Patching ceramic tile floor due to change in cabinet footprint
We recently replaced a kitchen cabinet that changed the footprint from a U-shape to an L-shape footprint. This exposed about a 3' x 3' area that needs to be tiled. I have enough remaining tile to do the job and think that I can handle it. The existing ceramic tile was installed 10 years ago on top of vinyl tile. We have not had any problem with movement or cracking underfoot, so the existing floor has been stable. Finally, my questions:
1. Do I need to lay down vinyl tile on the foundation to raise it 1/16" and account for the vinyl tile under the rest of the existing tile, before I do the patchwork? Based on an earlier answer to a poster on this forum who had a 1/8" difference, I think the answer is no. But, I want to confirm it. I'm hoping that I can just make up the difference with thin set mortar.
2. When preparing the patch area, I had to remove a few partial tiles that ran up against the base of the old cabinet. So, I have a line of grout along the edge of the existing tile floor. That existing grout is tough and I'm afraid that I will crack the existing floor tiles if I try removing it. Can I just butt the new tile up against the old grout? Or, does it have to be removed very carefully? If I liberally apply new grout in this area after laying the new tile, will it seal the narrow crack where the new tile meets the grout along the existing tile?