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Unread 09-28-2022, 08:52 AM   #1
jenbury
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Ultra THIN tile

Hi everyone! This is my first post in this forum, have a tile question. I'm a pretty seasoned tile setter. I have a mosaic tile that is made of shells and only about 3/32 of an inch thick. It is being applied to a kitchen backsplash which is currently painted white matte over a very light skip trowel finish. I'm worried about the adhesive oozing out into the grout cracks. I investigated Custom's products that is grout and adhesive in one so that is an option but there are enough comments about its longevity to make me question it. Secondly I have an 1/8 Schluter identified but I'm wondering if the step up where the Schluter sits underneath the tile edge will be too much with this tile specimen. Any advice or tips would be wonderful! Attached is a photo. Thx! Jen
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Unread 09-28-2022, 09:02 AM   #2
jenbury
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Can't post a link but it is made by art3d mother of pearl 0.6 * 1.2 and has 107 reviews on Wayfair with a 4.7 rating! I'll try to contact the manufacturer as well but professional experience preferred!
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Unread 09-28-2022, 09:51 AM   #3
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Welcome, Jen.

Make another post and then you'll be able to post a link to your product.

Backsplashes are among the most forgiving ceramic tile projects. Using one of the thinset mortar-as-grout products might be a very good option for your tiles. Getting that substrate as smooth as possible will also help.

If you want to set and then grout, I'd recommend you notch your mortar onto the wall and then flatten out the ridges with the flat side of your trowel before setting the tiles to minimize the squeeze-out into the grout joints.

I also think one of the newer single-component grouts might be the better choice for your application. Putting a cementitious grout in joints that shallow might not work very well.
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Originally Posted by Jen
...I have an 1/8 Schluter identified...
A Schluter what? You're talking perhaps about their edge profiles? If so, I can see those being a bit difficult with a tile as thin as you have, primarily for the tiles that are not adjacent to the profile requiring more mortar under them. I've never tried what you are looking at (if I'm correct about the profile), so maybe we'll get someone on here who has actually tried that.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-28-2022, 05:40 PM   #4
jadnashua
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On a wall, when setting a profile, put the profile against the wall, then spread the thinset over it. With those small tile, use something like a grout float to push them down so they're even with the profile. I think an adhesive as grout would likely be the easier thing.
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Unread 09-28-2022, 10:11 PM   #5
Snets
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenbury
Secondly I have an 1/8 Schluter identified but I'm wondering if the step up where the Schluter sits underneath the tile edge will be too much with this tile specimen.
The aluminum Schluter profile legs that sit under the tile are 1 mm thick. I have never had an issue setting them flat on a wall with no thin-set mortar behind them, then filling the quadrilateral holes with mortar and setting tiles on top. Saves some buildup for sure.

Photo is an example, spread thin-set mortar with a margin trowel to fill the holes level, then apply the mortar with the appropriate notched trowel over it. Hope that makes sense.

Basically, the tile holds the profile to the wall and the profile is attached to the tile as opposed to the profile being independently attached to the wall (although I think it still is, without any mortar underneath it and only mortar in the holes)
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Unread 09-29-2022, 10:13 AM   #6
Dan Marvin
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You'll want to use a white thinset with that mosaic and be sure to flatten the trowel ridges. You can feather the thinset up to the foot on the profile to minimize the thickness difference over several inches to make it less obvious.
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Unread 09-30-2022, 09:04 PM   #7
jenbury
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Thanks everyone for the comments!

I also talked with Custom Building Products about a couple of options. They don't recommend the 2 in 1 mortar/grout for this project because off squeeze out (thanks to this thread I now know the term) and getting the product off when installing. They recommend pure white mortar, get the tiles pretty dry after cutting, and use a wet sponge to get out excess mortar at the time of install. White mortar, white grout. Ok, so that solves #1.

#2. Yes, I meant the Schluter edge profile. So I'll feather, and I like the idea of gluing the Schluter all in place the day before I told so I don't have to worry about getting it to sit flush, that is sometimes a nightmare and with this thin of a tile not something I want to mess with when installing. So I'll frame out my window with the Schluter prior to the tile install, use a super aggressive adhesive to stick it to the wall where it does not create any additional thickness, and feather in my tile a few inches out.

So number one and number two are covered. Can you explain a little more about "notching the mortar into the wall" and "flattening the ridges" after troweling? What would be the point of using a V notch trowel if you then flatten the points? Also am I okay to go direct to a non-semi-gloss paint over drywall?

I've actually done 10 backsplashes before. And many other floors and walls. But never one that was a shell and so thin. So just want to have all my ducks in a row before I create a nightmare for myself. Appreciate the comments!
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Unread 10-01-2022, 01:16 AM   #8
jadnashua
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If you glue the profile to the wall, you do not want glue in the open areas as that could become a bond breaker for the thinset that holds the tile in place...you can use some tape to hold it in place and as you spread the thinset and set some tile, it will hold it, and remove the tape when you get to that area with setting the tile.

The notches are what gauge the amount of thinset on the surface. If you choose something like a slant-notched trowel, the thinset towers fall over on themselves, making the surface nearly flat. If you don't get the regular notches all squished into a flat plane, on some tile that may be slightly translucent, you can see the notches. Plus, you really want to get good coverage, and however you do it, that ends up with all of the notches flattened.
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