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Unread 03-28-2021, 07:51 AM   #1
Prerunner
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Trowel size

So my tile cutter finally came in after a 6 month wait from my initial order and I’m preparing to do my backsplash. I thought I’d ask for some
Input on what trowel size should be used for a 3x12 tile for my back splash. I was leaning to a 1/4x1/4 square notch but am now wondering if it will cause the adhesive to ooze out of the joints... is a square notch the correct pattern or should a v notch be used, also what size would be ideal.
Thanks in advanced
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Unread 03-28-2021, 08:51 AM   #2
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Welcome back, MC.

The correct trowel is the one which, used with your mortar and your technique provides a minimum of 80 percent coverage on the backs of your tiles when set with a minimum thickness of 3/32nds" of mortar and with a minimum squeeze-out into the grout joints. The coverage is mandatory, the squeeze-out is optional.

Start with what you've got an pull up a few tiles to see what coverage you're getting. If it's not sufficient, change trowels or techniques or both. The 1/4" square notch would be a good place to start.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-28-2021, 09:07 AM   #3
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I’m in the construction industry just not the tile side of things and I see a lot of people using v notch trowels. The coverage always seems to be good when they pull a tile off and check. I’ve asked a few tile guys on job sites why they don’t use a 1/4x1/4 and they laughed and said “you know the mess that would make between your joints”... that’s why I was second guessing my initial thoughts.
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Unread 03-28-2021, 10:53 AM   #4
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Hi MC. A lot depends on the thickness of the tiles. If the tiles are 3/8 or 1/2 inch thick then a 1/4x1/4 notch would work fine. But if the tiles are 1/8 or 3/16 thick then a 3/16 v-notch would probably work better. Every once in a while I'll use a 1/8 v-notch on very thin tiles, they are usually mosaics.

If your tiles are 3x12's then I'd bet they are 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
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Unread 03-28-2021, 03:07 PM   #5
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Davy,

They are slightly bigger than 1/4” but not quite 5/16” so I guess you
Would consider them 1/4” thick, I should also mention the back of the tile does not have any super deep grooves in it. It is rough but uniform.
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Unread 03-28-2021, 03:37 PM   #6
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Also depends on how flat the wall is, and how flat the tile is. MC.

As was said, the 3/16th V or 1/4 square notch trowels should be close. I'd start with the 3/16th first.
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Unread 03-29-2021, 07:43 PM   #7
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Thank you all for the advice
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Unread 03-30-2021, 05:24 PM   #8
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Inside corner question

So for the layout I’m doing I want my centreline of the tile to line up with the Center line of my hood fan. I’m using a standard 3x12x1/4” thick subway tile. When I get to my inside corner it actually ends dead nuts on a full tile. My question is when I wrap the corner with another full tile should I cut 1/4” off of it so it is identical length as the opposing tile? Because I’m ending up at a full 12” tile then butting a 1/4” thick tile against it, that 12” tile now
Only measures 11 3/4”... thanks for any input.
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Unread 03-30-2021, 06:11 PM   #9
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If you think you'll see the difference, do that.

It'll help if you'll keep all your project questions on one thread so folks can see what you're working on and what's been previously asked and answered. A moderator can give it a more generic title any time you'd like to suggest one.
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Unread 03-30-2021, 06:13 PM   #10
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Thank you CX
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Unread 03-30-2021, 06:24 PM   #11
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MC,

I'm not sure there are an hard and fast rules for the corner layout. I did two glass subway backsplashes at home and did the inside corners two different ways based on focal points.

In the kitchen, I was less concerned about where the tile ended because one end ended at a door frame and another under a deep upper cabinet. I chose to make the corner symetrical with full and half tiles.

In my laundry room, the two most visible areas were the ends, one into a door frame and the other terminated at the front of the countertop. Every time you walk in or out of either door, you see one of those ends, so I chose to terminate with full and half tiles and let the corners come out however they come out.

Both installs looks great - Play around with it and as long as you don't end up with a tiny sliver of a tile in a corner or an end, you will be fine. That would be my only real rule.

If you are not staggering the subways, also see what happens when you make a grout line the center instead of the tile.
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Unread 03-30-2021, 08:41 PM   #12
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Snets,

I am staggering the tiles. The reason I want the grout line on every other row to line up with the Center of the hood fan is so that when they go up between the cabinets next to the he hood fan the tile ends up symmetrical on both sides, this way you don’t end up with a long tile and a short tile next to the fan and cabinet. My only down fall to the whole layout is where the tile ends up at the gable. In this area every second row will only have a 1.250” piece next to the gable but essentially that whole corner will be covered by a coffee machine. This to me is not near as noticeable if noticeable at all in comparison to what it would look like to have different size tiles on opposing sides of the fan.
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Unread 03-31-2021, 06:22 AM   #13
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Yup, sometimes ya just can't make everything work. I had two focal points when I did my kitchen BS, the cook top/exhaust hood and the sink/window. The inside corner was back under a corner cabinet so that corner drew the short straw. Cleverly hidden by a decorative vase.
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Unread 03-31-2021, 02:40 PM   #14
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When guys are talking about 3/16 v notch trowels are they referring to a 3/16x1/4 or 3/16x5/32? When using it for subway tile
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Unread 04-01-2021, 08:38 AM   #15
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For that size tile, MC, I'd probably go with the 3/16x1/4. Again though, depends on how flat the wall and tile is.
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