Help! What To Do? - Tiling, ceramics, marble - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 08-30-2011, 04:36 PM   #1
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Help! What to do?

My neighbour is having his kitchen completely redone professionally.My wife seen the backsplash he bought and she liked it so much she went and bought the same.This backsplash is a mosaic of glass and stone on a web backing.The pieces being 1 to 6 inches long and 1/2 inch wide with approximately 80-90 pieces per square foot.We have 15 of them.The wife thought this would be a good DIY project for us[which means Me].I am definitely having my doubts.
I went next door when the workers were doing the tiling.When I told the tiler I was looking for an estimate and I had the same tile,he shook his head in a kind of disgust.He said this was the most tedious and time consuming job he has done in a long while.The tiler said he was also repaying a favour to the general contractor.The tiler is gone and he never did come over and give me a price.My doubts about this DIY adventure have greatly increased!
Oh, did I mention that I have never tiled before.I have some questions and would appreciate any advice.

1-I seem to get a 50/50 answer to this question.What adhesive do I use.
Mastic or thinset mortar.Some say mastic is easier to use and will do the job,others say use thinset,mastic will over time , yellow.

2-Do I use a V notched trowel, what size?

3-Since half this tile is stone and will be around the stove do I seal it.If I do seal the tile ,do I do this after it is up.Do I seal the whole tile and just wipe off what is on the glass?

4-Do I use spacers between every tile on the square.Can't imagine!

5-Believe it or not I bought a wet tile saw about 4 years ago and have never opened the box.On sale $150 for $50.Will I need other cutting tools.

6-Where the tile meets the counter top do you leave say 1/8 space and use caulking,also where the two walls meet at a 90 degree do you use caulking.Any special kind.

Am I way over my head.Should I have professionals do the work.I have already threatned my neighbour,don't let my wife in your house if you have any more renovations in progress unless you plan on keeping her!
Have vacation time in a couple weeks and I am not sure if I should make the attempt.Have questions on grouting but depending on my decision it may be a moot point.

Sorry for the rambling
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:51 PM   #2
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Cheeko I see no reason to run away at this point.

The glass tiles involved will require modified thinset NOT MASTIC.

You would leave a 1/8" gap at the counter top and caulk it later after everything is grouted. Caulk at the inside corner probably isn't necessary, grout will work there.

Keep in mind that glass is very hard and may chip slightly with the saw you have. The other components on the sheet are probably real stone and of a soft nature compared to the glass.

If the back of the glass pieces are already frosted or opaqued somehow then spreading the adhesive (thinset) won't be an issue. If you can see through each piece you will have to pay attention to your thinset distribution so trowel marks don't show through the glass tiles.

The trowel is something you will have to experiment with maybe. If the tile mats are around 5/16" to 3/8" thick then I use a 1/8" X 1/8" square notch on that type of mosaic. A 3/16" "V" notch may do the job if the backing isn't too thick.

The only place you should need spacers is between the tile and counter top.

What did I leave out?
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