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Old 03-11-2012, 09:46 AM   #1
Reneetree
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Honey onyx backsplash

Hello!

My husband and I bought 12x12 inch (polished) honey onyx subway tile on mesh for our kitchen backsplash. I guess I have a knack for choosing tile that is difficult to work with! Our contractor tried putting it up with a thin set white morter yesterday, but took it down since the grout line between the tile was disappearing with the weight of the tile! They have figured out another way to install it and will try again!

My major concern, however, is what type of grout and what color should we get so that we don't have the same problem that other folks have had with the honey onyx losing its translucent luster?

Another question...it is highly polished, so should it still be sealed before and after grouting?

Thanks!

Renee
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:01 AM   #2
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Hi Renee,

It's going to be tough to tell you what color to use without a picture. You might be on your own at this point.

As to installing the tiles, they need to layout the wall from the top down to the counter and start installing from the top. The sheets can be taped and held in place with small nails -- as many as it takes. When those sheets have set, the remainder can be taped to them and suspended.

As the sheets begin to set and the pieces are just barely moveable you can adjust individual pieces somewhat and they will stay where you put them. There is a short window, however, when this can be done. It's trial and error. Too soon and the pieces won't stay in place; to late and you'll permanently break the bond.

Starting at the top is the way to go, though. It's not easy.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:07 AM   #3
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Thank you so much! I appreciate your quick response and advice! I will pass along the info and take a picture to post as well!
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:24 AM   #4
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Another tile question!

Also, I liked ordered a classic hexagon floor tile in ceramic from home depot (on mesh).

And my contractor said he's having trouble cutting it. He used a wet saw and said the tiles were chipping and falling off the mesh. Any suggestions?

I really want this tile as it matches the retro look of my 1948 bathroom!

Thanks!
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:35 AM   #5
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to cut mosaic tile, you can sandwich the tiles sheet between two strips of wood stock and use that as a cutting guide; or use hot-glue to temporarily adhere a piece of wood or cement board strip just to the edge tiles.

this treats all those pesky individual edge tiles as if they were a single tile;
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:57 AM   #6
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Hi Renee.

Grout color very important since can change the whole look so if I were you, I would whittle it down to 2/3 colors and do some test boards. I know it's a pain, but think it's worth it. If not a giant area, and price of grout not a real biggie, I really liked how Laticrete's epoxy grout came out on my shower floor and one doesn't have to seal it and a bunch of other positive stuff to it. I think, but may be wrong, one can just buy the "sand" part of it(not pricey) and mix that with water to get an idea of what the color is like on the tiles. Caulk color also very important. I had problems since Laticrete's silicone caulk(Latasil) colors didn't seem to me to really look at all like their grout plastic color sticks. Ended up trying a few colors and 2 different makers of caulk. I know it's pricey to do that, but relatively speaking, a drop in the bucket compared to the rest, no?

Editing: I like onyx. Would think very pretty on the backsplash.

Oops, editing again: Just saw the thing about translucent luster. I wonder if Starquartz(an urethane grout) would be the way to go. They have one especially for glass tiles. I have that, but only used it on a sample board with my glass tiles and can't remember if it really did what it supposedly is suppose to do re. the translucent thing you mentioned.

Ceci

Last edited by Ceci; 03-11-2012 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:46 AM   #7
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Renee,

I'm beginning to have my doubts about your installer. All the things we've talked about so far should be known by your person if that person has experience doing mosaic tiles. If the guy can't get started without complaining about the material, there's usually a problem beyond the material. All tiles that are glued onto backing tend to come off when they get wet, and all mosaic sheets are something of a pain to install.
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:04 PM   #8
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I agree with John. There are a number of 'tricks of the trade' employed to set smaller, mesh mounted tiles; Using 2" wide blue painters tape all over the front creates a lot of stability, using a few ten thousand spacers, nails or upholstery pins, a well mixed quailty non sag thinset.....
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:20 PM   #9
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I agree with Paul and John,

if your installer has skills in setting tile they would have know of a
non sag mortar and it should have been used.
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:23 PM   #10
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Yeah, Paul, I was thinking about that non-sag thinset too. Are you talking about Laticrete's glass tile adhesive?

http://www.laticrete.com/portals/0/p...20Adhesive.pdf

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Old 03-11-2012, 12:33 PM   #11
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that or 4XLT or 255.
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:43 PM   #12
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Oh, good to know, Brian. I don't know about those very much, but supposedly the glass tile adhesive is "super white" and made for glass tiles to show off their translucency. I dunno, I went "cheap" with my thinset since had a white backing on my glass tiles so just used the Laticrete 253 since with a test, the contractor didn't see any sagging. Mapei has a glass tile adhesive too, but from what I remember, the price was pretty close.

Editing: I only had a border of individual glass tiles so would think with glass mounted on sheets the non-sag thinset would be needed, but am just a semi DIY, pretty new one, actually, so take whatever I say with some grains of salt.

Ceci

Last edited by Ceci; 03-11-2012 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 03-11-2012, 01:18 PM   #13
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Wow, everyone! Thanks so much for your input! I actually just came back from the hardware store and picked another tile for the bathroom floor...it turns out that the tile I had originally picked is really meant for a backsplash and not highly recommended for flooring!

As far as the installation with the honey onyx backsplash, I bought a thinset white morter and my installers are using tile spacers to prevent sagging. So far it looks great and will heed everone's advise on the grout color. I will probably do what Cece advised...testing a few colors out. I have lots of broken pieces (from the veiny areas) that I could use!

Thanks so much! You guys are rock stars!
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:37 PM   #14
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Seal?

Hi everyone...

So the honey onyx tile is polished...should it be sealed before or after grouting...or both?

And is there any such thing as a clear type of grout?

Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:13 PM   #15
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1- Seal all onyx before grouting. It is a very soft and porous stone.

2- Alas no, there is no clear grout except air.
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