Quartzite Kitchen Backsplash - What thinset to use? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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12-03-2009, 05:26 PM
Hello all and thanks for welcoming me to your site! :tup2:

This weekend I will be installing about 20 sq ft of quartzite backsplash in my kitchen using Elon Tile 6" x 24" Bahama Beige Ledgestone Panel tile. I have attached an example of where it's been used.

1. After using the Search function, I still have questions regarding thinset choice. Since these panels are rather heavy, should I use a non-sag modified thinset? I have't had a chance to speak with my stone supplier yet (will be picking the stone up tomorrow) but I just wanted to make sure that they are selling me the right stuff.

I recently completed a ~120 sq ft granite tile project in my foyer and it turned out great! I used Hydroment Single-Flex (which I got from my stone store) under Ditra and am wondering if this will work with Quartzite as well? Hydroment also has a product called StoneWall High Performance & Non-Sag Mortar, but I'm not sure if that's suitable for this application...any other recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

My other question is, this backsplash will be going on top of an existing granite backsplash:

2. Should I leave a gap in between the granite and quartzite? If so, I'm assuming I can use silicone in between the two?

3. Last question: given that the quartzite is rather thick and consists of pieces of varying thickness, what do I do with my outlets and switches? Should I use longer screws, or should I somehow redo the electrical box altogether?

Thanks in advance for the help!

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Brian in San Diego
12-03-2009, 08:02 PM

Welcome to the JB Forums!

I would use a modified thinset. I am not familiar with the Hydroment line but they certainly have quality products. If you have some left over thinset and it conforms to ANSI A118.4 or A118.11 it should work. With the weight of that stone I'm not sure the best anti-sag would keep it put on a vertical surface. There may be one that will do it but I think setting it with a modified thinset and shimming it level would be the best way to install it.

I would use electrical box extenders for your outlet and light switch boxes. Here's a little YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90ic284yh8c) video on how to install them. You may have to look online to find a purchase place. I don't think you'll find that the big box stores carry them.

I think i would leave a small grout joint between the granite and the stone. I would grout it rather than silicone. I don't think I'd like the look of silicone at that point. I think grout would look better.


12-03-2009, 10:23 PM
To expand on Brian's suggestion where the tile meets the countertop.... I'd use a color matched caulking in that joint. It can be smoothed and cleaned up with water and will match the rest of your grout. Virtually all grout manufacturers have matching caulks to go with their grouts. The caulking will be much more elastic than grout, which will crack in time.

Also, take care to keep the tile as flat as possible. No, it's not fun with this type of stone, but it'll give it a much more professional look. You'll just have to use a little more thinset on the thinner ones and a bit less on the thicker ones. Doing this will also help keep your electrical cover plates as flat as possible.

Brian in San Diego
12-03-2009, 10:53 PM
Brad, unless I'm misunderstanding something these are 6" x 24" "panels" of stone not individual tiles. And if I further understand the questions the "panels" are going to sit on top of the granite backsplash. It's not a change in plane at that location so grout shouldn't crack there any more than it would on any vertical surface, right? Maybe caulk is the correct material but I think it'd look lousy at 4-6" above the counter. That's my opinion, I could be wrong.


12-04-2009, 08:34 PM
Thanks guys!

Brian, you are correct: these are panels of stone and they will sit on top of the existing granite backsplash.

I stopped by Lowes today and found some electrical box extenders, so thanks for the tip!

I will be starting the project tomorrow. Haven't decided yet what to use between the granite and stone though. Either way, how much of a gap should I leave between the two?