Crooked Backsplash [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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Gil Smith
05-30-2002, 10:50 AM
I'm b-a-a-c-k! :D

In the midst of tiling my floors, and dutifully doing some standing around, I can't help but think ahead to my upcoming tile countertop projects. I see a potential problem with the kitchen counter and I haven't found anything on the subject, but please direct me there if it's been discussed before.

The problem I see is with a 10-foot section of countertop that has a sink somewhere near the middle and a 42" wide window over the sink. The wall behind the counter bows away so that there's about a 3/8" gap near the middle tapering to near zero at each end. There are overhead cabinets covering about 3 feet on each end, and I planned to tile all the way to the underside, so the gap's no problem there. That leaves me with about 4 feet of gap behind the sink and under the window.

I've seen this condition with formica backsplashes and it's usually taken care of with lots of caulk, but how do you handle it with tile? Would I be better of to forgo the tile coutertop, and instead use solid surface and try to hide the bow in the wall? My wife has her mind set on 4" or 6" tiles...... :confused:

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John Bridge
05-30-2002, 03:32 PM
Welcome back, Gil. Don't let us go off the deep end again, will ya? :D

What you have is common in production housing. I don't mean that disparigingly. I live in the most meager of production houses.

It's really not that much of a problem as long as the bend is long and gentle. It's when there are humps and radical changes in direction that we tear out hair out.

With either a solid surface or a tile top you can cut the pieces into the bend, so to speak. With tile you'll almost always have cuts at the back; and of course with solid surfaces, the material can be "coped" into the bend.

The gentle bend in the back splash is usally not noticeable, as very few people have the ability to get their eyeball right against the wall in order to site in on the splash.

That is, unless the siting in person is "wall" eyed. ;)

05-30-2002, 04:45 PM
The only people who will notice will be your in-laws

05-30-2002, 08:09 PM
Something sure smells fishy around here.:D

Bud Cline
05-30-2002, 09:02 PM
Yeh and that could be a "crappie" deal!

[Edited by Bud Cline on 05-30-2002 at 11:10 PM]

John Bridge
05-31-2002, 06:20 AM
I just want you all to note that Bud often gets on me for my dumb humor. :)

Bud Cline
05-31-2002, 06:41 AM

That's what we both need, self discipline.

...and a life!

Cami A
05-31-2002, 07:19 AM
These fish puns are gilling me.....

Gil Smith
05-31-2002, 09:34 AM
John, I've seen you recommend 1/4" backer board over a painted wall (which is what I have btw, also textured) for installing backsplash tiles. Why couldn't I use backer board in the middle of the backsplash where the gap is widest, in the middle over the sink/under the window, and feather out with (thinset?) to get the wall straight(er)? The "feathering out" would occur under the overhead cabinets. Bad idea??

How do you cover/trim the exposed top edge when you install a tile backsplash over backer board?

I know you guys wouldn't spend the time to do this if you didn't have to, but my time is very cheap. :)

Sonnie Layne
05-31-2002, 12:41 PM
Drum roll, please. :)

Sonnie Layne
05-31-2002, 12:47 PM

I'd think you could probably get away with that on a backsplash. Question, tho'... is the wall bowed as well at the window sill?

There are trim pieces you may be able to use. I mill a lot of wooden trim for splashes. Like at the ends and the top, between the window and wall cabinets, for instance. Usually can match the existing cabinets that way.

John Bridge
05-31-2002, 03:44 PM

You might be able to do a better job with patching plaster. You could start building it out and when you near the surface you want, rake it off with a long straightedge (board). I wouldn't try it with the thin set. Too hard to work with.

Rob Z
05-31-2002, 07:08 PM

Cami A
05-31-2002, 08:53 PM
Couldn't pass it up- how often can you make a terrible fish pun that plays off the poster's name? Once in a lifetime opportuna-ty...:D

(Sorry, Gil! ;) )

Rob Z
05-31-2002, 09:01 PM

05-31-2002, 09:03 PM
Maybe she got hit by one of those Red Wing pucks. :D

Gil Smith
05-31-2002, 09:09 PM
That's a good question, Sonnie. The window sill is just about 7 inches above the countertop and there's an overhead cabinet about 6 inches away from the window edge on each side. The framing under the window is a 2x6 and it looks straight to me but I haven't thought to check it. The wall is plumb measuring up from the countertop on both sides of the window, however. I would estimate that the window sits in the approximate middle of the bow in the wall. The gap behind the countertop is fairly even under the window, and then tapers down to zero near each end of the countertop. So I believe the section of wall containing the window is straight or nearly so, and the curvature which creates the gap occurs on either side of this area.

Coincidentially, I was at Woodcraft Supply yesterday and one of the guys there mentioned using wood trim on a backsplash. I've never seen it done but it sounds interesting. Got any pictures?

I'm going to take some more measurements before I decide how to proceed with this. Frankly, in the end it'll probably depend on how ambitious I feel at the time. Leaving it as is may sound better then. I've got all I can handle right now with the floor tile. I'll contemplate the countertops again while doing some standing around (I'm very good at that). :D

Cami A
05-31-2002, 09:22 PM
Ok, I promise to a-bait all these puns... :rolleyes:

The idea of wood trims is interesting, and I would like to see a pic, too.

Bud Cline
06-01-2002, 05:49 AM
You don't see John participating in this name you suppose he's kinda shellfish? The ole crab!


John Bridge
06-01-2002, 07:36 AM
I just want to point out that Bud has repeatedly cited me for making inane remarks on this board. ;)

Rob Z
06-01-2002, 08:01 AM
As the moderator of this board, I must warn you all to stop making the horrendous puns. Consider this your ofishial notice.

Sonnie Layne
06-01-2002, 09:57 AM
Tried to edit that, but it wouldn't let me log back in...

geez, now I gotta wait 60 seconds to repost...
I'll go have some breakfast.

Got around it by closing the browser window and coming in the back door.

Anyway, the client moved her stuff back in the kitchen before I could get back to take photos, so some of the trim is not showing up well. If you look hard enough, maybe. You'll see I think around the window and maybe at the end of the splash, and the nosing. All done in maple to match existing stuff. I think there's captions on each pic.

[Edited by Sonnie Layne on 06-01-2002 at 12:04 PM]

Bud Cline
06-02-2002, 09:11 AM
Oh that's right...this is/was/is a "real thread".

Sorry 'bout that!!!

Carry on Sonnie you're doing a whale of a job.

Rob Z
06-02-2002, 10:58 AM
OK, I mean it! Stop this boysterous behavior. If Cami posts one more eelicit comment, I'll krill this thread.

Bud Cline
06-02-2002, 11:19 AM
Gettin' a little Roughy there aren't ya Rob?

Cami A
06-02-2002, 11:32 AM
All this carping because one thread has lost it's porpoise...:D

Rob Z
06-02-2002, 11:40 AM

Bud Cline
06-02-2002, 02:43 PM
"LMAO"????? What kinda stinking fish is that Rob?

Cami A
06-02-2002, 03:17 PM
Rob just codn't think of any more...

Bud Cline
06-02-2002, 03:23 PM
So is that to say this thread is Floundering?

(did someone use that one already?)

Cami A
06-02-2002, 03:39 PM
You could say it's gone to shell....

Bud Cline
06-02-2002, 03:55 PM
I thought I Smelt something burning!

Cami, have you noticed the Grouper here is dwindling?

Cami A
06-02-2002, 04:02 PM
It haddock come to an end sometime...

Bud Cline
06-02-2002, 04:32 PM
Holy Mackerel!!!

Do you suppose we'll have to Seal this up and Scampi outa here?

Cami A
06-02-2002, 04:36 PM
Yep...We've reached critical bass.

06-02-2002, 04:40 PM
You are all invited to the Mud box, you don't have to listen to that shrimp Rob. :D

Bud Cline
06-02-2002, 04:52 PM
You've probably noticed by now that when he gets on his Mussel we just throw a Tarpon him and continue.

Cami A
06-02-2002, 05:22 PM
Hey, now...I thought Rob was King of the Sea on this board...

But enough of this fish shtick...

Rob Z
06-02-2002, 05:45 PM
I'm drowning in waves of this abyss-mal humor. It's a beach trying to keep up with you punsters, but I am dune the best that I can. Hopefully, the tides will change and wash all of your over to Flatfloor's board. He's really the crabby one around here.

Bud Cline
06-02-2002, 08:36 PM
So where's Bridge in all this? Is he a part of this Grouper what? Sounds as if Rob is trying to Drum us out of here.

Shall we Scampi over to flatfloors place and Perch there for a while?

06-02-2002, 08:52 PM
Enuff with the fish jokes already!

Ok, alright, may a few more fish jokes won't hurt!

What's the difference between a fish and a piano ?
You can't tuna fish !
Why are sardines the stupidest fish in the sea ?
Because they climb into tins, close the lid and leave the key outside !
What do you call a dangerous fish who drinks too much ?
A beer-a-cuda !
Who has eight guns and terrorises the ocean ?
Billy the Squid !
Where do you find a down-and-out octopus ?
On squid row !
What do you get if you cross an abbot with a trout ?
Monkfish !
What kind of fish will help you hear better ?
A herring aid !

Bud Cline
06-02-2002, 09:02 PM
What one amorous octopus sings to another octopus?
"I want to hold your hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand".

OK, that's all for this Largemouth, I'm outta here, and that's my Sole promise.

06-02-2002, 09:07 PM
I would hate to see a large mouth get a lock jaw!