The Best Tile Leveling System for Bathroom Tile — by Home Repair Tutor


Okay, so are you going to be tiling your bathroom
or kitchen? What is the best way to get your grout joints looking awesome—nice and even
and without lippage? In my opinion, the best thing that you can do is use a tile levelling
system, and the Tuscan Style Leveling System is one of the best out there. So today I’m
going to show you how to use their seam clips and their strapping cap system. So let’s
jump into the video right now. So the first system that we’re going to
discuss is the cap and strap system. Comes with a cap; comes with a strap. Pretty simple.
All right guys, I threw together some inset. This is not perfect. It actually looks pretty
crappy. You can tell there’s not a lot of coverage on the Kerdi board right here. And
it’s lumpy, and it’s old thinset. So this is not a thinsetting tutorial. Basically this
is just for demonstration. So what you would do is place your tile on
the thinset. Now you also want to back-butter this. Like I said this is really a bad mix
for thinset. So really make this be a lot better if this was for real. But again this
is for demo. All right, so we have our 80% coverage here.
So what you would do is place this down on the Kerdi board, or up on the Kerdi board
if this is a shower, right? So put this here. Then you would take your strap and cap, and
you would slide this underneath the tile. So you want to be about 2 to 3 inches away
from the edge of the tile; otherwise, you can break the tile, and that wouldn’t be
good. So you want to slide the strap underneath it. And you want to space the cap and strap
system about 6 to 10 inches away from each other. So if we slide this over or remove
this out, we put this over like that about 2 inches. Then we would slide this under like
so. All right, so we’re 6 inches away. We’re 2 inches away or so from the edge of the tile.
We’re good to go. The next step is to place your next tile adjacent
to the previous tile. Now this strap is right in the center. And what you could do if you
wanted to is place spacers on either side of it. Because this creates a 1/32 grout joint,
you can actually put spacers in between. You can do that if you want to. Then you position
your other caps and straps. You would back-butter this tile, then you would place it up against
the caps and the straps like so. You can slide the cap and strap down so that it locks on
top of the tiles like so. The Tuscan Leveling System requires an ergonomic
gun like this one. This sets the tension of the cap and strap. So on the back of it, the
higher the number—so it starts at 1, 2, 3, 4—the higher the number, the more tension
you’re going to put down onto the tile. So the bigger the tile, the higher the tension
you would want. So we’re going to start out with 2. What you do is you slide the gun
over the strap, and you just press it until it really ratchets down on the tile. So you
do that for all the caps and the straps. So as you can see, all the grout joints are
nice and even. If you have any thinset that squeezes through, you wipe it out using a
wire brush or a sponge. You definitely don’t want this to set up. So as you can see, there
isn’t any lippage, and that’s exactly what you want to accomplish. No lippage and
nice and even grout joints. You can also use a manual gun to tighten down on these straps.
So again, what you would do is you would slide this down; just ratchet down on the strap.
After about 24 hours or when the thinset sets up, you can snap the strap. And you do that
by setting the ergonomic gun to “S.” So what you would do is slide the gun back over
like so with the gun on “S.” You would press down on the trigger, and it breaks it
loose. So you would do that for every single cap and strap. And it leaves you with a perfect
grout joint. You can use the manual gun to break the straps
and the caps. Set it from green to red. Again just slide it over the strap and break it
off. So the cool thing is this, you can actually
reuse the caps. You can’t reuse the straps. But you just separate the cap from the strap,
and you can use the cap up to about 25 times. What that means for a DIYer is that if you
wanted to sell the caps, you could. If you are a trades person or you’re a tile setter,
you can use these caps, like I said, up to 25 times. Just buy the straps.
Admittedly the caps and the straps might be better for somebody who’s installing a lot
of tile. So what if you’re a DIYer? What should you choose? Well the seam clips are
awesome. So my buddy, Steve, who is a pro bathroom remodeler, uses both systems, and
he actually just started to fall in love with the seam clip because it’s so easy to use
with tile. The seam clips come in three different colors:
white, blue, and red. And there’s a reason for that. The white Tuscan seam clips are
for gauge tiles that range form 1/8 to less than ¼” thick. The blue color is for tiles
¼” to less than 3/8” thick. And the red seam clip is for gauge tile that’s 3/8”
to ½” thick. What that means is you need measure your tile before you buy the seam
clips. So for example, this tile here is about ¼” thick. So I need to use the blue seam
clip. You use the seam clip just like you would
the cap and strap. Slide it in about 2 to 3 inches from the edge, and you use at least
2 per side. Now in this case this is a very short side, so I’m just going to put it
into the center. This is the old cap and strap system, so I’m going to throw this in the
bucket. Actually I forgot to do that for these, too. So I’m going to take these out.
So again you just want to place these 2 inches from the intersection like so. This tile should
be back-buttered. Place it over the “T” that’s in the cap and the strap. And this
creates a 1/32 grout joint so if you wanted to, you can put in some type of spacer. Here
your tile is all set, and you simply press down on the seam clip so you hear a click.
So you do this for all of the seam clips. And there you go. It’s really that simple.
You get a nice, even grout joint. And when you’re done, all you do is you take a hammer,
and you pound these out of the grout joint. What do you do if you have to take a break
between tiling? So let’s say you only finished maybe half of this wall, and you want to continue
to use the cap and the strap or the seam clip. What you do is this. You tuck the seam clip
or the cap and the strap into the thinset, in between the tile and in this case the Kerdi
board. Create a void. You pull out the seam clip or the cap and strap and you leave that
void there. The next day, you fill in the void with more thinset. And you slide the
cap and the strap or the seam clip in and use it where you left off.
Hey guys, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Duluth Trading for supporting Home
Repair Tutor. They have awesome shirts and pants and all sorts of great stuff. Even underwear.
I love their underwear. It’s comfortable. And that’s one of the reasons why I wear
it, and I wore their stuff before they even sponsored Home Repair Tutor.
So this is the men’s free-swinging flannel. It’s made up of 100% cotton. It has armpit
guts which allow you to swing a hammer freely, stay warm, and look cool at the same time.
So you can check out this shirt and other articles of clothing over at DuluthTrading.com.
Okay so that’s how you get perfect grout joints using the Tuscan seam clips and the
Tuscan cap and strap system. We hope that you like this video. If you did, give us a
thumbs up over on YouTube. You can like our YouTube channel. That way you won’t miss
out on our weekly videos. And also, are you looking to redo your bathroom? If you are,
you should sign up for our free video series. It’s fantastic. It’s got a ton of information
in there that will save you time and money and also give you the confidence to dive into
that kind of project. So head on over to HomeRepairTutor.com, sign
up for the free video series. You won’t be disappointed, we promise you that.
All right, thanks again for watching today’s video. We’ll see you next week. Take care,
and have a great day.

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93 thoughts on “The Best Tile Leveling System for Bathroom Tile — by Home Repair Tutor

  1. Wrong you don't back butter tiles you choose bigger notch on trowel and you don't need to back butter them.

  2. Tuscan seam clips are awesome. They're a lot better that the lash sold in home depot or the MLT leveling system .

  3. Great video on the seam clips Jeff. I just subscribed after watching a few of the videos and was hoping that there was one dedicated to the clips. Also went to manufacturer web site. Just two fyi…first was with the cap and strap, you have to soak the strap portion before using to give them more elasticity. The other note was when breaking off the one piece seamclip, the manufacturer says to break them off in the direction of the grout line, NOT across the grout line. There's a greater chance of leaving a piece of clip being proud of the tile surface. Have you found that to be the case??? Also mentioned was that in floor installations, don't just kick them off due to the chance of scratching the tile with an errant piece of sand or rock on bottom of shoe/boot. Love your videos/content/presentation style. Also like the fact that you show that tradespeople sometimes get a little "schmutz" on themselves while working,…thanks Steve!!! lol

  4. You waste so much time and money if you float the walls and floor with cement you won't have to use these. These little things are made for rookies Lol.

  5. Curious, When using any tile leveling system do the tiles have a tendency to be lifted up from the thinset? If not, please explain? Thanks

  6. Just came back as a re-fresher on this video. I shared with a couple of buddies and they were all amazed. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and skills, we really appreciate it!

  7. I used the t-lock system for my shower walls. it was definitely pricey, 100+ for the initial kit and I needed extra spacers and wedges. I think it cost close to 200 to do just my shower stall.
    they work essentially the same as this though, spacers and some sort of piece to push down on the tiles to level them to prevent lippage.

  8. I'm a big fan of the LevTec system. $25 for 250 clips. Basically the same system as Raimondi but the clips seem to be a little stronger. The wedges and clips are compatible with either brand of clip or wedge. Haven't tried the strap style yet.

  9. WOW, awesome seam clips!!
    I will be ordering them right now
    I have a ceiling to do and I think this will help hold them too

  10. you will have hollow easy to break tile floors with this system and systems like it. it will lift the tile out of the thinset . grind and level floors before laying tile! use shims under cement board to make a flat wall .

  11. You don't need those stupid leveling systems lol Why would you use those clips with a regular sized tile? I thought it was meant for keeping heavy monster sized tiles from sinking down and moving as the thinset dries, like 36 x 36….50 x 50 etc…Heavy tiles. I've tried those leveling systems. It's unnecessary, it does pulls the tile away from the thinset so you have to use more thinset to avoid having hollow tiles or corners, it's harder to keep the lines straight and it takes longer instead of saving time as many advertisers say. I think all these youtubers are getting paid to advertise this junk. This junk is being advertised everywhere on youtube. A real pro doesn't need those clips. Thinset is our leveling system.

  12. and what do you do if your walls or floors aren't leveled? waste money to level them to be able to buy and use this "system"

  13. so what happens when you lift the lower tile to the higher tile and you create a void under the lower tile. this product is for homeowners and hacks..

  14. Is there a certain size tile that these can be used with? Are these just for large format tile or can you use these with subway tile that is 3" x 6"?

  15. Prep is everything no matter what trade or tricks you have up your sleeve. I think it's just another step to have in your routine. If you are a tile setter. Than you know what's up . If not and your a do it yourself kinda guy/ gal and you don't have a time frame , then these might be for you . What ever you got to do to make it right in your head , do it….

  16. Overall inexperience will trouble any project. It's how you over come obstacles on your path , that prove your true potential.

  17. Here's a rookie question: I'm tiling a fireplace with 4×4 tiles of two different thicknesses. They differ by 1/16 of an inch or so. One thickness in the middle and the other for the border pieces. Is there a tile leveling system for me or do I need to take additional steps? Thin cement board behind the thinner tile?

  18. YES These are for non professionals Does anyone care that when u so called "level" these tiles (actually just flushing out the surface) you leave gaps under the tile for a substandard tile set. The will allow for movement and cracking of grout and tile before long.
    PLEASE LEAVE TILING TO THE PROFESSIONALS. If you want install a floating floor or laminate floor, those are easy ,and less expensive than wasting your money on tile that is installed incorrectly and will faulter. TILING is ALL about the strength and level of the subfloor. PLEASE STOP THE INSANITY. Reminds me of the NEW fitness experts showing up on TV every other day

  19. the best technique for laying flat tile is first back butter the tile even amount of thinset if the next tile is high lift it up and take out where the floor is high

  20. Lol, "this is a bad mix of thin set". I guess he must have had no choice and didn't have time to prep the thin set.

    Im no pro, but ive done few tile flioors. Never ever used any yype pf gadget but 2' foot, 4'foot, 6'foot levels Always perfect tile floors , backsplash, tilewalls. This looks like it will comsume too much valuebale time.

  21. Ive been laying tile for 10 years and all you really need is to make sure your floors or walls are leveled. Float your floors, and run your level on the walls. Has worked for 10 years and over .

  22. I don't get it, I must have super vision because it is clear to me that the gaps in the demonstration tiles are definitely NOT even.

  23. You still have to level the tiles correctly, this system makes it far more complicated! How do you go back down if you came up too much? You can’t. Waste of money

  24. As you can see in this video. It's a waste of time. Ya you get them leveled say, if there not cut all the same size just slightly off, they will look crooked. And with the naked eye being level wouldn't even be the problem it be the wall runnin crooked

  25. The rubber hammer or just kick the first level system that you showed would be a lot quicker than the stupid tool you used.

  26. Dude that's an amazing concept I'd like to sell. Literally genius. I'd love to no manufacturing cost and as well you're retail. I'm also curious about tradesman. As a guy that has done tile, how much will this catch on for the old timers that know their trade. You're on to something man. Great job. Sales is my thing and i see something here

  27. @ 5:05 … did the strap leave behind a piece of itself there in the joint? I want to use a system like this BUT not if it's going to create even more problems (like pieces of plastic between tiles impossible to remove 🙁

  28. Uhhhhh…that's not how you back butter tiles!!! You back butter with the flat side of the trowel… not the notched end!!! SMH…

  29. Ingenious and dumb ass-proof at the same time. Whew! Spend $1000 more for a .67 cent savings and time away from my fave cartoon. YEAH!

  30. Why avoid putting them on the corners? If you use them in the corners than all of the surfaces would be identical wouldn't they? And isn't that what you want?

  31. I think the T-Lock system is better. Less expensive, also they break less often on tightening (so less waste so also lower cost), and the inserts are purchased with the desired gap size and act as the spacers so no need for additional horseshoe spacers. Apparently Home Tutor Repair agrees because they posted a video a year later calling it the best system.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhWqLKTnTrI

  32. i had a question, my question is you say that it can be used 25 times correct? do you mean 25 and you throw away the square shape holder because it deformed or something or 25 times because the strap finished and you need to add more?

  33. Those grout joints look bigger than 1/32”. Can you use the clips if you want larger grout joints (use clips with larger spacers)?

  34. When I use to work a lot with tiles we didn't have any of those leveling systems , it did go with ; leveling floor first , use level ( Wasserwage ) tool across tiles , then work out with thin set , spacers made from carboard between tiles or plastic ones , used eyes to even space between tiles trough tiles aren't perfect square to go best visual , sometimes I still do some tiling , specially for my self , with same old way with perfect results , but I have no doubt that system work Ok if used accordingly, cheers 🙂

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