How level is level ? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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07-04-2019, 10:57 AM
Greetings all,

I'm getting ready to install 3"x 6" subway tile as a backsplash in the kitchen. I have found that the countertop is not perfectly level. It drops 1/2" over a 15 foot span. Leveling the cabinets and countertop is not an option at this point. Is this enough of a drop to worry about or should I be cutting slivers off of all the 1st course tiles.

Thanks for any help.

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07-04-2019, 11:08 AM
Welcome, Randy. :)

Have you checked the level of the upper cabinets, too. You'll be tiling all the way to the bottom of the uppers, yes?

I'd mark a level line for the tops of your bottom row, measured from the lowest point on the counter top and cut the bottom of the bottom row of tiles to make the tops fit that line. Be sure to allow for a gap of 1/8th" between the bottom row and the counter top as a movement accommodation joint to be filled with a flexible sealant.

My opinion; worth price charged.

07-04-2019, 11:23 AM
Thanks CX,

The distance from the countertop to the bottom of the cabinets is 18" the whole way. If I do cut the tiles on the first row I will be taking about 1/64" off of each. i do have a wet saw but am not sure if i can slice that small of a piece off.

07-04-2019, 12:45 PM
I'd follow the cabinets if they're parallel. If indeed six tiles and grout joints exactly equal distance from countertop to bottom of cabs, it's close to a miracle.
If smaller, I'd take the cut at the cabinets. If larger, I'd stretch the pattern a bit with larger grout joints.

Level and looking level are sometimes not the same.

07-04-2019, 01:09 PM
What Peter said.

07-04-2019, 04:14 PM
OK Thanks,

I think I'll give that a try. With 1/16" grout lines and a 1/8" gap above the counter top it looks like I will be cutting about 1/4" off the top of each tile on the top row. This should be somewhat hidden by the cabinets. Should be OK.

Thanks for the advice