Owner, Ruepp Construction
With kitchens and baths as my company’s bread and butter, we do a lot of tile work. Tile subs in Reno are in short supply, especially for small jobs on short notice, so I’ve trained my carpenters to set tile. As with everything, we’re always interested in ways to do it better.
One problem with large-format tiles is that they can settle unevenly, leaving a height difference of as much as 1/16 inch between adjacent tiles. It doesn’t seem like much, but some customers have been unhappy about the difference.
I saw Raimondi Tile Leveling Clips on a home improvement show a couple of years ago and decided to give them a shot. Each of these plastic spacer clips has two legs that slip under adjacent tiles at the grout line and an opening that protrudes above it. The installer slips a small wedge in the opening and then uses a special tool to pull the wedge tight and level the adjacent tiles. It only takes about 10 seconds per tile. The next day, one of my guys can quickly break the clip and knock the wedges free with a foot or a rubber mallet.
Since using these clips, our tile floors and walls are always dead even across the surface. The only drawback is that about 10 percent of the clips break a little too high. Whoever does the grout has to really pay attention by feeling along the grout lines, then trimming any protrusions with a utility knife. But the tiny bit of extra time is more than worth the consistently perfect results we get. In addition, customers are impressed. They see the clips as one more sign that we’re a detail-oriented, quality remodeler. That’s a win for them and for us.