Tumbled stone, porous grouting?? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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12-26-2016, 06:41 PM
Wife has finally picked and out some material for our kitchen backspash to which I see some problems I'd like some input on.

Material is a 3'' x 6'' tumbles stone, surface is porous and is something that will def need sealed as it is chalky. Want to do a simple running bond pattern.

First concern is grouting. Want a 1/16'' or a 1/8'' grout line. No I cant float grout over the tile as it is porous and I don't want to fill in the pores. So I guess I need to use a grout bag. So can I get one of these with a very fine tip that I can use to grout a fine line? I guess I'll be using a unsanded grout but am I over worrying grouting and with not filling in and pores.

Second, sealing!! I guess I need to seal as this stone is very powdery and looks like it would suck in any splashed grease and stain. Does a good coat of sealer prevent grease from staining and make the stone pretty wipeable?

Is this a ok material for in a kitchen or do I need a tile that is glazed? Thants for any info and help you guy can offer.

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12-26-2016, 07:15 PM
I would not use that on a kitchen backsplash.

No amount of sealing will help with the chalking, either.

Trying to use that small of a grout size on a tumbled stone will be a problem, too. Industry standards call for 3x the variation between the smallest and largest tile. Tumbled won't likely be all that straight or flat, and require a significant grout line.

Tool Guy - Kg
12-26-2016, 10:01 PM
Welcome to the forum, Dan. :wave:

What Jim said. Plus...
I'll tell you specific reasons why your plan is poor and needs tweaking.

The chalkiness is dust. It will go away if you clean the stone. Sealing isn't meant to bond loose, chalky dust to the stone. Sealing is a way of trying to clog some pores so that a potential stain has a chance of being wiped away before it becomes permanent.

You plan on being extremely careful to not fill in the large holes in the stone with grout. But do you think that buttery cookie dough flying from the mixing bowl...or bubbling spaghetti sauce that splatters against the backsplash is going to do you the service of missing those holes as carefully as you? Of course not. If you don't fill the holes, they will fill with grease and all sorts of organic matter that will turn nasty and be impossible to clean. The texture is too tough and too deep to just wipe clean. You'd need Q-tips, toothpicks and a week's vacation to clean the backsplash.

Tiles with holes are meant to be filled with grout. You only see them un-filled because the geniuses at the tile store set up tiny displays and some designer thinks it would be "cute" to leave them unfilled. Now, if you have the patience and skill to keep the grout from getting in the holes, and somehow keep them clean while you live your life...power to you!

Next, grout is close to creamy peanut butter in its consistency. It's hard enough attempting to squeeze it through a 1/4" tip of a grout bag. Unless you've got the strength of a gorilla in your hands, you'll never get grout to flow through a 1/16" tip. Well, I suppose if you massively diluted it you could get it to pass. But then, the grout would be so over-watered that it would shrink massively when it dried and would be really weak.

You don't *need* a glazed tile for a backsplash. But if you've got holes in the tile, you gotta fill them with grout before they get filled with grease.


12-26-2016, 11:28 PM
Totally agree with Bubba and Jim. You won't be able to keep the grout out of the holes. Go ahead and make a sample board and try to see what you're up against. You would probably have to mask off every piece with tape to keep the holes clear. And the tumbled marble needs to be grouted with sanded grout. I'd leave about 1/8 between the tiles and by the time the grout comes over the cushioned edge, the joints will be about 3/16 to 1/4 in most places.

Houston Remodeler
12-27-2016, 08:03 AM
Taping over every piece individually has been done before.

Leaving the holes un-grouted may come back to haunt you later when it comes to cleaning. Dust will eventually settle in those holes too.

Choose wisely grasshoppah

12-27-2016, 06:54 PM
Thanks for all the input guys. This info led be to that the Mrs back to Lowes to repack some diff tile. She picked out a nice polished granite, smaller rectangular, attached to mesh. So thing this is all good so I'm going to make out a material list and soon get to it. Was just going to buy a inexpensive tile saw and table but discovered friend has one he'll fix me up with. Tks again for your insight

Tool Guy - Kg
12-28-2016, 02:30 AM
Hi Dan. Some granites are extremely porous. Do you know the name of the granite or a link to the product?

Oh, and it seems like your auto spelling checker did a number on your last post...can you make corrections to your last post to make sure we're reading that properly?


Tool Guy - Kg
01-01-2017, 03:15 AM
Dan, you still there?