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Old 04-04-2012, 03:42 PM   #1
Cheech
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Slate Kitchen Backsplash

Greetings, All,

I'm going to install a slate tile backsplash in the kitchen. The product (pictured below) was purchased from Home Depot; it's 1x2 slate on a mesh backer.

The existing substrate is sheetrock that had previously had a really ugly brick veneer that was adhered with mastic. We lost some paper removing it, so I removed all of the loose paper and skim coated with drywall compound.

I plan on using a HD product, Custom Blend fortified thinset mortar to adhere the stone. Here are my questions:

1. 1/4x3/16" v-notch trowel OK?
2. Do I need to seal the stone before I apply it? If so, why, and please recommend a product, preferably one sold at HD.
3. Sanded or unsanded grout?
4. Seal before I grout if I don't seal before I apply?
5. I want to use a stone enhancer. Please recommend a product - preferably one sold at HD.

Let me know if there is anything else I'm missing, or if you need more details.

Thanks!
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:57 PM   #2
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Welcome back, Joe.

1. Maybe. You'll just hafta try it and see if you're getting adequate coverage on the back of your tiles. You want 100 percent. You can live with 80.

2. See #5.

3. Grout joints 1/8th" or larger, sanded; grout joints 1/8th" or smaller, unsanded. I use sanded until the joints are just too tight to force it in there.

4. See #5.

5. If you seal your tiles with anything or use a grout release, before you install or before you grout, you will not be able to enhance. Most enhancers are also penetrating sealers. You could enhance the tiles before you install them if you like.

You should do a very serious test of whatever product you elect to use to enhance or seal before you commit to using it on your finished installation. Testing requires waiting the entire recommended cure time after application.

I dunno what Homer has for an enhancer that I could recommend.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:53 AM   #3
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A little messy...

Thanks for the advice, CX. I installed the backsplash over the weekend. I went with a 1/4 x 1/4 square notch trowel and got the job done pretty OK. I did have some thinset ooze through the joints and did my best to clean it up prior to it setting. I did get some on front of the tiles that had dried up. Any tips on getting it off?

Thanks!
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:55 AM   #4
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Here's a pic
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:41 AM   #5
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Chalky Haze (goin round my brain)

Been spending the better part of the morning repenting for my sloppy installation by scrubbing thinset off of the front of my slate backsplash. Using warm water and a scotch-brite pad. It's been successful, however I now have a chalky haze on my backsplash.

Should I go ahead and wash this off now, prior to grouting, or should I grout and then wash? Does it really make a difference? Planing on using h2o and white vinegar with a sponge and some elbow greez.

Thanks in advance for the advice, folks.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:26 AM   #6
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Aqua mix Enrich and Seal is what I use on slate and travertine. I seal everything about 1 week after grouting, but you can also pre-seal and then seal again a week later. Your squeeze out voes could have been prevented by knocking the notch flat with the other side of the trowel before setting.
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:35 PM   #7
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Joe,

I have a slate mosaic listello in my recent shower project. I sealed the slate prior to grouting because I was concerned about the porous nature of the slate catching tiny grout particles and not letting go. Your slight haze from scrubbing the thinset will likely be a nasty haze from the grout that won't come off if you don't seal or apply grout release beforehand.

My slate didn't didn't have the range of color and contrast that yours does, so I opted to use an enhancing sealer. It darkened my slate up nicely. I echo CX's advice to test any product out ahead of time. The only problem with the enhancer is that it only came in a $35 dollar bottle at Lowe's. Pretty expensive test to find out you don't like the final appearance.

My slate before enhancing: http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/...9&postcount=23

And final product: http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/...2&postcount=53

My DIY advice is wash it now and test out sealer / enhancer / grout release on a sample board, then apply something prior to grouting.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:51 AM   #8
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Same backsplash tile BUT??

I am about to put up the same backsplash HOWEVER I have a granite counter with a 4 INCH matching granite backsplash that the builder put in already. Will it look stupid if i put this backsplash above the 4 inch granite?
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:09 PM   #9
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I don't think it would look stupid, lots of people do it. Tough question because everyone's taste is different. Post a picture of the counter, showing the cabinets and I'm sure lots of people will give you their opinions, but the one that counts is yours (YOUR WIFE'S).
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:57 PM   #10
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Same backsplash tile BUT??

Ok here you go let, please provide thoughts anyone..
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:30 PM   #11
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Thx

i thought about taking off teh 4 inch granite back splash bt it would leave marks and unfinished areas on teh granite counter. So do you guys think it will look ok???
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:41 PM   #12
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The counter top is finished all the way to the wall. The back splash is most likely fastened to it with silicone.
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