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london subway tile
 from Mount Vernon, NY,  Jun 12, 2014

After way too much deliberation we picked london subway tile in white for our kitchen back splash. This is a smaller subway tile on a mesh sheet - the individual tiles are about 2 inches by 4 inches. There are 5 sheets of mesh in the box. The tiles do have a handmade look, and while white and glossy, are wavy, somewhat irregular. We have a tudor style cottage that is almost 100 years old, where nothing is square or plumb- so the wavy-ness and irregularity kind of "goes" with the house. The color is a true white, the tiles are thick and substantial- not flimsy or thin. As DIYers we were able to make the cuts needed on a borrowed wet tile saw. We did have to cut many of the tiles away from the mesh in order to lay them in such a way to achieve semi-even lines as some of the spaces on the mesh were noticeably much larger or crooked. We did not buy spacers because with the mesh we did not think we needed them, but they may have helped in some spots. A few of the tiles were a bit curved and had to be reserved for spots in the kitchen where more relief was desired to compensate for irregularities in the wall. The tiles arrived intact- out of 5 boxes maybe 4 tiles had an edge cracked off, but this could be our own fault because the tiles sat a long time before we got to this job. For those who are into design, or getting their own kitchen together- we have mocha brown shaker style cabinets, we have aged brass drawer pulls and knobs, we have a dark green soapstone counter and we have a white fire clay farm sink and stainless appliances. We found hardwood under many layers of linoleum and that is our floor- more of a lighter wood though. My original instinct was to choose the other london subway color because I was concerned the white would be stark or "clinical" but the wavy, irregularity gives the tile an organic feel that is clean, lightens the kitchen and with gray grout will be terrific.

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After spending close to $*** in tile to install in our kitchen and spending close to 40 hours installing the tile I would say do NOT buy this tile! I had wanted to keep the tile because I did like the look of the faces and inconsistent colors which gave the tiles a vintage look. My husband had said he wanted to return them and I stubbornly wanted to keep them. I wished I listened...heres why... 1. Although the faces are beautiful the tile IS handmade and that means not square or flat, unless you enjoy the look of wavy tile lines and inconsistent spacing between tiles on the mesh you will need to cut each tile from the mesh individually. 2. We ended up throwing away 1/4 of the tile because of extremely bowed and not flat shapes. 3. Even after cutting each tile from the mesh and placing them on the wall individually with spacers you will STILL get wavy lines! Which in my opinion screams DIY job. 4. IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE to do any herringbone pattern if you wanted to. 5. I would not suggest doing any tall subway tile look because the higher the lines go...the more obvious the wavy lines become In the end...sure...I was able to get the lines somewhat straight (after ripping the drywall off twice, grinding the thin set off and trying over.) I am somewhat artistic but still had problems getting this tile to look professionally installed versus cheaply done the DIY way. My husband and I gutted the kitchen and opted to do everything ourselves to save money. Professional tile installers would still have difficulty putting this stuff up. One tip I can give if you brave the installation yourself would be to use shims and not tile spacers and check for level after every 3 tiles to make sure your lines aren't drooping (this I suggest even if you use the tile on the mesh) and also snap multiple chalk lines and make sure to throw away the bowed tiles. Good luck to you!

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