Lippage is the vertical displacement between two adjacent tiles of a ceramic, glass, or stone installation. When excessive, this can lead to numerous problems, ranging from chipped edges to snagged furnishings and appliances to safety hazards.
The newest innovation in tile is thin units that marry reduced thickness with large size. Whereas traditional thickness tiles are 9 mm (3⁄8 in.) or thicker, these new-generation thin tiles are 3 to 6 mm (1⁄8 to 1⁄4 in.) thick, and can come in dimensions up to 1 x 3 m (3 x 10 ft). This is not a typo—one thin tile panel can cover 3 m2 (30 sf) or more.
This article examines tile applications outside the building. It includes substrate preparation—such as addressing concerns like laitance, substrate variation, excessive porosity, and waterproofing—as well as product selection and installation tips to make sure exterior installations withstand the elements.
Division 03 specifies concrete floor surface flatness requirements to be installed by the concrete contractor. However, Division 09 specifies the concrete floor surface flatness for the flooring installer that must be met before installing the floorcovering. Cooperation between the American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC) and six flooring associations has led to a solution for bridging the specification gap between Divisions 03 and 09.
Specifiers typically select the grout for their tile project based on general performance characteristics, color, warranty, and cost. Despite this, less-than-optimal products are often used. Some do not fully understand the changes in grout technology and do not realize they have a choice. Not all grout is the same, and, of course, color is only one small factor in the overall performance.
When there is a tile or stone failure, a contributing factor is often the lack of properly installed movement joints. Just like concrete sidewalks and bridges, tile and stone need to have movement joints to control the anticipated movements within a structure. Tile and stone will expand and contract when it is subjected to heat/cold or moisture/dryness. It is critical for architects to properly specify the design, materials, and layouts of movement joints.