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What Size Trowel to Use for 3×6 Subway Tile? (Answered)

Choosing the right trowel for the tiles is indeed necessary. Random choosing of tiles can make the base worse.

Later the tile can be pulled off or become too lifted. A good base is required to fix the tile in place. If you want a smooth finish of tiles, you would need to put a smooth base.

Following below tips and information regarding trowel size and which size is suitable for a 3×6 subway tile would help you to choose your desired one.

What size trowel to use for 3×6 subway tile?

Using a ¼ x ¼ inch square notch trowel would create a smooth base for the 3×6 subway tile. It would not let out any mortar or thinset. Meanwhile using a larger notch would let the thinset out of the tile. As a result, the tile will not stick perfectly with the mortar or thinset on the wall.

Trowel size defines how smooth the finish would be. Fixing tiles on the wall is not an easy task. You do not want mortar all over.

Choosing an unsuitable size of mortar would create a base that would not fix the tiles rather make it worse. For every tile, there is a suitable trowel size.

For subway tile, you can either use ¼ x ¼ inch square notch tile or ⅜ x ¼ inch notch trowel. Well, a ¼ inch square trowel is more suitable for a subway tile. Sunway tiles are small.

They do not need much mortar. Rather a thin layer would be enough. Using a ⅜ x ¼ inch notch trowel can lead the excess thin-set to come out.

Rather choosing a ¼ x ¼ inch square notch would give a perfect finish without letting thinset out. The size would vary for other tiles.

In the shower:

In the shower, you can either use subway tiles or large tiles. If you are using subway tiles, the trowel should be of small notch added.

You can choose a ¼ x ¼ inch square trowel for the subway tiles. Apart from that, the trowel size varies with the tile size.

If the tiles are 12 by 12 inches, you would rather need a ⅜ x ¼ inch notch trowel. Moreover, for a 12 by 24 or more sized tile, a ½ x ½ inch notch trowel is perfect.

Well, the larger the tile size, the bigger the trowel notch would be. Mostly, 12 by 24 or subway tiles are for showers.

What size notched trowel for 3×6 subway tile?

A ¼ x ¼ inch square notch trowel is usually suitable for a 3×6 subway tile. It would create enough mortar base for a tile rather than pulling the tile out.

3×6 subway tiles are actually small tiles. They are mostly used for decorating outside of a house. Well, you should not be choosing a trowel randomly.

A ¼ x ¼ inch square notched trowels are great for a 3×6 subway tile. Well, a ¼ inch square notched trowel has a space of ¼ between every notch and notch of height ¼.

It blends the mortar or thinset perfectly and thinly. As the tiles are thin, mortar should be thin as well.

This helps the mortar to set behind the tiles and fix the tiles at a place. Using a ¼ inch square notch helps the mortar to spread but not in front of the tile. As a result, no access mortar is found and a mess is created.

How do I know what size tile trowel to use for 3×6 subway tile? – Factors to consider

You can go for a particular size trowel to use for 3×6 subway tile. 3×6 subway tiles are smaller in size.

As a result, a bigger trowel would not be appropriate for them. Apart from that, you should consider the below factors before choosing a trowel for a 3×6 subway tile.

The size of the tile:

The size of the tile should be considered before choosing the right trowel for your tile. Well, the trowel size depends on tile size.

If you choose a small-sized trowel for a large-sized tile, the mortar will not spread properly. As a result, the tile will not be fixed in place.

There would be uneven texture behind the tile. As a result, the morter will come out making a mess over the tile.

That’s why you should choose the right trowel size to prevent a mess. For a 3×6 tile, a ¼ x ¼ inch square notch is the perfect one to provide support to the tile.

Spreading of mortar:

Proper spreading of mortar is required to hold the tile. Moreover, even spreading is required to place the tile.

Otherwise, sometimes it will be off, making the place look horrible. If you spread the mortar in larger amounts, some will come out while creating space.

Trowel notches are of different sizes to provide a good spreading of mortar for the tiles. Every tile does not require the same amount of mortar.

2 reasons why you need to get the right size trowel

The right size trowel facilitates putting the tiles properly. Tiles do not only make the place look neat rather can create a modern look depending on its design.

Placing the tiles accurately is also a matter of concern. Some reasons why the right trowel size is needed for the tiles are given below.

Even the tile:

Tiles will not look good if you place them abruptly. Moreover, an uneven look can make the place look messy and unattractive.

It is necessary to put the tiles in even form. Otherwise, the tiles would look swollen. Even finish is necessary to give a smooth appearance to the tiles.

Appropriate mortar:

Proper mortar application is required for a tile. Well, the right size trowel decides how much mortar would be behind the tiles.

Different size trowels spread different amounts of mortar. Well, a thin trowel like ¼ inch notch would spread less amount of mortar than a ⅜ inch trowel.

You can not use a bigger size trowel for smaller-sized tiles. As the applied mortar will be more than the tiles can hold.

Apart from that, it would spread evenly in all places. To ensure a sufficient amount of mortar is apple, you need to use the right size of a trowel.

How to lay subway tile using a trowel?

Laying subway tiles requires caution. If you do that unknowingly, the tiles may get messed up. The outcome will not be smooth.

Instead, a messy and uneven texture would be created. Below the steps of laying subway tiles while using a trowel are given.

Choose a trowel:

First, you should choose a trowel according to the tile size. The trowel should be smaller and cover up a whole area with a thin layer of mortar. You can either buy mortar or make one.

Moreover, for subway tiles, a ¼ x ¼ inch mortar is the most suitable one.

Apply mortar:

After choosing the trowel, apply mortar on the wall with the trowel. Apply the mortar evenly.

You should move the mortar from left to right or from one side to another. Do not move the trowel from top to bottom. Apply mortar in the whole place where you are going to put the tiles.

Fix tile:

After putting mortar, you have to put the tiles. Well, mortar is like glue. They dry up easily.

You need to put the tiles and make sure it sticks. If you have chosen the right trowel, no mortar would come out. As a result, no mess would be made. The subway tiles are small and would stick right away.

Should you back butter subway tile?

You can back butter subway tiles yet it is not necessary. Well, subway tiles are smaller in size. They do not require a huge amount of mortar. You need to apply an appropriate amount but not access the amount of mortar.

After applying mortar on the wall, you can immediately put subway tile. The tile would stick. Meanwhile, back butter on subway tiles would give better coverage. Yet the tiles are smaller and do not require much coverage.

Instead, mortar applied on the wall would be enough for the tiles. Still, if you want you can apply mortar on the back of the subway tile.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the right size of the trowel to use for 3×6 subway tile is a ¼ x ¼ inch square notch trowel. It provides full coverage to the tile. As a result, a proper amount of mortar is put behind the tile or on the wall to stick the tile. The sizes would vary according to the size of the tiles.