Do You Use Tile Spacers With Leveling System?
Tile spacers and leveling systems are two important tools that tile installers use to ensure a professional finish on their tiling projects. While both tools share the same goal of achieving even tile spacing, they have different methods of achieving it.
Tile spacers are small plastic or rubber wedges that are placed between tiles during installation to ensure consistent spacing. They come in different sizes, ranging from 1/16 inch to 1/2 inch, and are placed at each corner of the tile to create an even gap between tiles. These gaps are necessary because tiles expand and contract with temperature changes, and they also allow for grout to be applied evenly.
On the other hand, tile leveling systems use specialized clips and wedges to level tiles and provide consistent spacing. These systems are particularly useful when working with large-format tiles, which can be difficult to lay flat due to their weight and size. With a leveling system, installers can ensure that each tile is level with its neighbors, reducing the risk of lippage (a condition where one edge of a tile is higher than neighboring tiles).
When using tile leveling systems, some installers wonder whether they still need to use tile spacers. The answer is yes – tile spacers are still necessary when using a leveling system. They help maintain consistent spacing between tiles, while the leveling system ensures that each tile is level with its neighbors. In fact, many leveling systems require the use of spacers as part of their installation process.
To use a tile leveling system, begin by laying out your tiles as you normally would. Then, insert leveling clips between each tile, making sure they are flush with the surface. Once all clips are in place, slide wedges into the clips, which will level the tiles and remove any lippage. As you move through the installation process, make sure to periodically check that the tiles are level and adjust the wedges as needed.
In conclusion, both tile spacers and leveling systems are important tools for ensuring a professional finish on tiling projects. While they have different methods of achieving even spacing, they work together to create a smooth, level surface. When using a leveling system, be sure to still use tile spacers to maintain consistent spacing between tiles. With these tools in hand, you can achieve a beautiful, long-lasting tile installation.