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Old 12-08-2011, 11:39 AM   #1
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Tiling a kitchen backsplash


I have about 50 sq ft of backsplash area (counter to bottom of wall cabinets) that will be tiled like the pic below. The ceramic tiles are 3x6 and the mosaic squares are 5/8 in. These are going on primed drywall.

1. Mastic or Thinset?
2. If thinset do I need a "thicker" mix.
3. Sanded or unsanded grout.
4. Do you pros spread the thinset or back butter?
5. Do I need to knock down the ridges of the adhesive where the mosaic will go? (Mosaic is made up of glass, tumbled stone, and quartz? granite? (or some ceramic made to look like such) Should be gold for as much as the mosaic was a square foot.
6. For these 3x6 tiles would you use the built-in ridge spacer (which leaves less than a 1/16th inch space or use a spacer.

Thanks for your time.
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:49 PM   #2
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Tiling a kitchen backsplash


The larger tiles are soft-bisque ceramic commonly referred to as "subway tile". The smaller mosaics are made up of glass and limestone tiles, no quartz no granite, that I can see.

In both cases the tiles can be installed using a mastic adhesive. Just be sure the adhesive is compatible with glass tiles. I would rely on the self-spacing of the tile and use an unsanded grout. You can spread the walls or backbutter for the subway tiles but you better spread the wall only for the mosaics. I would use a trowel not larger than a 3/16 "V" notch.

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Old 12-08-2011, 01:10 PM   #3
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Tiling a kitchen backsplash


Thanks a million. Does "...can be installed with Mastic" mean that it can't be installed with thinset? I am not opposed to spending the money on mastic but already have some thinset at the house. Should have phrased the question the way I intended it to be answered, I guess.

Thanks for the trowel size recommendation. Much appreciated.
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Old 12-08-2011, 01:25 PM   #4
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Tiling a kitchen backsplash


Jheeeeezh!

Okay then...use thinset. It's modified thinset I hope.

How old is this thinset? Thinset has a shelf life and it should be fresh product if glass tile is involved.
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Old 12-08-2011, 01:40 PM   #5
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Tiling a kitchen backsplash


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Jheeeeezh!

Okay then...use thinset. It's modified thinset I hope.

How old is this thinset? Thinset has a shelf life and it should be fresh product if glass tile is involved.

It is modifed and a week old. Then again, maybe I'll just use mastic. (Just wanted you to be able to finish the job with your head against the wall.)
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Old 12-08-2011, 01:50 PM   #6
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Tiling a kitchen backsplash


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It is modifed and a week old. Then again, maybe I'll just use mastic.


Well listen...it's been good hearing from you, stop in again sometime.
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Old 12-08-2011, 01:56 PM   #7
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Tiling a kitchen backsplash


To reiterate what Bud said.. a 3/16" v notch trowel will do the trick. My only bit of advice is don't worry about there being "too little" mastic/thinset. I did my kitchen backsplash a couple months back (with mastic), except the whole backsplash was done w/ 5/8" mosaic sheets. I got a little "liberal" in a few spots, and I ended up having to clean out the mastic after it set w/ a knife.. Not fun, and a giant PITA. Either way, the small mosaics don't need a whole lot of mastic/thinset to hold the tiles. For the 3x6 tiles, you can probably lay the mastic/thinset a little thicker (since it's a bigger tile).

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