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Accent Tile Thicker Than Wall Tile: 3 Things You Can Do

You’re out shopping and you find the perfect accent tiles for your bathroom. However, when you bring them home, you find a major problem!

On discovering that the accent tile thicker than the wall tile, you flip out. But the situation doesn’t have to be like the one we just painted. 

Since accent tiles are statement tiles, some people don’t mind them protruding from the rest of the wall tiles. However, this can lead to mold since the edges catch water. To level the whole wall, use an extra layer of thinset underneath the wall tiles. Lastly, you may need to repurchase the accent tiles.

Since that was just a sneak peek, let’s see what the matter is really about. 

What are Accent Tiles Again?

Chances are you know what accent tiles are. But for those who don’t, here’s a quick recap. Accent tiles are a different colored or designed tile than the rest of your wall. 

Usually, the accent tiles are of bold and flashy color.  They change the look of the entire room. They can be used as the main attraction of the room. Or even compliment an object such as your TV or fireplace. 

If you ask any well reputed interior designer, they’ll tell you how knowing the placement of accent tiles can transform your room. 

Moreover, neutral colors will make the room look classy. Whereas using bright or bold colors can add a bit of fun to your space. Also, the color and placement of accent tiles can make your bathroom or kitchen look larger or smaller!

Thus, it’s the perfect amount of effortless renovation to your home. This helps you make a difference without being too hard on your bank.

Accent Tile Thicker Than Wall Tile: 3 Solutions

So that was all about accent tiles. Now let’s come to the looming problem. What should you do when accent tiles are thicker than your wall tile?

Now it’s highly unlikely for tiles in the same set to be of different sizes. But when you buy some separate ones to use as accent tiles, this problem can easily occur.

However, don’t lose hope. Usually, all experienced carpenters will recommend you to level your whole wall before tiling. Or else, the wall may end up looking imbalanced. Then the whole job will end up as a disaster. 

But you may have also noticed some restaurants having a few protruding accent tiles. So, which style should you go for? What options do you have in hand? Let’s find out together. 

Option 1: Let the Accent Tiles Stand Proud

The first and easiest option you can do is let the accent tiles protrude from the wall tiles. If you can pull it off well, this will give a fresh and modern feel to your space. People won’t even believe that you didn’t do it on purpose. 

But to make it look nice, there are a few things to keep in mind. Whenever you decide to keep a few tiles standing out from the rest, make sure that there is symmetry. 

If done well, the symmetry creates a 3D effect on their bathroom walls. Thus, the result could either end up fabulous or horrible. So it’s a risky project but it’ll surely go easy on your wallet.

Wait, looking bad is not the only risk you have on the table. Other than that, improperly placed protruding tiles could also pose a risk. If the sharp edges of the tile stand out, you could hit your glass shower door with it. 

Even if not that serious, it could cause shower water to collect. This damages your interior, just like when water collects in your shower tray

Option 2: Use Thinset Under the Wall Tiles

In case you’re not a fan of the protruding tile style and want to level the wall anyhow, use thin-set. If you don’t know what that is, Thinset is an adhesive binding material that is used underneath tiles. This helps to glue them to the cement surface. 

Try to use more thinset underneath the thinner tiles and less under the thicker ones. This will help you level and fill the gap between tile and wall. The whole procedure will make the tiles appear the same height.

But there’s a problem with this solution. Suppose your accent tiles were thinner than the wall tile in a reverse situation. Then, using more thinset under the accent tiles to level them would be perfect. But since it’s the other way round, you’ll have to use extra thinset on the entire wall, just to level a few of the accent tiles.

This makes it difficult to pull off. That’s because using the same amount of thinset under all the wall tiles is hard to do manually. However, you can give it a try if you’re not bothered about perfection.

 Here’s a list of things needed for applying thin-set:

  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Chalk 
  • Drill mixer
  • Trowel
  • Bucket

Option 3: Repurchase Your Accent Tiles

I know, it’s not something that you want to hear. However, there’s no way to sugarcoat it. When your tiles are of two different shapes, you either have to use thinset, or let them protrude. The third option is to replace the protruding tiles altogether. 

Like you know, the first two options can bring problems like the sealant between tiles cracking or not having a nice finish. Do you have some extra cash? Then we suggest that you buy some accent tiles with similar thickness to your wall tiles. This will help you have a fresh start. 

Here are some of our favorite designs when it comes to accent tiles:

Now that it’s done and dusted, let’s check out a few common questions on this topic.


Question: What is the best tile to use for shower walls?
Answer:  Glazed porcelain tiles are considered to be the best for shower walls. That’s because there’s no chance of staining it. It’s super water-resistant. Thus, perfect for bathrooms that can get humid. Moreover, they’re low maintenance and come in a variety of colors.

Question: How thick can you build up Thinset?
Answer: In general, thin-set tiles don’t need to be built up too thickly. As a rule of thumb, it’s advised to not cross a 3/16th inch thick layer. While thin-set is used to adjust the height between tiles, it can’t fix the level of a wall.

Question: Should bathroom floor and wall tiles match?
Answer: Absolutely not, there’s no need for two to be matching. The whole bathroom may end up resembling a hospital bathroom. But, it’s advised to choose tiles that are complementary to each other.


With that, we come to the end of our post. But it’s not over yet.

If you enjoyed the read and learned something new, let us know in the comments below. Also, if you have any doubts on what to do when accent tile thicker than wall tile, let us know!

We love to get your precious feedback. Thus we’ll try addressing them all. 

Until then, stay happy and healthy. And remember, every problem has a solution!