The Best Tile Leveling Systems of 2023

The right tile leveling system helps create consistently flat and visually attractive walls and floors.

By Bob Beacham | Updated Apr 13, 2023 10:15 AM

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more.

The Best Tile Leveling System Options

Photo: amazon.com

Tile offers an extensive range of style and design possibilities for your walls and floors. While it may seem that tiling requires high levels of skill to achieve a consistent finish, there are products that can help. With the right preparation and a good leveling system, tiling is a challenge that anyone can tackle.

The following are some of the top picks to consider when shopping for the best tile leveling system for your next project.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Peygran Tile Leveling System Starter and Super Kit
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: DGSL 300-Piece Tile Leveling System
  3. BEST FOR WALL: Spin Doctor 250-Piece Tile Lippage Control System
  4. BEST FOR LARGE-FORMAT: Frosch 2,000-Piece Tile Leveling Clips
  5. BEST FOR DIY: Topway 100-Piece Tile Leveling System With Wrench
  6. BEST FOR PROFESSIONALS: Perfect Level Master T-Lock Clips
The Best Tile Leveling System Options

Photo: amazon.com

How We Chose the Best Tile Leveling Systems

In our research, we found that the factors that make for a great tile leveling system include type, ease of use, compatible tile and grout thickness, and other special features.

Our list includes clip-and-wedge systems as well as rotating-cap options that can accommodate any user’s preference. Many of our top picks have durable plastic or metal construction, making them suitable for both DIY and professional use. Also, our choices have a grout-line thickness that ranges between ⅛ inch to up to 12 millimeters, making it possible to reuse many of these options for more than one tile leveling process.

Our Top Picks

A great tile leveling system makes any tiling project a cinch. Here are our top choices.

Best Overall

The Best Tile Leveling System Option: Peygran Tile Leveling System Starter and Super Kit
Photo: amazon.com

The Peygran tile leveling system uses clip-and-wedge components that are quick and simple to install. Concise instructions are provided so even those with no prior knowledge of tiling can get started right away.

Available in two sizes, this kit contains everything needed for a substantial tiling job, including clips or spacers, reusable wedges, and the necessary pliers. It has a patented design that adjusts to the tile thickness, so there’s no guesswork. It’s all provided in a handy plastic tub.

What sets the Peygran tile system apart is its quality and precision. The pliers prevent the application of too much pressure. The ⅛-inch thick clips, for example, have great uniformity and break off cleanly when it’s time for removal so grouting can begin without delay. Equally effective for wall or floor tiles, the system is easy to use for those new to tiling, yet it’s accurate enough for the professional.

Product Specs

  • Method: Clip and wedge
  • Ease of use: Easy
  • Compatible tile and grout thickness: ⅓, ⅙, or ⅛ inch (depending on kit size)

Pros

  • This kit comes with clips, reusable wedges, and the necessary pliers
  • Patented design; adjusts to the floor tiles’ thickness for added ease of use
  • Concise instructions included with purchase; suitable for professionals or first timers
  • Clips break off cleanly and easily when grouting is to be done

Cons

  • Clips may move easily while in place; caution advised while in use

Get the Peygran tile leveling system at Amazon or Peygran.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Tile Leveling System Option: DGSL 300-Piece Tile Leveling System
Photo: amazon.com

At first glance, it’s difficult to tell the DGSL tile leveling system from kits that cost two or three times more. Available in 1/8, 1/12, or 1/26 tile spacer sizes, this tile leveling system includes 300 clips, 100 reusable wedges, and pliers. This enables fitting wall or floor tiles from ⅛-inch to ½-inch thick. In principle, this tile leveling system is as quick and easy to use as any other of our top picks. However, the included pliers aren’t quite as well made, so a little more care is required when working with them, possibly making tiling jobs take a little longer.

With the lower price comes the possibility of less consistent clips, and occasionally these don’t come away as cleanly, necessitating extra work. With careful trimming, though, tile damage can usually be avoided. The DGSL tile leveling system does offer outstanding value for money.

Product Specs

  • Method: Clip and wedge
  • Ease of use: Moderate
  • Compatible tile and grout thickness: Between ⅛ and ½ inch

Pros

  • 3 tile-spacer sizes available; comes with 300 clips, 100 reusable wedges, and pliers
  • Can be used for both floor and wall tiles’ leveling projects
  • All clips and wedges are reusable; designed for DIYers as well as professionals

Cons

  • The included pliers may not be suitable for heavy-duty applications
  • Some of the components included may not be as durable as some comparable models

Get the DGSL tile leveling system at Amazon.

Best for Walls

The Best Tile Leveling System Option: Spin Doctor 250-Piece Tile Lippage Control System
Photo: amazon.com

The Spin Doctor 250-piece tile leveling system from RTC Products is unique in that it uses a disposable threaded clip with a reusable spinner that winds down to apply pressure. It takes a little longer to wind the spinner than it does to insert wedges, but an extra tool isn’t required. The large-diameter spinner also applies pressure more evenly and, it could be argued, with greater control.

The design of the clip means it can be inserted not just near corners, as is the case with wedge systems, but also at joints between tiles. Tiles can be more prone to movement on walls, so using additional fixings can help prevent this.

Transparent shields, which fit between the spinner and the tile surface, are available as an extra purchase and give added protection to delicate tile surfaces.

Product Specs

  • Method: Rotating cap
  • Ease of use: Easy
  • Compatible tile and grout thickness: Up to ¾ inches

Pros

  • Includes 100 reusable caps and 250 base plates; great for DIY projects or professional use
  • Large-diameter spinner applies pressure evenly; uneven tiles will be seen easily with the naked eye
  • Can be inserted into near corners and be used as joints between tiles

Cons

  • May not be the best option for stone flooring varieties

Get the Spin Doctor tile leveling system at Amazon.

Best for Large-Format

The Best Tile Leveling Systems Option: Frosch 2,000-Piece Tile Leveling Clips
Photo: Amazon.com

The weight and thickness of large-format tiles often pose an extra challenge when laying tile. There’s a tendency for the tile to sink into the mortar or thinset, exaggerating lippage. More force may be required to correct this, and thin clips can fracture during setting.

This 2,000-piece tile leveling system from Frosch has durable plastic clips that won’t break and can be reused on either the floor or a wall. They accommodate grout lines that are up to 1/16-inch wide and tile thickness between ⅛ and ½ inch.

Product Specs

  • Method: Clip and wedge
  • Ease of use: Easy
  • Compatible tile and grout thickness: Between ⅛ and ½ inch

Pros

  • Includes 2,000 heavy-duty plastic clips for measuring very large surface areas
  • Durable plastic clips won’t break if bent, twisted, or stepped on
  • Can be reused if necessary; suitable for use on floor tile as well as walls

Cons

  • Some users have reported some difficulty using; may break under very heavy strain

Get the Frosch tile leveling system at Amazon or Frosch.

Best for DIY

The Best Tile Leveling Systems Option: Topway 100-Piece Tile Leveling System With Wrench
Photo: amazon.com

Shower and wet room floors need to slope slightly toward the drain to prevent “ponding,” which is when small pools of water don’t run away properly. Creating that slope while avoiding lippage is a major challenge for inexperienced tilers.

The Topway system offers a convenient solution with its free-spinning design that allows the screw to spin directly down through the anchor without difficulty, revealing the slope of the sloped or flush tile easily to the naked eye. Since this solution is so easy to use and comes with over 100 screws and anchors, it is perfect for any novice or DIYer doing a full remodel.

Product Specs

  • Method: Rotating cap
  • Ease of use: Easy
  • Compatible tile and grout thickness: 1⅖ millimeters

Pros

  • Free-spinning design; simply insert the screw into the anchor for proper placement
  • Comes with 100 screws and anchors; can be used for small and large tile leveling projects
  • Durable materials allow for abrasion resistance as well as reuse

Cons

  • May not be ideal for use on stone or marble floor tile varieties

Get the Topway tile leveling system at Amazon.

Best for Professionals

The Best Tile Leveling System Option: Perfect Level Master T-Lock Clips
Photo: amazon.com

Available in three clip height sizes, Perfect Level Master’s T-lock clips are a high-quality clip-and-wedge tile leveling system that’s popular with professionals because it allows for both accuracy and speed. Although more expensive than many competitors, the consistent clip size and reliable shear performance provide significant time savings for the tile contractor.

T-Lock clips are available in packs of 100, 250, 500, and 1,500. The toe of the wedges has an unusual stepped pattern so they can double as tile spacers. They are quick and easy to remove because they are considerably larger than the small plastic pieces usually used, which is another significant time saver.

Although the wedges can be installed by hand and pliers aren’t necessary, less experienced users may prefer to use pliers.

Product Specs

  • Method: Clip and wedge
  • Ease of use: Easy
  • Compatible tile and grout thickness: Small (3 to 8 millimeters), medium (8 to 14 millimeters), or large (15 to 25 millimeters)

Pros

  • Suitable for professional use; allows for accuracy and speed while leveling
  • Available in packs of 100, 250, 500, and 1,500
  • 3 clip sizes available, with tile thickness ranging between 3 and 25 millimeters
  • Large size is easy to place or remove when needed

Cons

  • Pliers are recommended for precision and accuracy while in use

Get the Perfect Level Master tile leveling system at Amazon or Perfect Level Master (for clips only).

Jump to Our Top Picks



What to Consider When Choosing a Tile Leveling System

While all tile leveling systems perform a similar function, there are variations in how they achieve a level surface. There are also differences in quality. Here are some key features shoppers may want to consider when searching for the best tile leveling system.

Method

The main challenge when laying tile is lippage: the misalignment of tile edges that spoils the finished look of walls and floors. Tile spacer leveling systems combat this by inserting clips between tiles, then applying pressure to pull them into alignment. The method and specific steps of a tile leveling system depends on the product. However, there are two different methods: the clip-and-wedge system or applying pressure using a rotating cap.

The clip-and-wedge method uses a crosshead, which is a plastic clip that sits between the tiles. It has a slot for a wedge. After the wedge is inserted into the slot, pressure is applied either by hand or with special pliers.

Another method involves applying pressure using a rotating cap. There are two variations to this method: tightening by hand or using the special wrench that’s included in the kit.

When selecting a system based on method, be careful when you see the term “T-Lock.” It’s sometimes used to describe the second type of tile leveling system, but it’s also the name of a leading manufacturer of the first type.

Ease of Use

Tile leveling systems are usually quite straightforward, but there are differences based on the ease of use.

The clip-and-wedge system is faster, but control of pressure isn’t as accurate. Care is needed not to insert the wedge too far. If that happens, the tile will need to be lifted and reset. There’s also a difference when it comes time to remove the clips. Systems that involve wedges are designed to break off below the grout line. This can be done after the adhesive has set. So wedges are fast and, once set, can be left until it’s convenient to remove them.

When using the rotating cap system, the use of a hand screw or wrench allows more precise application of pressure so accidental overtightening is less likely. T-pins are a little more forgiving for the beginner, but they take longer to set up. It’s also necessary to return to the job three or four hours later to remove the T-pins, as they have to be removed before the mortar or thinset has completely hardened. If the adhesive sets, the T-pins will be trapped and the wall or floor may be ruined.

Tile and Grout Thickness

With clip-and-wedge systems, the clips are available in different thicknesses. They can double as both tile leveler and spacer, though it’s not necessary. The ⅛-inch clips are the most common size, but for a larger gap and a thicker grout line, there are separate spacers that can be cheaper than buying different clips.

The gap in the clip for wedge insertion defines the maximum tile thickness that can be accommodated, and sizes are often stated in metric units. Usually these are between 3 millimeters (about ⅛ inch) and 12 millimeters (about ½ inch).

T-pins are a fixed size, frequently ⅛-inch thick. However, they should never be used as spacers, so spacers need to be purchased separately. In general, T-pins allow for tile thickness up to 17 millimeters (about ⅝ inch).

Quality and Value

Tile leveling systems are affordable, but there can be notable differences in price and what is included in a kit.

When making comparisons among products, check the quantity provided and whether the kit includes everything needed to complete the project. Some clip-and-wedge kits include pliers that are usually required for use. The wedges in these kits are reusable, but the clips are consumable items. For kits with T-pins, undamaged T-pins can be reused many times. If buying a T-pin system, it’s important to have tile spacers, but these are frequently included.

Some companies are renowned for their quality, which is based on consistent thickness of clips and reliable shearing that allows for rapid removal.

FAQs 

After learning about some of the features to consider when choosing the best tile leveling system for your project, some questions might remain. The following frequently asked questions and answers may help solve several common kitchen, living room, and bathroom tile-laying concerns.

Q. How do you stop a lippage when tiling?

Preventing lippage can be done by varying the amount of thinset, but it’s best achieved by ensuring the wall or floor is as flat as possible at the outset. Then use one of the tile leveling systems recommended.

Q. How much lippage is acceptable?

According to the American National Standards Institute, ANSI A108.02 says that if the grout joint is under a quarter inch, lippage of 1 millimeter is acceptable. If the grout joint is wider than 1/16 inch, lippage of 1/16 inch is allowed.

Q. How do you clean grout lines when using a tile leveling system?

If using a clip-and-wedge system, give the clip a sharp tap with a mallet to break the upper part free before removing the wedge. If the clip breaks unevenly, use a utility knife with a fresh blade to carefully cut away the remainder. No cleanup is required with T-pins.

Why Trust Bob Vila

Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.