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Old 10-16-2012, 01:01 PM   #1
Topspin
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Grouting brush hammered limestone for fun and profit

Got a backsplash coming up this week that was assumed to be tumbled limestone. Product selected was a chisle ground/brush hammered limestone with a vertical grain to the chisling. Actually think it may be called "Combed" finish. But the stuff is dry as a bone, feels like 32 grit sand paper and the grouting question is at hand.

Of course the client wants to keep the tile looking just as it is with little grout filling the grain of the stone face. Options are 100% taping off each of the tiles individually, tape in mass and cut out once tiles are set, or have at it and try to clean like crazy.

Client wants matching grout color, so that helps. And they don't care if PermaColor, SpectraLock or QuartzLock2. $ are not a concern, just the look.
I've done plenty of tumbled, honed and polished, but not a grain-oriented brushed tile like this that will grab every morsel of grout possible.

So the question at hand is: What would be the best grout choice to use, then the method of application? (Note that the tiles have been sealed twice with Bulletproof)

My thoughts are that SpectraLock will leave a sheen that I won't be able to remove - fail. Used plenty of QuartLock2 but always on honed or better. So not sure there. So thinking of PermaColor with lots of clean up.

But, I just know the haze will not come off. I can plan to try white doodles and brushes after ripping up the sponges, but I just know it'll be a nightmare. Right?

So looking not only for your best method, but also some tips on expectations for the client. The pics below are on my test board to see how each permacolor method will work. So looking for any experience on grouting this stuff. Much appreciated in advance.
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:27 PM   #2
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Combed Limestone

Just found out that it is called Combed Limestone.

Although the image below isnt the stone in question, its a better close-up of what my stone kinda-sorta of looks like.
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:37 PM   #3
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My first thought was "glutton for punishment"

My second though was "let the designer grout the &*%$* tile"

What about installing them as brick masons do - blob some thicker grout on the lower tile, set the upper tile and let the grout ooze out a little. After the grout hardens enough, come back and scrape off the excess.

If that works you owe me one loaf of banana bread.
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:46 PM   #4
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I'd hate be in your shoes right now Keven..
id say taping off every single tile would be your best bet.
but im also curious of what others have to say
good luck buddy!
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:17 PM   #5
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I'd say Quartzlock is going to give you the best working time since it'll be a slow, tedious process. Might give you the sheen like Spectralock tho-idk. I'd be scared to death to try Permacolor tho!! Racing against the clock, grout haze, STRESSFUL...you know how it is.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:36 PM   #6
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I'm not a pro, so this suggestion may have no merits at all, but I remember reading something here a year or two ago about installing glass tiles using a one step method (grout and some additive from laticrete). I believe it was for sheets that had the plastic sheet on the front. If you could apply a plastic sheet to these, is the one step method feasible? Just a thought.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:55 PM   #7
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Heresy maybe, but what about carefully applied sanded caulk?
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:18 PM   #8
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Since it's for a backsplash, have you considered a groutless install? I'm not sure how large the individual tiles are, but I would consider it. Of course, it depends on how evenly sized they are also.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:22 PM   #9
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I'd groutbag it with any grout besides epoxy and cut it with a wood shim then lightly damp sponge as needed. It dosent look like tape would work good at all..
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:46 PM   #10
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I agree with Chris, that taping wouldn't work well. I don't see how you would seal up along the end of the ridges...
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:04 PM   #11
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Thanks for input so far. Except the comments like

Quote:
My first thought was "glutton for punishment"
Thanks Paul. I know I'm in for it.

Update: I am testing PermaColor and taping right now and should have some idea within the hour. At best before the haze sets in. Hopefully it will be decent given a couple coats of Bullitproof.

BTW - the tiles are 4x12 - customer-cut, from 12x24's. Some variation in size, but pretty square, for a rectangle. The other issue is that the stone does vary in thickness, and with those cabinet mounted LED mini strips right above the backsplash, it ought to look rustic. Thats a nice way of saying it.

Client made aware of the shadow lines they'll be expecting. Not like the backsplash tile that Gueueze put in that one time tho. Remember those handmade cupped subway tiles? No matter how you espane it, its always a surprise when they see it up.

(re: the cupped tiles above - I think it was Gueueze's customer, if I remember correctly. Nice install, but(t) funky tile. looked sort of like these http://img3.etsystatic.com/000/0/513....209975243.jpg )
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:11 PM   #12
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What about tinting thinset (like prolite) with grout dye and set it like Paul said...mason style...then scape out the ooze, lightly sponge it and it gets set and grouted at the same time....A mock up of some sort would be a for sure to see how the color (and mess) turns out when dry.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:22 PM   #13
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Greg,
I'm already slow. Then add to it grout mixing, grouting and cleaning buckets as I go? I don't think I could handle it. Nice idea of letting the grout squeeze out and break off, but I'd for sure get it mixed with thinset and have multicolored squeeze out.

I wonder what Rod would do?


Katwyk that is.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:24 PM   #14
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If I had some around I'd like to give the "squeeze out the grout" method a try.

I'm still likin' it.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:59 PM   #15
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I think taping would work if you can find a tape that would stick. Looks like a lot of time will be spent grouting how ever it's done. Makes me wonder why they even make something like that. How in the heck do you wash it, looks like shredded wheat cereal.
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