kitchen backsplash [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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02-13-2013, 10:01 PM
Doing a kitchen backsplash. It is about 10 lin feet of 18'' or so to the cabinet. The tile is a mosaic on a mesh back. The wall is textured drywall between the counter top and cabinets is painted textured drywall. The texture was most likely made with a brush ( looks like 1/8" rake marks made by a v-notch trowel).
My question(s) is/are,

1. Should the textured area be scraped smooth or skimmed coated with thin set to make the wall smooth. By smooth I mean flat for the tile to mitigate lippage.

2. There is not going to be any border tile (pencil, rope, or bullnose) to hide the areas that are exposed, one side and the top in a few places. What suggestions/tips are there to have a smooth transition to the painted wall. I was thinking color matched (to the grout) caulk around the outside since it was already going to between the tile and countertop and cabinets. Would a schluter profile work here.

Additonal info,
the tile is a glass mosaic that is 5/16'' thick
I will be using 253 gold (white per manufacter's instructions) and 3/16'' X 5/32'' trowel

Thanks for your time

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Houston Remodeler
02-13-2013, 10:09 PM

If the area outside the texture is the same, and not painted with a gloss paint, then you can leave it all alone and tile over it. Since you are using a glass tile, you'd trowel the walls with thinset then flip the trowel over and smooth the thinset before setting the tiles. You'll wind up with a layer of thinset about the thickness of a credit card, maybe a little more, which can be painted to match the untiled wall, or can be caulked over then painted. OR mask off the un-tiled area and grout the exposed edge.

02-13-2013, 10:49 PM
Thanks for the quick reply,

I am worried the texture will make the tile wavy. Are you saying when I trowel the wall, that I am filling the voids in textures, and then smooth the ridges so they don't come through the mosaic and flatten the surface

Houston Remodeler
02-13-2013, 10:57 PM

If the overall surface isn't as flat as you'd like, that would need to be addressed if the texturing was there or not.

It may take a few tries to figure out how much thinset to apply to get a smooth even layer to hold the glass tiles without sagging. The 253 is a great non sagging mortar and is quite forgiving in that respect so you don't need a thick layer. I'd burn a layer of thinset into the existing grooves, then trowel over that as though the wall were flat, avoiding the same trowel direction as the exisiting (as not to catch the teeth of the trowel in them) then smooth the area before applying a sheet of tile.

Be sure to work in smaller areas as 253 can skin over faster than a novice can install tile. If you want, skin coat the area and let that cure before installing the rest of the job.

It will be handy to have an assistant with a bucket of clean water, a scrub brush, sponge and towel (to dry hands and tools) while working to keep everything clean and dry. Mask off the adjoining surfaces. And remember to leave a perimeter gap around the glass and any fixed surface such as the counter, cabs, window, casing.... This gap gets caulked closed and not grouted.

02-20-2013, 10:56 PM
Thanks for the pointers Paul, came out real nice, customer was happy.

I just started using the laticrete line of thinsets so this was a first using the 253 on a backsplash. I did have a little problem with the tiles wanting to sag and run "south" on me. Only real issue came from when I would move them back up to add spacers (cardboard shims) some thinset would come creeping out.

Didn't have the skinning problem, mixed the recommend amounts (well half) and had the 22 linear feet done in a couple hours.

All in all I will continue to knock down the ridges in the future, cut back on all the issues i have with thin set oozing through.