.
The Spin Doctor Tile Level System Starter Kit is another popular tile lippage system and commonly features on other reviews. It’s more time-consuming to drive the cap around the threaded spacer but offers more strength/leveling over the Raimondi. Overall it’s price is much higher in comparison to standard lippage kits.
The tile leveling kit includes:
Not included are the Clear View Bases that help keep the reusable bases clean. The clear view bases also add more strength by widening the surface area. It’s not a requirement to use them, but they work a treat and make a difference come grouting time.
The Spin Doctor comes at a higher price and is a 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 or if you want a tile lippage system that works great on wall tile.
The Perfect Level Master ™ system of self leveling tile clips offers more torque over the Raimondi in a similar design. The self leveling tile spacers 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 Perfect Level Master tile leveling kit includes:
The Perfect Level Master ™ is a useful piece of tile leveling kit if you are wanting to utmost best for your job without any breakages. It’s premium price comes with many benefits but overall it’ll do the same things that the much cheaper Raimondi RLS Tile Leveling System can do as well.
It would have been great if the perfect level master pliers came included in a kit as that’s another expense on top of the already pricey system.
The main difference with the Perfect Level Master t-lock tile leveling system is the wedges that can double as handy shims to lift or space tile out wider than a standard spacer.
You can use the tip of the wedge to gap the tile out at useful increments. It’s not exactly a game changer but its handy to have on a bathroom job. Whether or not it justifies the higher price is up to you to decide.
Peygran is a relative new comer to the leveling system game but they have promptly established themselves are a leader in the industry – to the point of becoming one of the most popular tile systems out there. With the widest variety of clip sizes and advanced pliers – that reputation is certainly deserved.
The tile leveling kit includes:
The Peygran tile leveling system is the most expensive kit out there but it’s high price does come with more clips and wedges. Also the highly adjustable pliers allow you to input the correct amount of pressure for every tile size. While the clips are specially designed to break off easily – a big advantage over the Raimondi tile leveling system.
TIle Leveling System Clips – Grout Joints Sizes
Have you decided on the best tile leveling system for your needs and tile choice?
Here’s one more factor you need to consider when purchasing a tile leveling system, that being which size spacer/clip you will need for your grout joints.
Most tilers using these tile leveling kits purchase a variety of different sized clips to suit every job they do and suit the grout line.
The minimum grout joint created by these tile leveling system clips is 1/8th of an inch (3.175 mm) and that covers most of their jobs however, if you need a smaller minimum grout joint, you can also get tile leveling clips in 1/16 of an inch (2mm) if needed. It pays to make sure which clip size you are getting now, before ordering anything.
Click below to find the 1/16 Inch Clips For Your System At Amazon.
Your pliers and any other peripherals needed to crimp the spacers will work with whichever sized spacer and grout line you decide to go with for your tile project.
Top Advantages Of Using The best tile leveling system
There are many advantages to using a tile leveling system, in fact their pros far out weight the cons.
Advantages of Using A Tile Leveling System:
- 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
- Prevent tile lippage once and for al
- Even grout lines
- No more clients calling you up about fixing a “lipping tile.” – Bet you’ve heard that one a few times.
Disadvantages of Using A Tile Leveling System:
- Costs a few bucks more
- Takes a few seconds more to lay a tile
- Adds time to clean up time when grouting
- Makes grout lines harder to clean
- One more tiling tool in your work vehicle.
How To Use a Tile Leveling System
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 the self leveling tile spacers is by no means rocket science, I’ll try outline some basic guidelines on how to use your kit for tile leveling.
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. Make sure to give em a read to avoid anger and frustration when you’re knee deep in thinset and nothings going right.
Pro Tip: You Still Need To Use Tile Spacers With Your Tile Leveling System!
How To Use A Tile Leveling System
• Spread thinset, paying attention to keep trowel lines going in one direction only 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 system clips per tile 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 joint 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 levelling clips and leveling wedges as this will make removal more difficult. Keep your grout joints between the two tiles clean as well. A wet sponge can clean everything up easily. The cleaner you are on setting day, the easier grouting will be.
Oh and keep your pliers and wedges cleaner than I do! 😉 A simple wash in clean water is enough to clean any thinset off.
Tile Leveling System – Limitations
Tile levelling systems are a much-needed addition to any tiler’s toolkit as provide a way to make every tile job into a masterpiece – but they’re not magical. Even the best tile leveling system.
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. This is especially important on a tile floor where lippage is very easy to see and notice.
In order for a good 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 system wedges and clips as they can only correct minor lippage, not level out tiles that are inches out of plumb. Problematic walls may need to be fixed with mud or notched properly by removing the backing board.
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.
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 your on your way.
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.
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 new tile anti-lippage kit (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 wedges.
Upon crimping the wedges, the spacer/clip will even out the tiniest of imperfections for you and create a uniform level across your tile and it’s neighbor.
Keep going and keep adding those tile leveling clips and what do you have upon completion?
A perfectly flat tiled surface without lippage.
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 with perfect grout joints.
Are you starting to see the possibilities of including tile leveling system wedges and clips 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 without lippage.
Now imagine how that job would have gone – and how much easier it would have been – if you had used one of the best tile leveling system.
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 tile leveling system.
I believe it to be the best floor and wall tile level system because of it’s simple, easy to use design and it’s affordability for a professional system. I only need to use 2-4 clips per tile so one bag lasts me a while.
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 a home improvement enthusiast, the price to get a perfect floor without lippage 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. They are great for not only floor tiles, but also doubles as a wall tile leveling system for those jobs with larger tiles.
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 over other related products 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. It’s still better than a cheap tile leveling system, in which the clip never wants to break cleanly, it just flexes and ends up with bits in the grout joint. Bits that you need to cut out and that takes forever.
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 Masters is great wall tile leveling system 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 in general and a great product overall.
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 leveling system worked at leveling their tiles.
Hacks were sharing pics of how they spot bonded tiles and how proud they were of themselves that the tiles were flush without lippage…
Good news for you buddy, you’ll be get a lot of tear out jobs in the near future and we all know how easy spot bonded tiles are to rip out! (Cue hysterical laughter and dollar signs.)
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.
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’s lippage system.
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 Levelling System F.A.Q
Will using a tile leveling clip create empty voids underneath the tile?
When you use a tile leveling clip, you are not creating an empty void underneath the tile material. This is a very common misconception with these tile leveling systems and everyones biggest concern.
When you are tightening the clip into place, you are pushing the tile down, not up and out of the thinset/mortar.
Instead of pushing a tile up to evenly match the surface of the other tile, it’s pushing the lipping tile down flush with the neighboring tile to create an even surface.
This is achieved by your low tile which has enough suction with the thinset that it won’t pop up during the tightening of the clip, instead it will hold in place and will bring the high tile into position with it.
Of course one clip isn’t enough to remedy a trouble spot, hence that’s why you use the tile clips in all corners of the tiles and push them all down.
Your tile is still achieving 100% coverage (provided you troweled the thinset properly).
Also remember that the clips make micro-adjustments, they are not moving your tiles around in large increments.
To put it plainly: Your low tiles have enough suction to bring any high tiles down to their level when you tighten a tile clip.
You are not pushing low tiles up but pushing high tiles down.
Can a Tile Leveling System fix bowed tiles?
Yes, a tile leveling system can correct bowed or warped tiles and help eliminate tile lippage.
Plank tiles and large format tiles are commonly warped or bowed. Meaning they are not perfectly flat, usually they have a dip in the center or all 4 corners do not evenly touch the surface.
A tile leveling lippage kit in combination with your thinset will push down all corners of the tile and effectively even it all out. You can use tile strips or weights to hold down tiles but that’s not very practical.
This works on the same principle as the first question, with the suction being able to straighten out tiles and bring their corners flat with each other. Despite their tough appearance, tile material can be slightly bent.
They have have become a mainstay for wooden plank tile installations as those tiles are so commonly warped. You don’t need the best tile leveling tools to straighten plank tiles but don’t opt for the cheapest either as it won’t be strong enough.
During the mortar setting time, the tiles will get stuck in that position and adhere to the subfloor surface.
• How Do I Remove A Tile Leveling Clip?
Here’s one that I see mentioned a lot online, ‘how do I remove tile leveling system clips without it breaking inside the grout line?’
This question arises mostly from the first time users of these leveling systems and those using a cheap tile leveling system and not the best tile leveling gear on offer.
Apart from that, it happens because they haven’t learned the best way of removing the wedge when they are getting the tiles ready for grouting.
What happens is they kick out the wedge and the plastic clip snaps above the floor tile or just high enough for it to stick out during grouting.
Resulting in a time-consuming task of cutting out the plastic from the grout line before grouting.
We ain’t got time for that nonsense!
The idea behind removing tile levelers is simple; strike the plastic at the base where it meets the tiled surface. Don’t hit high, or at the wedge/disk.
How you do it is up to you, but for floor clips, I just walk in and kick them out with my boot. My foot kind of skims the surface of the tile as I am aiming for the bottom of the clip, where the most force will transfer to the breaking point beneath the tile.
You can use a rubber mallet as well and it is recommended for tile clips used on walls for obvious reasons. (We can’t walk on walls sadly. Gravity sucks huh.)
Also, try do it with a short but sharp motion, like you would kick a car tire at a sales yard.
A nice, quick kick will ensure the top part of the clip comes off cleanly from the base and you can just sweep up the parts after.
After you get the motion down you will never have trouble removing tile clips again.
I can’t say I have had any plastic remaining in the tile joints for many years now and once you master the easy technique, you won’t have trouble getting clean results either.
• Am I a bad tiler for using tile leveling clips?
No, you are a wise tiler for using all the tools and inventions out there to achieve the best tiling result possible. Tiles are constantly changing with bigger and bigger sizes coming onto the marketplace, it is only natural that you need new tools to accommodate these new wall and floor tile.
See the section below for my answer/rant on that subject.
More Tile Leveling System Questions
Should I Use a Tile Leveling System?
A tile leveling system should be used to greatly help alleviate issues associated with bowed wooden plank tiles or large format tiles slumping during curing. You should also use a tile leveling system for installing wall tiles to fine tune the levels and achieve a perfectly smooth finish. A system with wedges will provide optimum results.
Are tile leveling systems necessary?
Tile leveling systems are necessary to those seeking to achieve a perfectly flat surface, regardless of the tile used. Of course proper surface preparation is required before tile installation however large format tiles or wooden plank tiles often make tile leveling systems necessary to avoid lippage.
Who makes the best tile leveling system?
Who makes the best tile leveling system cannot be answered as there are many a great system for every type of tile whether it is for walls or floors. Each deliver great results. The Best Tile Leveling System Review by Tilersplace is the only review written by a professional tile setter and talks about four of the best wedges and clip systems for all users. Overall, the Raimondi leveling system was regarded as the best for first time users. Thanks to it’s price and high level of installation uses across all modern porcelain tile.
How do you stop a Lippage from tiling?
Tile lippage can be stopped by making sure that the subfloor surface is as flat as possible before any installation of the tiles begins. Use a correct trowel and thinset thickness for the tile and carefully place each tile to help reduce the risk of lippage. Sometimes it is required to lift the tiles and add more thinset/mortar as required. Lastly, use of a tile leveling system can help fine tune your tile levels, eliminate tile warpage and keep them inplace during the thinset curing/mortar setting process.
How much tile Lippage is acceptable?
Tile lippage is acceptable as set by the ANSI A108.02 Standards. 1/32′ plus the inherent warpage of tiles as stated by the manufacturer is the allowed tile lippage for floor tiles using a grout joint of 1/16′ to less than 1/4′.
best tile leveling system for diy?
The best tile leveling system for DIY use would be something like the QEP Lash system. It is a cheap and adequate system for users only doing a couple odd jobs around the house. It’s a nice little system that will tolerate domestic tile installations done for home improvement purposes. Read a customer review and some customer questions before buying.
When To Use Self Leveling Tile Spacers?
A self leveling tile spacer can be used on any tile on any surface that the tile installer wants to be perfectly flat. Wooden plank tiles can also benefit from these kits as they can fix the bowed effect these tiles are inherent with. Large tiles such as 32inch (600cm) tiles should always be installed with such a kit.
Why Use Self Leveling Tile Spacers?
Tiles are an expensive investment and are time consuming to install. When going all that effort to install a finish, it makes sense to strive for the very best result possible. These systems help tile layers to fine-tune, remove tile warpage and maintain a flat surface that won’t have eye-catching lips.
What are Wedges, Tile Strips & Tightening Tool?
These are just alternate names or individual names for various tile levelling systems. Any tiling system will have a wedge or tile strip that holds the tiles in place. The tightening tool is the adjustment pliers that you use to push the wedges/tile strips into place between the tile gap.
Do I Use 1/16, 1/32 or 1/8 Leveling Clips
Most tile levelling systems come in a variety of clips sizes ranging from 1/16, 1/32 and 1/8 depending on the requirements of the user. Generally, you want to use a system clip that corresponds with your spacer size as you need the lippage clip to fit in the tile gap and provide the desired results. 1/8 are mostly the most common size used and are the easiest to find. 1/32 is the smallest size available and not all shops carry the 1/32 lippage clip size. 1/16 is second most common and many lippage clips come in this size. The Ogori lippage system comes in all these sizes including 1/32.
Wedges in these kits are the same and do not vary in size. You can mix and match wedges as well between lippage systems, which saves you money if you using various kits and wedges.
What Is Tile Lippage?
Tile lippage or lipping is when one edge of the tile is higher than it’s neighboring tile. This creates a slight ledge that is visible and can catch feet when walked over. Lippage isn’t officially recognized as a word in any dictionary but all tile setters know it.
The Great Tile Leveling System Misnomer
I’m gonna go on a bit of a tiler rant here as it’s something that needs to be addressed. These kits seem to get the most hate out of all tiling related products.
On every message board, forum and Facebook group dedicated to tiler talk, there are always a couple guys that mock others for using self leveling tile spacers, tile leveling system clips, or tile leveling systems – whatever you wanna call em.
These guys make it a proud habit to say that;
“only hacks and handymen use clips.” and “real tilers don’t need clips.”
While they have every right to say what they want and I do understand where they are coming from, it’s simply not true.
Yes, it’s true that hacks and handymen (handypeople if you wanna be PC about it) can and use tile leveling clips.
Tile leveling system clips are sold to everyone, not just pro tilers and so hacks go out and buy those tile clips in hopes the systems will fix their shoddy work.
They then proceed to spot-fix tiles to a floor with blobs of thinset or mastic.
Their tile clips manage to even out the floor a little; even though they have 25% tile coverage and massive empty voids everywhere.
Yes, it happens.
And yes, us pro’s come in a month later and redo the whole lot.
What the tile clip naysayers are also implying is that if you’re a true pro, you shouldn’t need clips as you should level out the floor with your thinset or mud beforehand, applying extra material where it’s needed.
Yup, totally agree with you, buddy.
But what do you do in these situations?
• When you have large format tiles like 24 or 36 inches with straight edges and the heavy b*stards slump during the curing of your thinset? You do know that even the slightest lip is visible a mile away, right?
• What about the very popular plank tiles and their tendency to be warped from the factory. How are you gonna straighten those tiles out with thinset when they bend upwards? Stack bricks on them so they cure straight over night?
1/3 Offset can only do so much to aid the problem, some brands are so bad they need something to straighten them out during curing.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a product made just for those situations, to hold tiles flush with each other just long enough for the thinset to cure?…
Believe it or not, tile tool manufacturers like Raimondi saw this problem arising when large format tiles were introduced and came up with a solution for tilers to help them.
They weren’t thinking about hacks and handymen having an easier time ruining tiles in honest people’s homes, they were thinking about the tilers on the frontlines dealing with new tiling trends that they weren’t equipped to deal with.
Also, have you noticed how many countless brands of tile leveling clips there is out there now?
Why do you think that is?
Because people were noticing how popular and useful the first tile leveling clips were, and wanted in on the action. If the idea of self-leveling tile spacers was a gimmick, the idea would have faded away in time as no one would want it.
Well, guess what, they’ve been around for over 10 years and they’re only getting more popular because of how useful they are.
If you’re worried your the only one using a tile leveling system – don’t be. Every time I scroll through my instagram which has a large network of professional tile setters from all over the world, I see everyone using some sort of tile leveling system or related products for lippage control.
About 95% of all the photos I see contain a tile leveling wedge system.
So, if you are on the fence about whether or not you should use tile leveling spacers because you feel your professional pride is at stake, don’t worry about it.
At the end of the day, it’s YOU that is putting food on your families table and it’s YOU that is running your business.
So, go grab yourself a anti lippage system, incorporate them into your routine and be proud that you are using all the tools available to get the best result possible.
You’ll add something new to your bag of tricks and be a better tile setter for it. Period.
Best Tile Leveling System – Conclusion
When large format porcelain tiles first entered the market, they created many problems for every tile installer.
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. Out of nowhere, tile lippage became the most hated word amongst tile setters. Lippage wasn’t even a word before that time and even now, lippage sounds like a made up word. Dictionaries don’t carry the word lippage and my spell checker is going nuts for even spelling that word.
Luckily, tile tool manufacturers like Raimondi were quick to develop tile lippage tuning clips 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 self leveling tile spacers 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 tile installer looking for the very best system to level tiles without wasting time or money, on ineffective related products. I’m seeing ad’s coming up on my facebook feed, from mommy DIY sites, advertising some terrible knockoff version of tile levelers, like seriously…wtf. Stop it guys, we have enough crappy systems as it is.
To top it all off, people that never used such a system or even understood what they were for, started “reviewing” them in their own tile leveling system reviews. You’ll find them all over Google, you have probably read a few before finding this leveling system review.
This anti tile lippage system review was a direct result of all those things and my desire to share my experience with self leveling tile spacers and leveling wedges and throw my 2 cents into the pot.
This review of the best tile leveling system highlights some of my favorite wedges leveling system that I found to work best, deliver results and keep tiles level out of the plethora that are currently out there. From the cheap and reliable Raimondi RLS to the more developed but pricey Perfect Level Master t-lock tile leveling system, there’s a kit for every need.
All kits that were reviewed today can be used on a tile floor or wall tiles to prevent lippage and achieve a result that every client will have a hard time finding fault in. All come in a clear background color clip with a easy stream type for most tiles. (Information asin for union tilers.)
Any system mentioned works great in both a professional and home improvement setting and help make a quality tile installation available for those who prefer to do it themselves.
All four tile leveling system clips by Raimondi, Spin Doctor ™ and Perfect Level Master ™ are quality kits and regarded by tilers as the best tile leveling systems out there now.
A lot of copy-cat products suffer from inferior plastic quality on the wedges or design flaws that end up breaking prematurely and delivering poorer results.
Any four of the tile system I mentioned are less inherent to these problems and overall give the best result than the cheaper related products.
Whether you go with the cheapest option (Raimondi leveling system starter kit) or the one you fancy the most, you can be sure you’ll best tile leveling equipment for your needs and a true asset to your tiling tools.
Got tile lippage problems?
Not anymore you don’t!
Because you are now using one of the Top 4 best tile leveling systems for professional and home improvement tiling work and no tiles will be giving you lip anymore!