How do you fix lipping tiles?

  • By: Sam
  • Date: February 28, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

How do you fix lipping tiles?

If you have ceramic tile in your home, there’s a good chance at some point you’ll need to repair it. One of the most common problems with ceramic tile is lipping. Lipping tiles are tiles that stick up above the surface of the other tiles, and they can be a real eyesore. Luckily, fixing them is pretty easy.

An easy way to fix the lipping tiles is grouting.

Keep reading for instructions on how to fix lipping tiles.

What do we mean by lipping tiles?

But what are lipping tiles? Is lipping similar to craking?

Well, the answer turns out to be no! Lipping is different from cracking. Lipping in tiles means the edges so poorly adhere that they pop up beyond the height of the other tiles.

Lipping tile is a common issue as the installation in most cases is done haphazardly, and the tiles age over time.

A step-by-step guide to fix the lipping tiles

– Step 1: Grout over them!

To fix this problem, grout must be applied to level off the tiles. The easiest way to do this is by using a spackle knife and spreading it on fresh grout.

You will need to spread the grout on top of them as well as underneath them.

Make sure you get through the lipping so it’s level with the surrounding tiles. If you have a mastic adhesive, it can also be used for this step.

– Step 2: Smooth out any ridges

A grout float is the best tool for this job. A grout float allows you to level out any ridges so they are flush with the surface of the tiles.

Run it over top of them in a back-and-forth motion, and be aware that if there is any adhesive underneath your tiles you’ll need to pick it up.

– Step 3: Let the grout dry

Depending on your type of grout, you’ll need to let it dry for about four hours before continuing. Make sure you cover any surrounding tiles with cardboard or plastic in case anything falls off when drying.

When testing if the grout is ready to continue, make sure you wipe off any residue. If it comes off easily, you are good to go.

– Step 4: Rinse and clean up!

Use a wet sponge and begin rinsing. Work from the top of the tiles down so that the grout doesn’t get stuck under them.

Afterward, make sure you clean up any grout that has fallen off with a wet towel and let them dry.

Those looking to fix the lipping tiles on their own should use these instructions. They can also use grout, mastic adhesive, and a spackle knife to get the job done themselves. Keep in mind you’ll be working with tools such as a grout float.

Why marble tiles are susceptible to lipping?

Lipping is due to many reasons. Let’s discuss them one by one!

Water-soluble property

One of the main reasons is that marble tiles are made out of limestone, which has a high level of water solubility. This means the tiles are more susceptible to humidity changes. When exposed to excessive moisture, the seams can swell, resulting in lipping tile problems.

Poor installation

Improper installation or poor installation can lead to lipping. This may be due to the tile being installed too quickly, improperly “buttered” with adhesive mortar, or not having enough of it used in the first place.

Poor quality

High-quality tiles with fine detailed workmanship are less likely to develop lipping as compared to lower quality tiles.

Moisture in grout

The grout in the seams is another reason for lipping tiles. The moisture can swell when exposed to excessive humidity, resulting in lipping tiles that are not well adhered together.

Poor adhesive mortar

If the adhesive mortar used to install the tiles is not of good quality, this could lead to lipping.

For example, if you are using a pure cement mix for adhesive mortar, it will result in poor adhesion between tiles since it lacks fiber reinforcement. This can also happen when contractors use watered-down thin-set to cut down costs.

Using too little of a low-quality adhesive mortar can also lead to lipping tiles.

Overtime degradation

Another reason for lipping tiles is that the adhesive mortar or thin-set used in installation may degrade over time, causing the seams to weaken and eventually break. This is a natural phenomenon that can happen to any type of tile without proper care.

Dangers of walking over lipping tiles

The main danger of walking over lipping tiles is that they can easily break or crack into pieces. They are more likely to develop cracks since the tiles are not firmly attached. If you have ceramic tiles, they may chip down when exposed to impact.

If you have marble tiles with a lot of lippage, they may also be more susceptible to damage due to the thin marble veins that may be exposed under the tiles.

Frequently Asked Questions -FAQs

How long do tiles last?

In some cases, it might be too late to repair the lipping marble tiles since water damage has already been done. You need your bespoke marble tile supplier to help replace them in such a case.

Generally, ceramic tiles last up to 70 years. On the other hand, marble tiles last for up to 25 years.

How often should you seal marble tiles?

You need to reseal your marble tiles at least once a year. Make sure that the sealant is compatible with the type of tile you have installed.

Can adhesive mortar go bad?

Unfortunately, yes it can! As mentioned above, poor-quality adhesive mortar may degrade over time, which can lead to lipping.

What are the best tools for grouting marble tiles?

If you are doing this job by yourself, here is a list of tools that you need:

– Rubber gloves

– Bucket

– Grout float  with handle

– Spatula

How do you cut ceramic tile?

There are many ways to cut tiles and determining which way is the best for you depends on whether they’re glazed or unglazed, if they’re hand-painted, and so on. While there’s no “best” method of cutting tiles, here is a list of common options:

– Diamond saw

– Wet saw

– Glass cutter

– Tile nipper

Are ceramic tiles more expensive than marble tiles?

No. Ceramic tiles cost much less than marble tiles.

Wrapping Up!

In summary, an easy way to fix marble tiles is to grout them. This involves removing the tiles, removing the adhesive mortar, and replacing them with a new hard setting adhesive.

Just follow the above-mentioned recommendations and precautions and you’ll be good to go.

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