How to level subway tile

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  #1  
Old 04-16-19, 06:44 PM
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How to level subway tile

Hi-
I purchased 3x6 subway tile for our kitchen. For the section in the picture here it looks like the right side is about 1/8 lower than the left.

I am assuming I want to carefully trim the bottom of the first row as we move from left to right so that the top of the first row is level then everything from there on up will be level.

If I have this right is there a good process for mapping this out before I lay the thinset down so I have time to think and make sure itís right?

thx!
 
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Old 04-16-19, 06:50 PM
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For something like that I think I would forget about level and lay the first row right on the granite, assuming that would leave you a decent sized piece by the time you stack them up and get up to the upper cabinets. If the top row would end up being a sliver, then maybe I would cut the first row down a little.
 
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Old 04-17-19, 01:52 AM
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I would agree, start on the back splash and what ever the final gap ends up being under the cabinet will be completely out of sight.

Trimming the tiles at the backsplash might be more obvious with the cut edge visible vs the finished edge of the non cut tile.
 
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Old 04-17-19, 04:35 AM
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Agree with these guys. I did our walls in the small subway-type tiles and did just this. Started at backsplash and did the cutting on the last row under the cabinets. Hard to see the flaws unless you bend down and look.
 
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Old 04-17-19, 04:55 AM
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A fourth "agree". Do not worry so much about level. The eye will be looking for the grout lines to be parallel to the counter and bottom of the upper cabinets. If you need to hide any errors do it at the top. That top corner with the cabinet is less visible than the bottom edge with the counter top.
 
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Old 04-17-19, 07:28 AM
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Makes sense. I guess my thinking was to get the grout lines level horizontally so that they don't tilt from right to left a bit.

But, now that I think about it, it might look weird to the eye if the countertop is a bit low on the left and my tiles are level. Thanks for the input everyone.
 
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Old 04-17-19, 07:40 AM
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yes, thanks! plus it would have been a pain to cut those tiles
 
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Old 04-17-19, 07:46 AM
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One more thing. Do people usually leave a grout line under the first row or set it right on the countertop?
 
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Old 04-17-19, 08:43 AM
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I have always set the first row on top of the back splash so there isn't really a joint there to grout!

I've seen some with caulk along that edge but it's up high and not likely to get any significant amount of water there!
 
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Old 04-17-19, 05:36 PM
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Throughout the kitchen the grout along the bottom row and countertop is cracking and half has fallen out. Is this possibly because they didnít caulk along the bottom edge? Our last home had really nice subway tile and it had silicone caulk along the bottom where the countertop met the first row. Just wondering if I should run a clear or almond silicon in that joint. Thx
 
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Old 04-17-19, 05:50 PM
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Is this possibly because they didn’t caulk along the bottom edge?
That is correct. The walls and cabinets will move at different rates due to moisture and temperature. That what causes grout to fail.
 
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Old 04-17-19, 06:08 PM
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Color matched grout caulk should always be used at any intersections of dissimilar materials and on any inside tile corners. The inside corners usually crack due to the movement of the framing.
 
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Old 04-17-19, 07:10 PM
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well, that's all my questions, thanks everyone. hopefully i dont mess this up = )
 
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