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Unread 01-02-2013, 03:43 PM   #1
ss3964spd
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Tile back splash layout in new kitchen remodel

Hi all, been quite some time since I've been here seeking advise, though I do drop in frequently to browse.

I'm in the final throws of a complete kitchen remodel and am finally able to start contemplating the back splash layout. I've already selected the material - natural stone mostly, and the design; 3X6's at the counter running the length of each wall, 3/4" pencil atop the 3X6, 4X4's diagonally set above the pencil, with a roughly 2 foot square insert consisting of mixed 2X2's (on a mat) for behind the cooktop/under the hood boardered by the 3/4" pencil. Will I ordered a couple of extra sheets of the 2X2's so I could pluck some of the copper covered squares off for use in the field of diagonal 4X4's.

As shown in the attached picture I have the vent hood/cook top wall, one inside corner, and the window wall. I intend to run the diag 4X4 all the way to the ceiling on the hood wall, and about 3 or so inches just above the bottom of the cabinets along side of the window casing. I have approx 4" between the cabinet sides and the window casing and I'll finish the top of the tile with the 3/4" pencil.

Since the inset behind the cooktop/under the hood has to be centered it made sense to me to start the layout from that centerline and work out to the left and right from there. However, since I'm tiling the space between the window casing and cabinet sides, it seems to me I'll also need to tile out from the centerline of the window in order to have the left and right sides match. If I do it that way there's no way I'll be able to bend the diagonals around that inside corner.

So, one question is - do I make the inside corner look right, or sacrifice the inside corner in order to make the left and right side of the window look right?

Another concerns cutting the 4X4's on a diagonal. Since I'll need quite a number of them cut I want to be able to fashion some type of a jig for my sliding table wet saw so I can cut a whole batch of them with consistency. My intention is to use no more than a 1/8" grout line. Do the 4X4's get cut right at the apex or do I need to off-set a little to ensure a consistent grout line?


And finally - for now anyway, thinset choice. the 3X6 and 4X4 are light colored natural stone and the wall is semi gloss over drywall. A modified white thinset?

Many thanks,

Dan
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Unread 01-02-2013, 08:36 PM   #2
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Hi Dan, welcome back. In my opinion, it's more important to center the layout over the stove top and then wrap the corner with the flow of the pattern. Then the window would most likely fall out of center. If you can figure out a pleasant looking way to break the pattern in the corner, then you could center with the window and the stove.

Yes, I would cut the 4x4's exactly in half. If you cut them a little short, then you would have to double cut the tiles. No need for that.

You can test a piece of tile, stick it on the wall and then pull it off the next day. That way you can check the bond. I usually at least rough up the paint. Some times I'll wipe the paint several times with a wet sponge and scrape it off with a 4 inch razor blade scraper.

Yes, a white modified thinset. There are some non-sag thinsets that help on walls. I usually end up using small plastic wedges anyway.
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Unread 01-02-2013, 08:58 PM   #3
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Could just center both areas and then run some straight tiles in the corner either full or cut in half thus creating a border type look.
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Unread 01-03-2013, 09:43 AM   #4
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Is good to be back - love this place.

Davy, re: cutting the diags, if I cut them exactly in half won't they end up being slightly less than half due to the thickness of the blade - thus throwing off the grout joint spacing? I have no problem with double cutting them - I'm just having a heck of a time getting my brain wrapped around how to do it nicely. The area of most concern/visability is the 1/2 diags atop the pencil stripe. Most of the rest will fall under, or on the sides, of the cabinets.

I'm just OCD enough that I'm pretty sure I need the tiling around the window casing to be centered. I mean, the deal is she cooks, I clean - so I'll be standing in front of that window. Quite a lot.

Talk to me, Lump, am having trouble visualizing. Since I had to purchase an entire box of the 3X6, and I only have to use about 1/4th of the box, I have an abundance of 3X6's, and also more than enough 4X4's.

Thanks again,

Dan
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Unread 01-03-2013, 03:37 PM   #5
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Dan, here's a good link from the liberry about cutting and setting tiles on the diagonal: Cutting tiles diagonally with a small saw (Felker TM-75)
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Unread 01-03-2013, 04:17 PM   #6
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Ooooo, thanks Elise, that link clearly address what I was trying to articulate.

I will probably have to sacrifice one 4X4 to make a test cut or two. The blade thickness, given the 1/8" grout line I want to use, may mean I can get away with just one cut right down the center but the pichers at the end of that article show me what I need to look for.

Once I get one of them cut right I can set up a jig on my saw to cut the remaining 2 or 3 dozen that I'll need for the first row.

Anyone have any creative ideas of how to deal with that inside corner?
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Unread 01-03-2013, 07:08 PM   #7
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If you have excess 3x6 use them in the corner one on each wall stacked vertically. This will create a break point for the diagonal to but into from both walls.......could maybe even be used as a cap for the ends also to finish off the diagonal.....kinda like bullnose would cap an end. Hopefully I am making sense. The pencil would also chase up or used on the end as a cap.
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Unread 01-04-2013, 08:55 AM   #8
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Dan you had better have more than one tile to give up for testing. You should create test boards for grout color and size and that can eat up a couple of square feet of tile.
Wrap all corners (See thread)
My build thread should have the answers to some of your upcoming questions.
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Unread 01-04-2013, 02:17 PM   #9
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Yup, you're making sense, Lump. I could set the 3X6's on their short ends atop the pencil stripe and run them up both sides of the inside corner. Will have to lay that out to get a feel for how it will look.

The tile on the left wall will conveniently end at a 3/4" thick doorway casing so I can let it all die against it. Not so lucky on the right side so was planning to use the 12"X3/4" pencil to cap the verticle side. The pencil will also cap the tops.

Doug, reviewed your thread - nice work. My initial thought was to wrap the tiles around the inside corner but, since I have to center the layout on two different walls, I think it very unlikely the inside corner (formed by those same two walls) will work out. That's why I was polling the readership here for some ideas on what to do with that inside corner. Thanks for the suggestions on test boards and such. I've already selected the grout and matching caulk. The tile is natural stone so I'll be sealing it before I grout. I have pleanty of material to test things if I choose.

Regards,

Dan
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Unread 01-04-2013, 05:35 PM   #10
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i would lay out waht you are trying to do with the boarder in the corner. it may draw more attantion then just letting the corner not wrap around the wall.
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Unread 01-04-2013, 05:46 PM   #11
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Dan,

See those flowers or vases in that corner??? Leave them there, or a bread box, or, . . . and the lack of any wrap will not show!
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Unread 01-04-2013, 06:24 PM   #12
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Do keep in mind what will be on the counter! For all the fussing I did 80% of it will only be seen if I sell my house empty.. oh and when I clean the kitchen.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 09:58 AM   #13
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Jerry, John, thanks. Doug, while I am a fan of "less is more" my wife is....well, not so much. Regardless, we didn't spend the extra money on granite to then cover it with a lot of infrequently used things and decorations. Kind of detracts from the stone.

A couple more pics. First shows the 3X6's topped with the pencil, and 3X6's on end atop the pencil in that inside corner. Next, though not terribly relevant, is the basic layout for behind the cook top.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 12:04 PM   #14
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I'm often in the "more is more" camp, but that counter really demands to be the center of attention. I like your backsplash design but I think the stove area mosaic is kind of a distraction.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 01:28 PM   #15
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When looking through the slabs we had a "That's It" moment when we saw that one, and we were able to choose where the cuts were made to get the most character out of it. They're beautiful.

My wife is very conservative when it comes to color - so there isn't much in the kitchen. I really felt that it needed something to punch it up a bit - hence the mosaic.
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