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Unread 08-22-2010, 02:10 PM   #3
CookieJ
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 5
What have I gotten myself into...?

Hello all,

I thought we were taking on an easy project but now I'm not so sure and I have concerns. I will try to make this as simple as possible!

23 square feet of kitchen backsplash installed over old painted wall, above brand new granite countertops. New cabinets and countertops were done professionally, but the Handy Hubby and I want to do the backsplash ourselves because it looks so easy when Jeff does it on Spice Up My Kitchen on HGTV.

We have 28 of the 12 x 12 mesh-backed sheets of tumbled travertine mosaic in various shades of ivory/gold. We bought extra because we're smart and want to have tiles on hand if we screw something up. Handy Hubby has purchased the extension rings for over the 6 electrical outlets to bring the receptacles/switches forward the 1/2" needed.

We purchased from HD the premixed SimpleSet ThinSet Mortar in White. This says it will handle STONE, marble, ceramic and porcelain tile. The only other option was the one that specified ceramic only. From reading this forum I'm thinking that this is probably mastic, but since this is a backsplash, should we be OK with using this? I honestly want something premixed for this project.

We had purchased premixed grout and after reading up on the stuff I took it back. I see bad reviews about pinholes, shrinkage, hard to work with, etc. We were hoping to avoid having to make sure we're at the right grout consistency, but I think we'll take our chances, and I'm off to buy a bag of sanded grout and a bucket.

We want our tiles enhanced. We like the look when it is wet. The person who sold us the tile (specialty tile store NOT Home Depot or Lowes) told us to match a grout color to the tile in its DRY state, then use an enhancing sealer AFTER grouting because it would enhance the grout as well and they should both end up the same color. What I'm reading on this forum says that isn't necessarily true. I'm reading now to use enhancing sealer BEFORE grouting, and match my grout color to the wet/enhanced tile, then use either the same sealer or penetrating sealer over finished product. Is this correct? Also, if I enhance/seal before grouting I CAN do this while it's up on the wall, correct? I don't have to lay these 28 sheets out on the deck and enhance/seal before we even start the project?

And, can I use the same enhancing sealer over the finished project or should I use a clear sealant? We purchased the Stone Specific Enhancing Stone Sealer in a quart spray bottle. I'm not wild about the glossy finish that enhancing sealers seem to leave, but I'll live with that to get the color.

So please tell me if I have this correct:

*Install extension rings on each electrical outlet to bring switches and receptacles forward to accomodate 1/2" thick travertine tiles.

*Rent tile saw for 1-2 days, depending on Handy Hubby's handiness with said saw. (Do I have to have a wet saw for travertine? Seen both on YouTube!)

*SimpleSet Thin Set Mortar using small V-notched trowel installing 12 x 12 mesh backed mosaics, cutting when needed. Do I need to back-butter tiles?

*After installing all tiles use Stone Specific Enhancing Stone Sealer on tiles per directions.

*24 hours after tiling mix sanded grout with distilled or filtered water to consistency of creamy peanut butter and grout. Clean up as much grout on tiles as possible with damp sponge, but not too much water or it could affect the grout color or strength.

*24 hours after grouting cover entire surface with another coat of Stone Specific Enhancing Stone Sealer. Or should I use clear penetrating sealer? Don't want to buy two products if I don't have to.

*Make Handy Hubby an economy sized Jack Daniels and Coke.

Sorry for the extended post, but I wanted to get it all out there. Thanks for any input!
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Last edited by CookieJ; 08-22-2010 at 02:29 PM.
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