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epeterson777 05-26-2009 03:51 PM

Marble tile - would rather not use grout
I am going to tile my shower surround with a dark brown (almost black) marble and when I imagine it in head, any color of grout would ruin it. I think it would look best if there was no gaps between the tile. I was thinking about butting the tiles up against each other when I was installing them and rather than you grout I was thinking about using clear silicone between the tiles. Is this acceptable? Also, should I just use regular mortar on the install? These tiles are awfully heavy and I am kind of worried about them falling down before the mortar dries. Should I use silicone adhesive to install in place of mortar? If I do use silicone like that does it just go directly between the tile and the cement backer board? I thought I read somewhere that is how the three piece surrounds are attached.

Termite 05-26-2009 07:02 PM

No offense, but that is a handful of bad ideas.

The tiles definitely need to be set in thinset mortar. Preferably dry mix thinset as opposed to the pre-mixed stuff. Using silicone to put shower/bath tiles in place is something that a bad handyman would do to get done with the job in a hurry, and it is a poor practice.

Although I suppose you might be able to get away with just silicone between the tiles in lieu of grout, I feel it is a very bad idea. It'll be a maintenance nightmare in a couple years.

Be sure that you don't just apply the tile straight to the backerboard without doing a couple things first.

1) You must use thinset and mesh tape to mud and tape the seams and corners of the backerboard. Otherwise you're almost guaranteed the tiles will crack.

2) You must waterproof the backerboard before tiling. Redguard is the least expensive option. Kerdi is the best option and costs considerably more.

epeterson777 05-26-2009 09:43 PM

Thanks for the info. I'll go ahead and use mortar since I already have that. I could probably make the grout lines as thin as possible using the darkest mortar I can find.

R&D Tile 05-27-2009 02:47 PM

Sillycone for grout eh, would love to see that mess when your done.

You NEED grout joints, 1/32" is fine.

Set them in thinset, start at the bottom on a level board with spacers as you go up, they will stay on the wall no matter how heavy they are.

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