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-   -   Backsplash between cabinet, wall edge and bar... advice/preferences please? (https://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=130902)

wraiththe 04-22-2021 12:20 PM

Backsplash between cabinet, wall edge and bar... advice/preferences please?
9 Attachment(s)
Hi All, long time no see. I have probably forgotten more about tile than many know... it has been so long.

I am finally putting in a backsplash in the kitchen. The Gap between the cabinets and the bar seems like it could be done a better way.

Would any of you have other suggestions???

I have a picture of the area and 8 photoshop alternatives... #1-#8. Please look and let me know what you think. (The tile is all purchased, along with some black schluter edging to use at tile edges.

I doubt the tile will go ALL the way up to the cabinets... there will be a small gap. (same under the bar.)

Can I grout or silicone between the tile and the bar? (I do not want a big quarter round there.)

Next up:
I need to cut and shape the edging,
do a little mudding where I had to alter some switch boxes.
Then paint it once or twice with "Primer T" so it will stick to the joint compound and gypsum board...

Using Mosaic Tile + Glass mortar (polymer Enriched Thin-set mortar) and the recommended notched trowels.

I also have impregnating sealer so the grout will not set in the face of the stone/slate tiles. I may go back for grout release.

Should I seal the tile before I put it up, or after/before the grout?

Sorry this is so long... I have a few more questions and will keep it to this thread as the Mgt prefers project advice stays in 1 thread.

ss3964spd 04-22-2021 01:11 PM

My vote would be the 2nd pic or the last, Kevin, but Mrs. Kevin's vote would overrule anyone elses. ;)

wraiththe 04-24-2021 05:18 PM

4 Attachment(s)
I was asked to make more but zoomed out... so here.

Attachment 219763
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1) Also, OCD is kicking in, now I am concerned about symmetry.
The distance from the stove to the outlets is uneven. The one on the left is closer than the one on the right (15"/16") and the left is almost a whole tile higher. off the counter. I think I should do what it takes to make them even.

Attachment 219766

More visible here:

Attachment 219765

2) I planned to not tile behind the microwave... or below the counter... but many people do apparently. I hope this is not wrong?

ss3964spd 04-25-2021 07:56 AM

The outlet's left and right difference isn't bugging me - from here anyway, but the vertical difference is. Drives me nuts that builders do that kind of thing in a high visibility area. I'd also have to fix it, because OCD. And if you're going to open the wall to fix those an opportunity will present itself to install under cabinet lights if you don't already have them.

Don't tile behind the MW. Tile below the counter behind the range only far enough to ensure the you can't see any bare wall after the range is slid back into place.

wraiththe 04-25-2021 02:13 PM

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ahhhh... Finally an electrician to wire a new switch to pendant lights. Also put in 4th switch to a box on top of cabinets, with low voltage from there back to the underside of cabinet and also along pendant supply and past and down to underside of cabinets by stove.

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wraiththe 04-27-2021 05:23 PM

Double sided tape for test fits and cuts?
Someone mentioned using double sided tape to temporarily fit the pencil tile and make the necessary cuts, then pull it down and use thin-set to put them up.

Has anyone done this, and what kind of tape would hold up the tile, but come off the wall easy enough?

I searched the forums and found nothing on this.

ss3964spd 04-28-2021 07:51 AM

Not sure I understand the need for that with the pencil's, Kevin, but I wouldn't want a super strong dbl sided tape for fear of damaging the paint on the wall.

wraiththe 04-30-2021 01:51 AM

Do I really need a mesh for joint compound in this case
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Getting ready to prep the walls
1) have the 20 minute powder joint compound to smooth out the walls
2) Primer T when dry (twice) and start with thinset and tile.

Question: Based on the pictures and because I am putting tile over it, do you think I really need to use mesh for the compound?

(I really do not want to add a hump, the wall is pretty straight as is.)
Attachment 219847

Attachment 219848

Also, I have one spot where part of the paper peeled off (not all of it...) should I really bother sealing it before adding the compound?

The plan was to use a wide blade and just get it close... then maybe add a little extra thinset if needed to keep it smooth.... Maybe this is completely wrong?


ss3964spd 04-30-2021 06:34 AM

While my gut says those areas are unlikely to crack, or cause a crack in the tile, since they are not seams my OCD says why risk it. You need only enough compound to embed the mesh tape, not necessary to cover it to the extent that you can no longer see the weave.

I wouldn't sweat that paper-less piece at all.

wraiththe 05-02-2021 06:50 PM

Choices on layout final three??? Mockups included
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Three sets of options.... I am looking for advice on the layout... for the ends at the counter ends.

stop at vertical edge of cabinet:
Attachment 219880

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Stop at Horizontal edge of cabinet, continue to end of wall or counter
Attachment 219883

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Varient to walls edge instead of countertop... not preferred
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Three or so rows above cabinet line. Looks purposeful?

Attachment 219887

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Technically, I could also go to the bottom of the countertop or stop at the end of the counter top. too.

I plan on going past the counter about 3 inches so the wall does not show behind the fridge when on the sofa. I hope that is not ok and not a bad practice.

BIGPHIL 05-02-2021 09:25 PM

I prefer the second layout. I also like it where the backslash stops at the counter and doesn't continue all the out to the left wall.

wraiththe 05-06-2021 01:11 AM

Moving along- finally. 1 question at end.
1 Attachment(s)
Finally, after over a year... started putting tile up.
Setbacks. (other than overslept)

Thinset (Glass and mosaic mortar) was expired by over a year. (They sold me old thinset. (over two years old) Had to go find more.

A few broken tiles. Some of the slate is shaling, but at least Gorilla glue seems to work really well on this... I put a clamp on it and let it set over night before tiling.

So I am finding that (for me) it is really hard to hold up the mats of tile and move down the wall so I can pre cut areas for the outlets... or even the other end of the wall. Working by myself. The wide blue tape just wont do it. Even when I nailed some up... not quite the same.

So... I will have to make cuts on the fly... with added time for drying, this really cuts into the thinset working time. Glass dries quick, but not the slate. Small batches of thinset.

The other thing I find difficult is that I have to scrape the thinset out from between the tiles where I stopped... tomorrow I will have to fake it with out the trowel or back butter some of the tiles...

Enough whining... Hopefully I will get the rest up tomorrow.

OH Also, Been very lucky... I may just get away with out ripping many tiles. Crossing my fingers.

Attachment 219948

We are supposed to post updates on the projects right?

I just read on the back of the tile box, that you are suppose to put the thinset on with a 3/16" x 5/32" x 3/16" trowel, then smooth it out with the flat edge...

Ooops. I did not flaten it. Well... the glass is painted on the back, so I hope it does not matter?

ss3964spd 05-06-2021 06:27 AM

We love updates with photos, Kevin, don't be shy about keeping us abreast of your progress.

Yup, smoothing out the mortar is a requirement when using transparent/semi-transparent glass so one does not see the trowel marks through the glass if the tile doesn't fully flatten the mortar. Not a real issue for painted glass.

wraiththe 05-08-2021 09:22 AM

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It is going very slow and I am wasting a lot of thinset because I cannot do this very fast.
I have learned that the grout lines are not going to be perfect and that is part of the beauty of it (I hope.) Working with this tile is difficult as I like precision cutting, especially where my edging is going to be, but because the grout lines are not perfect, I am hoping I can manipulate the tile to the edging side and the other side will be OK as long as the variance is small.

(even if you to the tile 100% consistent, the vertical grout lines vary.)

Working over the counter and under the cabinets have given these atrophied deltoids a serious strain and workout also!

Attachment 219988

To speed things up I have a much more uncluttered area and can lay out the tile on the counter above (and out of the way) I have sliced the tile horizontally where the outlets will be out of the mats (three tiles high) so I can place the lower mats and only worry about cutting the outlets out... and drying with a towel and hair dryer to get it in faster...

ss3964spd 05-08-2021 11:54 AM

I don't suppose there's any real rush, right Kevin? I mean, it's been over a year, why try to save time now? :D

Looking good though...

wraiththe 05-08-2021 07:39 PM

Liars liars liars
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Because we have not had a stove since monday....

One thing...

Even Schluter tech support told me I could use a 3/16 x 5/32 x 3/16 V notch trowel to put enough thinset down to place Shluter Edging...

JOLLY-AC 2,5mm A80MGS and my backsplash tile.

Attachment 220000

BS! My gut was telling me no way. NO WAY!

The tiles were rocking and would not really seat well.

So I back buttered the edge about 2 1/2" in from the edge before placing the tile and that seemed to work well. Fun cleaning the grout lines tonight.

Hope this is acceptable. It seems to have worked.

(Also wondering why the tile gave 3 dimensions for V-notched trowels?)

wraiththe 05-09-2021 12:20 AM

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wraiththe 05-09-2021 09:25 AM

Help, thinset haze on stone and graphite
Need advice and tips on a problem.
My tile is finally up, but I have a haze from the thin-set. Have been using a sponge with a scruby side, but the haze is visible when dry... It has been over 12 hours and will be over 24 when I get back home.

I have noticed that after I use the sponge, no matter how often I clean it, the haze is still there, however, I can drag my finger through it and the powder is on my finger.

Tried a dry cotton cloth. The tile is still wet, I have to leave and cannot get a picture of it.

There are some crevices that I may need to use a knife... to scratch out. Hoping a stiff brush will do the job.

I have only done ceramic... and am concerned because of the way stone takes on water.

Going to use enhanced sealer before grouting. Was not expecting this to be a problem with setting the tiles, but it is.

Is there any product I can use that will facilitate getting rid of the haze?

Yes, I will be googling it and reading too... tonight when I get home.

Not afraid to put some elbow grease into it... just hoping it will come clean!

Tool Guy - Kg 05-09-2021 10:56 PM

I see the sponge in a previous picture with a white, scrubbie side. That white scrubbie side doesn’t work well for me. The yellow side of the grout sponge is infinitely more absorptive and will clean the tile much more than the white side. You could also use a damp microfiber towel to clean mortar from the tile before it hardens. And if you’ve got mortar in the crevices of some tiles, you need to clean it before it hardens or it’s going to become a far harder job the next day.


wraiththe 05-10-2021 01:29 AM

Oh the thinset is hard and I have not been able to get all of it off the sides and face.. I may have to establish a grid and do it section by section. It is very tedious.

I have been using one of those cheap snap blade utility knives (smaller size) It is an agonizingly slow process and a bit of a strain in some areas.

Haze. I had started sponging off the tiles after they set a little bit in the edging areas. However the haze kept coming back. Invisible when wet, but then obvious when dry. After pulling my finger over the tile and seeing the grit come off, I grabbed a clean white soft cloth and that seems to have removed most of the haze. The majority of it may have been just from the sponge? I kept cleaning it, but that must only go so far.

Due to the difficulty and the amount of extra thin set in some areas, I had quite a bit of thinset on the face of the tiles. Now I really wished i had sealed them before tiling.

Perhaps the next time I may use the double sided wall tile adhesion tape... mats.... what ever, and no edging.

It is hard to believe they never fail and send tile to the countertop...

I am guessing the edging would be near impossible to use with this product.

wraiththe 05-10-2021 11:28 AM

Uneven tile makes me nervous for grouting. Tips?
1 Attachment(s)
Here is an image of my tile before grouting. It still needs some cleaning.

Attachment 220040

My two biggest concerns....

1) Whether to use 511 impregnator sealer, or 511 seal and enhance.
I plan to seal before grouting so the grout releases easier. Hopefully I
can do this with out getting it on the edges... so the grout will stick
the way it is supposed to. Having second thoughts.

2) Grouting: The tiles are all of varied thickness... even some of the tiles
themselves. I am concerned the grout lines may look bad. Guessing
they should fall back to the level of the lowest tile? In other words... if
one tile sticks further out like a shelf, I should try to keep the grout like
to the same depth on both sides... so the outermost edge is clean stone
and not grout.

Maybe I am thrown spaghetti on the wall here. I am alone on this.
Thinking #2 is good to try to get the grout lines flat and parallel to the wall
and not angled. (What I said in #2.)

ss3964spd 05-12-2021 06:34 AM

You might want to experiment with both sealers on some left over tile so you can get an idea how they will look. The regular 511 might still enhance the stone a bit. but yeah, use one of them before you grout.

Anytime you grout tiles that protrude farther from the wall than others you'll be challenged with the grout lines. Those small pieces makes grouting that much more difficult. I'd suggest mixing very small batches and working very small area, starting with an inconspicuous area. You might be able to use a large sponge for the initial clean up but I'm pretty sure you'll have to resort to a much smaller one so you can detail the grout lines.

It'll take a while.

wraiththe 05-16-2021 10:06 PM

For getting the right color grout, I was given

Mapei Ultracolor Plus FA
A rapid setting all in one grout replacement ....

I am slightly concerned about getting ALL the grout off the face of the tiles on time because the tiles are uneven and stone with crevices... and because this is quick set.

I have sealed the face twice with 511 enhance and seal.

If I stop grouting and wet the face, will that extend the time I have to get the face clean? or is it pretty much a given set time.

wraiththe 05-17-2021 09:20 AM

Backing showing through glass tile
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Finally grouted my project. I am pretty sure the backing Fishnet) is causing this white bubbly effect through the glass tiles. I have two more walls to go and the tile is up. The only remedy I think is to go in with a tool and scrape them all back!

Any ideas or comments?

Attachment 220137

jadnashua 05-17-2021 12:28 PM

Take a careful look at the ungrouted walls and check to see how much thinset is in the spaces between the tile.

wraiththe 05-19-2021 01:58 PM

follow up
6 Attachment(s)
Yeah, part is my fault for pushing the tile in too much, but really I just did it with the float. Then a two by four with a rubber mallot... tapping on it.

No one will probably see this, but I could use some advice. There are a few hundred tiles to fix... not all of them... but it has taken me several years and a few thousand dollars to get here... why give in now. I plan on fixing the tiles I have not grouted yet.

I have only grouted one wall. the grout came out great... except for some
of the tile:

Attachment 220170 Attachment 220171

Here is a close up of some unused tile to show the glue on the sides:

Attachment 220172

Tools, some I have modified to have a bur at the end to catch the back edge, but really the trick is pushing back the glue (It is sticky like thick snot:)

Attachment 220173

I am practicing on the tile behind the stove, but am not doing so great and it takes a long time. Indeed the grout saw is helping speed it up, but really it is the glue and cutting behind the tile does not help.
I have marked the saw so I do not go too far behind the tile.... Very tedious.
So far.... still not that great.

Attachment 220175

From a distance the tile looks good, except for the squiggles.
I am not as happy with it as I thought I would be, but some lighting and appliances.... it should be really nice.
The outlet covers and switches were very very cheap. I want satin black, but who knew it would be so much more expensive (Lutron) Perhaps a different type would be better??? Or print vinyl and skin my own covers.

Attachment 220174

Also tried a mini engraver on unused tile... very vary bad idea.
Just bought the grout saw, a hook like blad, and some picking tools.

It is important to be gentle esp around the stone.

There is NOTHING I can find on the net about this... I have been searching a lot. Any advice would be appreciated... well... good advice.

wraiththe 05-19-2021 11:57 PM

Better picture of glue on sided of tile
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The right edge of the tile looks rippled, that is glue from the mesh netting that was on the back of the tile. It does NOT want to come off. :blah:

wraiththe 05-23-2021 02:07 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Here is a small section of the second wall...
Using a oscillating multitool, I tried to get rid of the glue on the installed tiles

... the results were less than optimal.
But I think maybe better than the other tile?
Attachment 220238

Furthermore: After sealing the stones twice, I expected more of the grout to release.
I hope that now the grout is hardened I can scrub the tiles a little harder to get some of the grout off the faces in the tricky spots.

I tried my best wiping and wiping and wiping and wiping during grouting... but nothing I did during grouting would remove the grout completely... not even a toothbrush or stiff brush with non acid cleaner.

One more wall to go, most used so I would like it to be better. I have used x-acto knives and x-acto push blades... snap blades, grout cutters and the oscillating multitool (very carefully)

I am my own worst enemy and biggest critic

I miss when we used to get much more responses and advice from this forum. Not much help at all. Am I that boring, clueless, what?
Is there a better place to go for help... or do I need to hope on a paid site or something?

ss3964spd 05-24-2021 10:21 AM


Sorry your back splash job has been such a challenge. As you have found, while a lot of tile - mosaics included, look great in manufacturers promotional photos they are quite difficult to install. Yours, with its mix of smooth stone, rough stone, and glass, many of varying heights, all held together with mesh and glue appears to be especially difficult.

We do try to respond to everyone's posts as timely as possible. Remember, though, that no one here is an employee; we all freely volunteer our time, experience, and knowledge as often as we can but we do have other things tugging at us.

wraiththe 06-07-2021 10:05 AM

Seal Grout or caulk first???
Would like to know if it is better to seal the grout first, then caulk the intersecting surfaces first?

Also wondering if it would be better to just use 511 impregnating sealer, Enhancer, or a specific grout sealer? It is stone and glass tile...

cx 06-07-2021 10:39 AM


Originally Posted by Kevin
Is there a better place to go for help...

If you find one, do let us know. Feel free to post it here. :)


Originally Posted by Kevin
Would like to know if it is better to seal the grout first, then caulk the intersecting surfaces first?

I'd like to know how you'd do both things first, Kevin.

First things we'd need to know is what your expectations might be for sealing the grout and very specifically what grout you intend to use.

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