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new at this and read through posts but really need more of a "how to". going over a vinyl covered drywall that has been painted. Wasn't going to use a backerboard. So, start with sealing the slate and letting that set. Then placement will be figured out, then what do I use as "thin set", how thick do I spread it and i bought plastic spacers....
 

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Stuck in the 70's
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First, what do you mean by "vinyl covered drywall that has been painted"? Is it a laminate or formica? A pic might help.
I'm not sure what you would have to do to this to get good adhesion.

Second, what size tiles are you using? I'm not an expert, but I've read that a premixed thinset or mastic can be used for a kitchen backsplash with smaller tiles. I don't know if this is OK for slate though. If Bud or Jaz show up and tell me I'm wrong, listen to them.
The size of the notched trowel also depends on the size of the tiles.

Lastly, if you've never done tiling before, pick up a book on the subject. If you're on a strict budget, check out your local library. Just make sure it is relatively current book. Products and procedures change.
 

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Tileguy
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Hi girls,

You know a slate backsplash can be a challenge to maintain. But, you're going for the "look".

Regular pre-mixed adhesive should not be used for natural stone tiles. There are a few that will work, read the label. It's best to use real thin set mortar, which only comes in a bag. You'll want to use modified thin set, spread with a 1/4x1/4 trowel.

However, please explain this vinyl covered painted wall. Doesn't sound like a tile-able surface to me. Are you talking about the stuff that comes that way from the factory? Either way, the wallpaper needs to be removed.

Slate is rarely cut accurately, so spacers may not help. Use wedges and/or pieces of the cardboard box.

Jaz
 

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Tileguy
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Vinyl covered wallboard [drywall] (in my experience) is typically just that. Wallboard that comes from the manufacturer with vinyl wallpaper type covering. It usually has a slight texture and comes 5/8" thick, fire rated. The vinyl covering is not removable and is generally considered a commercial product. In the seventies and eighties it was very popular in office buildings and hospitals and many commercial buildings. I am assuming this is a similar product that has also (since original installation) been painted. Painting vinyl covered wallboard also isn't all that unusual.

If so...
You would not be able to use a mastic/organic tile adhesive. It would never dry. Modified thinset tile mortar would be the adhesive product to use as Jaz said. And even then it could take a few days to completely set up and dry. I also would not seal the backside of the slate in this case. Seal only the front side and about 1/3 of the edges from the face to the backside. More than one coat of sealer may be required to effect a proper cleaning of the grout during grout installation. Then...everything should be sealed again after the grout has dried.:)

The thickness to spread the thinset is determined by the "notched" trowel you use, that's what the notched trowel is for. I agree a 1/4" X 1/4" X 1/4" trowel should probably be used in this case.:yes:

I would also recommend that you first scuff the paint with sandpaper (80-grit) then spread the thinset on the wall. Key the thinset by first spreading with the flat-side of the trowel and then turn the trowel over and comb the thinset in one direction only and make it neat and purdy.:) Then also skim-coat the backside of the slate with the flat side of the trowel and leave it flat for placement into the combed thinset on the wall.
 

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same tile different project

I have read the thread from Brenda o's post and it is somewhat helpful to me. Here is my issue, I am using a 2' slate tile 12x12 sheet with mesh backing doing a bathroom sink backsplash. What is the best thinsset to use and how do I know if I have the thickness right? I have never done this and am wondering if I really should hire someone. The person I have used in the past is not available and I am thinking of doing it myself. To add issues it is going around a very large mirror that is in place so I don't know what to do about the clips, can't tile over them because of the screw? Can anyone assist? Buzz and Jazz,and anyone else HELP!
 

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Tileguy
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"Buzz and Jazz"?

Buzz and Jazz would need to know more about these "clips" before Buzz and Jazz could offer help.

As for me, I would suggest a 1/8" square notch trowel and the use of modified thinset mortar but still need to know about the "clips". A photo would be nice.:)
 

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clip discription

the clips are the standard mirror brackets very small flat metal, so the only thing that would stick out is the screw head, I also have clear plastic ones but given the fact they are something like 1/4' thick and would be almost as thick the tile.
 
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