Subway Tile Looks Uneven! (Solved)

When subway tile does not look as expected, it can take away from the overall aesthetic of the backsplash.

This is why property owners look for solutions when it comes to a problem such as this. You might worry it’s going to stand out like a sore thumb and that is the last thing anyone wants to deal with!

One concern people have is when the subway tile looks uneven.

If the subway tile looks uneven, it can often be due to the lighting and/or surrounding fixtures (i.e cabinets, countertops). Do not automatically assume it’s a bad tiling job. Subway tile can be installed in many different patterns and unevenness is fine as long as it’s waterproof.

Let’s assume you are not happy with the uneven look.

What do you do then?

The best solution is to remove the uneven tiles, cut them appropriately, and then re-install those specific tiles to get the desired look.

Just like before, the most important factor is to ensure the setup is waterproof. Otherwise, you are going to have serious water damage later.

This article will explain what you can do if the subway tile looks uneven.

Best Cleaner For Backsplash (EDITOR’S CHOICE)

Goo Gone Grout & Tile Cleaner - Stain Remover - 14 Fl. Oz.
  • Grout cleaner - Breaks down the toughest grout stains
  • Tile cleaner - Removes dirt build up and stains
  • Works on - Dirt buildup, stains, soap scum and hard water stains

Last update on 2024-05-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Steps To Follow If Subway Tile Looks Uneven

1. Check The Lighting & Surrounding Elements

With the uneven subway tile, it’s important to look at the surrounding elements.

Sometimes, it is nothing more than an illusion.

This is a common issue seen with countertop lighting because of how the light reflects against the subway tile. As a result, when you look at the subway tile straight on, it will look imbalanced.

This does not mean it was installed incorrectly.

The same goes for cabinets and/or countertops depending on the layout of the kitchen. Account for these details before taking tiles out and/or making aggressive changes to the backsplash.

You could end up in the same position due to the lighting and/or surrounding elements after doing the hard work.

subway tile looks uneven

2. Remove Uneven Tiles

With a bad subway tile job, you will need to account for the uneven spots.

This is the main issue to deal with.

The goal is to take out the tiles that are causing the problem and only work on them. You should be able to take out the tiles smoothly by working on loosening them.

Take your time during this process and make sure to have a plan in mind before removing the tiles.

This includes measurements and what is required to make it look even. If you don’t do this, you are not going to appreciate the results at all.

3. Cut & Re-Size The Tiles

You will need to cut and re-size the tiles.

This is the most important step in the process and one that has to be taken seriously.

How are you going to do this?

You are going to measure what is required to make the tiles straight when they are installed on the wall. This includes where they are going to be placed and how they are going to be angled (if necessary).

In some cases, you will need additional tiles to cut and use for the gaps.

subway tile looks uneven

4. Re-Install The Tiles

When you are happy with the tiles and how they have been resized, it’s time to re-install everything.

The gaps will need to be filled with your new tiles.

If done properly, the tiles are going to settle into place as soon as you grout over everything. This will seal them into place.

You also have to think about how balanced they are with the rest of the layout. It should look the same.

It is often recommended to clean the tiles after doing this to have an even finish. Remember, the shine on the tile also matters when it comes to balance.

Final Thoughts

These are the details to think about if the subway tile looks uneven.

If the subway tile looks uneven, this might be due to the countertop lighting and/or surrounding elements. Do not immediately assume it is a bad subway tile job. If it is, the best solution is to take out the uneven tiles, resize them, and then re-install the tiles to fill the gap.

This is going to take a bit of time but it can be done.

Always remember to make sure the tiles are flush against the wall and you have sealed them properly. If not, you might have water-related issues later that are not easy to manage.

It is best to take care of this right now before anything happens.

Otherwise, water is going to seep through the tiles and cause a significant amount of damage to the rest of the wall.

Read More On Backsplashes:

  1. How To Choose Subway Tile For Kitchen
  2. Is Subway Tile Valuable?
  3. How To Choose The Right Subway Tile
  4. How To Improve Bad Tiling Job
  5. Why Is Backsplash Hard To Lineup With Uneven Cabinets?
  6. Is Stove Usable With Backsplash?
  7. Does Bathroom Mirror Need To Be In Contact With The Backsplash?
  8. Do Countertops Have To Be Taken Out With Backsplash?
  9. How Far Should You Install Backsplash Tiles Near The Stove?