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Old 04-22-2012, 05:37 PM   #1
njjeepgurl
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Mosaic table top NIGHTMARE

Okay - It has taken me three weeks to complete my mosaic tabletop for my craft room. I went to an Orange Big box store, and the guy saw me looking at the products. I explained that I had a mosaic table top that had a mixture of porcelain pieces and glass tiles. And I asked him what would be the best product to use - sanded or unsanded grout. He then reached up and grabbed a tube of PolyBlend "Grout in a tube", and said, if you are doing a table top, and want an easy way to finish it, this is the easiest thing to use. Trust me, I did every bit of research on doing mosaic projects, and, knew that I needed GROUT - (the tube even says grout, and comes in a sanded and unsanded version) so, I trusted that this "guy" knew what he was talking about.
Now, I know that you are actually SEEING the horrible picture, play out in your heads, even before I explain what took place. It was BAD. FOUR tubes of the gunk had been installed onto my hard work. As I waited for it to set up, it didn't happen,,,,,I started to wipe,,,,,got worse,,,,,,rubber messy gunk is now all over my work. So, I look up online exactly what it is that I have been "instructed to use for an easy grout installation". I'm now in horror, I looked at my Husband, and said, this is not grout, this is CAULK! He came in and took a look, and told me that the ONLY thing that we could possibly try at this point, was to, take the table top off of the base, and bring it outside to power wash the caulk, out of the grout lines. It was terrible,,,,,,it is forty degrees outside and raining sideways at us, and here we are outside trying to get this crap out off of my table. Luckily, just about all of it is now gone, but there is some residual material still in some spots, I can imagine that a pick will help with the rest.
I only lost four tiles, and they can be re-glued, but now I just want to know from people that KNOW what they are doing with tiles in every way, can it be saved? I am praying that somebody can please tell me that once the table top is dry, I can try to re-grout it. And, if it can be saved, WHAT product should I be using on my mosaic table top?
Being that I only have "big box stores" in my area, I need to get whatever THEY have in stock. Can anybody help me out with a name, and should it be sanded or unsanded? I do have some spots on the table that have about 3/4 of an inch, without any tiles. Is it a loss? Has Home depot talked me into a product, that had ruined my hard work? I am in tears, and just so sad. At this point ANY help is greatly appreciated.
Thank you kindly,
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:45 PM   #2
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Hi Caron, welcome! Sorry to hear about your woes. If you have areas that are 3/4" I would use a sanded grout. If you can find a grout with Nano technology like Prism or TEC Power grout that is even better because it doesn't have sand in it but glass beads that won't scratch the glass.
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:47 PM   #3
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as long as most of it came off by power washing it you should be good to go.just use a pick to get any remaining caulk out of the grout line. let it dry out completely before you grout it. if you have grout lines that are bigger then an 1/8" which i think you stated you did then you will want a sanded grout. at the hd its called polly blend by custom building products. its comes in a 10lb box and a 25lb bag.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:13 PM   #4
njjeepgurl
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heros!

THANK YOU! I'm just so happy that it isn't a bust - it was a LOT of work. And throwing it away really was not an option that I wanted to approach.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:34 PM   #5
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Wow, cool table! Congratulations.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:44 PM   #6
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Thank you Tom,,,,as you can imagine the horror of what played out this morning. I'm just glad that we caught it before it REALLY got set up, or else it would have been unsalvageable. My Husband is really incredible for doing what he did in that weather,,,,it was FREEZING out there,,,I helped and got soaked, but he didn't have any interest in the table, other than making sure that I would be happy in the end.....THAT is a sweet guy. I appreciate the help guys. I'm going to give it 48 hours to completely dry out, and then start over with REAL grout.
One question though, on the HD website the "10 pound box of PolyBlend" Grout, says Unsanded - now they have 7 & 25 pound boxes of both kinds, but the 10 pound box by that company, stipulates unsanded,,,,so I'm a bit confused as to what to purchase. I have googled the Prism and the TEC brand but cannot find it locally.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:48 PM   #7
James Powell
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Sanded in whichever size will cover your table i would imagine. Using sanded or unsanded is generally determined by your grout joint size. 1/8" can go either way. Larger is sanded and smaller is unsanded.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:29 PM   #8
Sherry Wolf
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Hi Caron
Beautiful table.

I would definitely use sanded grout. I am just finishing up a bathroom in which I used ceramic and glass tile. Sanded grout (Polyblend) worked just fine and didn't scratch the glass (as some think it might). Sanded grout is stronger and for a table top, I think it will hold up better... not to mention the size of some of your grout joints.

As someone on this forum likes to say... "The only thing you should ask the people at Home Depot is "Where's the...?""

Post an other picture after its grouted.

Congratulations...
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:40 PM   #9
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If you're willing to spend the money, an epoxy grout might be good. A tabletop tends to get some nasty things spilled on it...an epoxy grout (one brand is Spectralock) is pretty inert and won't be stained whereas even with a sealer, a standard grout will eventually get stained and at least somewhat dirty.

There's a couple of threads here on the stuff that you can read. The good thing is that a table top isn't huge, and you don't need a lot of the stuff. The key is following all of the instructions on cleanup. You also need a grout float made for epoxy (it can be used for normal grouts as well, but ones made only for cement based ones can't be used on epoxy).

I think that Lowes carries Spectralock. They have some neat stuff you can mix into it that can do things like glow in the dark, add glitter, and other things. Also, you can get some colors that are unavailable with cement based ones, and they tend to be brighter.
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:34 PM   #10
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It's drying!

I'm going to give it about 72 hours or more before I even think about the grout. As far as needing anything special,,,I don't thing that it is really needed because it is for my craft room, (no food or drinks in unsealed containers). The table is used for sewing and journaling photos and such, so I'm not really worried about the source of messes that cannot be cleaned up. But thanks for the help.

I took pictures of the table with the gunk all over it, and will be heading back to Home Depot to talk to a manager. I mean I knew that I needed grout, and the guy stated that , the stuff in the tube would be all that I would need, I trusted him, and that was wrong on my part, but also on his. The people in the departments are supposed to at least know something about what is in their departments. Not to mention how much time and money has been lost on the project now too. I think they can at least refund my money and give me some grout. Corporate maybe would like to know how informed the employees are? Not to mention that I have Lupus, and the entire situation has caused a Flare - (stress - cold weather, dampness ) they all play a part in my immune system reacting to itself. So today I cannot move.

BUT anyway ---- since I have the "pros on here" now --- I was going to use a Delorean Gray on the table, but think that maybe it was not the best choice to go with - if any of you were doing the table - what color grout would YOU use for maximum "wow" (well besides caulk - I've already had THAT Wow factor!) My room is done in greens and blues, so I was actually thinking about doing blue grout. Any thoughts?
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:38 PM   #11
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Wow, the table does look amazing. But yeah, proves you can't trust anyone. Not even people who think they know what they are doing!
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:48 PM   #12
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table looks great. i can see why you where so upset. if it was me id go with a grout that matches the tile the best. reason being you dont want the grout to stand out and take away from the tile work. if you get a real contrasting grout then the grout lines will stand out and you will notice all the lines and not the tile work. but you are the one that has to live with it.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:06 PM   #13
njjeepgurl
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Refund made by Home depot

Went with the pictures of the entire mess to Home Depot, and the manager was not happy about the fact that they had an employee that is "supposed to know their department" actually tell me to use that junk.
So, all in all, I got a refund for the caulk, but had to get dremel bits, to finish getting the junk out. I ended up purchasing a darker white grout to finish the table.
Now I also have some sharper edges on quite a few pieces, using a Dremel seems to be the best way to grind down the edges, but my Dremel is a bit weak. What model number Dremel would be best to purchase for this type of work, before I grout the whole thing?
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:59 PM   #14
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Its done!

http://photobucket.com/mymosaictablefromhell
here it is from start to finish - this website does not like me to post pictures for some reason,,,,so I just put in the photobucket link.
Thanks again for all of your help, everybody was incredible wit their help.

Caron
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:20 PM   #15
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Very nice... I like your grout color choice.
thanks for letting us see the finished product.
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