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Unread 04-21-2013, 02:59 PM   #1
Teri in KY
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Poorly installed 'honey onyx medley rectified'

So glad to find this site. Wish I had been able to find a store that sold and actually installed tile before I embarked on this project. I purchased something called, Honey Onyx Medley Rectified from a large tile chain store. I didn't realize this tile is very different to install than ceramic. I don't think my installer had much experience with onyx. Anyway, this tile comes in sheets and is not supposed to be grouted. It interlocks. Unforunately, mine did not go together very well. I have lots of gaps and seams. It's been suggested that I grout it to hide some of that. Finishing the caulking might help, too. Already realize you guys are smarter than the average bear, so thanks in advance for any suggestions or thoughts.

Photos are on my next post.
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Unread 04-21-2013, 03:33 PM   #2
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Teri,

Welcome to the forum.

Got pics? We like Pics. Some close up and some further away.

I did ONE non-grouted backsplash. Not a good idea.
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Unread 04-21-2013, 04:46 PM   #3
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I've used hex honey onxy in the past. Was grouted. Very brittle and soft stone...

Are you sure it's not to be grouted?


I also did one un grouted splash. Never again.
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Unread 04-21-2013, 06:52 PM   #4
Teri in KY
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Here's what I'm working with.
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Unread 04-21-2013, 07:42 PM   #5
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I think grouting it would help the looks. A matching unsanded grout. Who said it wasn't supposed to be grouted?
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Unread 04-21-2013, 07:51 PM   #6
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Teri I've worked with this a few times and it can be frustrating...Trying to
" fix" the sheets rarely works as very often the Onyx itself breaks badly. Our solution was to do as Davy suggested and carefully match an unsanded grout.
If I recall these sheets are VERY rigid (almost like an epoxy or poly type adhesive was used)and our biggest challenge was to get them flat.
It should look 100% better with grout.
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Unread 04-21-2013, 08:11 PM   #7
Teri in KY
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Thanks, guys, for the help. After much reading on this site I'm under the impression that I should seal the tile before grouting it. Since it's a medley of colors, I'm guessing that ivory grout would work as well as any. That's the color the store sold me.

Why do I think it's groutless? That's the way they did the example in the store. However, they did sell me grout to fill the cracks and holes. Seems to be some confusion on grouting all of it or just in spots. The man that laid it said I should grout all or none of it. Then he discouraged me from grouting it at all. He told me to caulk the whole thing if I did anything to it.
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Unread 04-22-2013, 05:51 AM   #8
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Yes, grout the whole thing except the joint at the countertop, caulk it. Sealing first is fine.
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Unread 04-22-2013, 10:53 AM   #9
Teri in KY
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Thanks so much for the advice. I'm feeling a little better about proceeding now. I'll grout it. Do you think I'm capable of sealing it first myself or should I get a tile guy to do that? I'm definitely getting a professional to grout it for me.
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Unread 04-22-2013, 12:02 PM   #10
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If you are going to have a pro grout it i would leave the choice of pre- grout sealing up to them. I don't believe it totally necessary on this job but it can't hurt.
I second the idea of grouting everything except where the counter meets the splash... Caulking goes there. We usually caulk any place where we meet wood or change planes... Like inside corners where walls come together ect.
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Unread 04-22-2013, 12:18 PM   #11
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Not pre sealing will have the grout give the tiles a much more uniform color. Some folks like this. Some folks don't

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Unread 04-22-2013, 12:42 PM   #12
Teri in KY
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Hmmmmm. Preseal it first or not? Guess I can do some samples. Not going to rush to finish this. Want it to come out looking the best it can.

Oh, just talked to the saleman from the store. He sold me some unsanded ivory grout. I read the directions and it says to mix it with Flexible Grout Admixture. He says to just use water instead, since I am grouting onyx. It's a Superior brand product. Also have their sealer called Premium Gold Marble and Onxy Sealer. Guessing this is a good choice.

Thanks again, everyone for your suggestions.
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Unread 04-22-2013, 06:15 PM   #13
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Teri,

Some really nice guy wrote a Grouting Tutorial you may find helpful.
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Unread 04-22-2013, 06:58 PM   #14
Teri in KY
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Hey, Paul, I read through that nice guy's tutorial. He writes a good article. Thanks. So....the salesman is wrong to mix the grout with water instead of Admixture and I shouldn't use my sink to rinse. Got it.
That's why I'm on this forum. Because leaving it up to the guy showing up at the door isn't always the best idea.
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Unread 04-22-2013, 07:44 PM   #15
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Teri, you can use the grout you have with water. Keep in mind you are using an unmodified grout. If you look on the bag you should see something about it meeting ANSI A118.6. By either using the additive or buying a bag of modified grout, meeting ANSI A118.7 you will gain "...improved characteristics, such as increased color stability, stain resistance, bond strengths, flexural strengths..." . quoted from the ANSI book for 2009, pg 110. From my observations, the unmodified grouts seem to shrink more than the modified grouts. No science for this, just my observations of looking at failed jobs using this unmodified grout and water mixture.

If this is the tile shop that I'm thinking it is, you will be money ahead by returning it and going to one of the local box stores and buying a box of the modified unsanded grouts that they sell. In the Lexington area, those grouts are $15 or less. Call your tile shop and get a price from them on the admixture. Their vendor is the only company that I am aware of that still sells an unmodified grout.

If you are in the Lexington area feel free to contact me if there is any thing I can do to help you.
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