How To Fix A Lip In Your Tile Floor Without Taking It All Up

Installing tile requires expert-level skills to make sure it's done right. If you're a DIYer who's tried installing tile on your floor or as a backsplash in your kitchen you may have noticed a few unleveled tiles. Lippage occurs when tiles are uneven; one tile is higher than another. If you slide a credit card over the tile's surface and bump into a tile, it has a lip that needs fixing. Uneven tile often occurs when it's not installed correctly or it could also be due to warped tiles – thankfully, this is an easy fix with grout or sandpaper.

Instead of removing the entire tile flooring, fixing the lippage with sandpaper or grout can help even out the tiles. However, it's vital to note that the size of the lip will determine whether you can give it a quick fix. Standard fixable lippage can be between 1/32 inch and 1/16 inch depending on the grout line thickness. As long as you don't have unleveled tiles on most of the floor, lippage can be resolved.

Use sandpaper or grout to fix the lippage

Using sandpaper is easier than grout since you're simply sanding down the edge of the lip. However, it takes a precise technique to ensure you don't sand down too much tile. You'll want to choose a fine-grit sandpaper to prevent damage. Slowly sand the edge of the tile to make it even with the one next to it, then polish it and seal it.

If the lippage is significant, consider adding grout. You'll need grout, a bowl of water, a sponge, and a grout float. Start by adding grout to the seam of the tile as you normally would when first installing the tile. Then, add more grout between the tiles, ensuring you drag the float upward toward the higher tile. Drag the sponge longways down the grout line to create an angle sloping down to the lower tile, making it even. Let the grout dry then go back with your sponge to clean the seams and remove any excess.