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I just completed my first backsplash, and overall I'm pretty happy with the result considering it's my first one 😃

One question I have is how could I've avoid that first uneven tile, which is a bit proud on on the left side because of the tile edging thickness (see pictures below). I used a v-notch trowel with mastic. The tile edge is just a 6mm plastic trim. The v-notch trowel didn't leave enough glue to bury the edging thickness as far as I know. Maybe I should have "build-up" that first subway tile a bit?

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  • A) That does look pretty good, especially for a first time! B) I hope the mirror is just there temporarily for the picture, because it looks like you haven't grouted yet, and you definitely want to grout. C) In the first pic, if I look really close, I can almost see that the bottom row is sticking out, in the 2nd & 3rd pic, the difference is invisible. I'm not sure I'd worry about it. Of course, I don't have to live with it every day... :) – FreeMan Dec 3 '20 at 18:48
  • @FreeMan First two pictures there is no grout, last picture is with everything done (dark gray grout if you zoom in). On the first and second pic take a look at the countertop, you'll see what I'm talking about. – allaire Dec 3 '20 at 19:29
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One approach is to build up more tile mortar/mastic on the second row. Trowel it onto the wall, and also back-butter the tile, but in the perpendicular direction. This gives you more "squish" to work with so you can match the level of the first row.

You could also have rabbeted the edging into the backer board, but that's kind of a messy job.

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  • Hi, thanks for the answer. So back-butter maybe the right half of the first tile (the left side is already a bit higher by the edging), and back-butter the second tile as well to match in-between, am I understanding this correctly? – allaire Dec 3 '20 at 20:48
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    Whatever makes sense to gradually taper out from the raised area. :) – isherwood Dec 3 '20 at 21:11
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    I've never seen a tile job that didn't have flaws. They are actually part of the charm you might say. Tile jobs that are perfect look fake like someone used wallpaper that had a picture of tile printed on it. My first tile job was my tub and shower. Did everything right but had a few uneven ones which poed me. But then I started looking REAL CLOSE at other people's tile jobs - and noticed worse flaws than mine. – Ted Mittelstaedt Dec 4 '20 at 6:23
  • I agree, Ted, but a raised line all the way across a wall reflects lack of planning. That's a little different than evidence of hand-craftsmanship. I can see why a person would want to avoid it. – isherwood Dec 4 '20 at 13:59
  • Thanks Ted, it's a learning process, and I'm pretty OCD in general, so I try to let go all the small details. In this case I know with the right tips & tricks I can do better :) Cheers gents! – allaire Dec 7 '20 at 21:14

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