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Unread 08-22-2020, 05:59 PM   #31
jadnashua
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The thing about cleaning up epoxy grout is first understanding, then timing (similar to cement based ones, too), and third is LOTS of clean microfiber towels. When you wipe the tile, even if you rinse the sponge and microfiber towels (the second step), some of the epoxy will remain in the towels. So, you only get to use them on a few wipes before you have to retire them and pick up a new, clean one. Otherwise, you'll just be respreading the grout over the tiles, and then, it's a pain to get it off once it cures. You want to empty and replace your rinse water frequently, too, and use the additive to help loosen the excess and help prevent it from pooling or getting redeposited. It's almost the same with the one-part acrylic grouts, but not quite as bad. A non-scratching scrubby sheet helps to break down the surface adhesion so you can wipe it up, too. Keep everything flat so you don't dig too much out of the grout joints.

TO clarify the earlier 45-degree issue...hold the sponge flat, but wipe across the tile at a 45-degree angle you you're not directing the edge along and into the grout joint which will happen if you wipe across on the edge versus the flat of the sponge. The goal is to try to get the grout close to even with the tile's edges, not recessed too much. On tile that has a slight rounding on the edge, you need to get the grout to where it is vertical, otherwise, that really thin section can crack off later.
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Unread 08-23-2020, 07:13 AM   #32
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Fear not the epoxy grout, Joe.

I've used it twice (Spectralock) and it hasn't been a serious challenge. Two very appealing things about it is it's very consistent in color from patch to batch, and it adheres to itself. Which means you can grout an area, clean it up and then walk away from it and grout an adjoining area later.

Jim has you covered with process/tips/tricks.
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Unread 08-23-2020, 08:56 AM   #33
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Thanks for the tips on epoxy, Jim. My local Costco sells a bundle of 45 microfiber towels for like 16 bucks. And Dan, interesting that you mentioned Spectralock, there was a tile contractor in the store when I was talking to the staff and he mentioned that product, said he had gone to their classes and liked it quite a bit.

So please look at the picture I posted earlier in the thread of the mosaic. Would using this tile with Spectralock be a viable alternative? If I hired you to do it for a 3x5 shower floor would you be confident or scared? I think I can deal with piecing in the edge of the floor stone by stone but the grout situation is spooking me. And epoxy grout or not, there’s still the issue of so many of the stones actually touching each other. Would I be smart to just accept the pain and place the entire floor stone by stone so I could get at least a little separation?

Also, any opinions on traction? This isn’t a glass tile but it’s glassy, if you take my meaning. What a joke it would be to go to all the work of placing this tile and then having it be so slick that I have to throw a rubber mat on top of it!!!!
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Unread 08-23-2020, 09:02 AM   #34
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You can get in trouble with epoxy grout if you mix a whole batch and end up spreading too much. Then, it's setting up faster than you can get it washed. Of course it's expensive so you don't want to waste any.

I usually measure it and make half or one third batches. This is not recommended by the manufacturer but this way I can mix small batches and not let it get away from me. I've still had a close call or two in the past.

I spread grout until it starts getting too stiff to spread any more. Hopefully by that time I've just about spread all I have mixed. Then I have to get to washing it off. Start washing where you first started spreading. Have everything ready to go before you ever start spreading and work fast. It helps to have a friend to help. If you find that the grout is sticking to the face of the tile, have a single edge razor blade handy to scrape it as you go. Just be careful, the razor blade might scratch soft stone.

Of course, if you have large tiles with small joints, you'll cover more footage than you would with small tiles with large joints. You want to avoid spreading too much. Also, let the grout acclimate for 24 hours. You don't want the grout to be too hot or too cold before you mix a batch.

Edit; Have you laid the mosaic sheets together to see how they fit? If they don't fit together well, you may want to set each tile individually anyway. You have a lot of joints so it shouldn't be too slippery.
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Unread 08-23-2020, 09:52 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe
And epoxy grout or not, there’s still the issue of so many of the stones actually touching each other.
Agreed. Where they touch there will be no grout and I believe water, and anything in it, will still pass through.
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Unread 08-23-2020, 10:09 AM   #36
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Davy, I haven’t bought the mosaic yet, it’s a special order and the store only has the sample sheet that’s in the pic, and that’s not even a full sheet. I wonder about the fit sheet to sheet as well.

I’m starting to wonder, other than pitching the whole idea and going with a simpler tile, whether it would be easiest (hah!) to lay it all stone by stone. Then I can play with my joint spacing and get everything to at least an eighth inch, and then I can use regular sanded grout.

As I was thinking about that idea, it occurred to me that laying stone by stone would potentially create a massive case of thin set squeezing into the joints. But what if I bought the mesh mosaics are attached to all by itself? Then make up my pattern stone by stone and attach it to the mesh? Then lay the mesh sheet I’ve created as normal? Doing it that way, and depending on how big the mesh is available to buy in, I could conceivably do the whole floor as one mesh sheet.

More likely it comes in 12 inch widths, but then I could still make three sheets the longer length of the shower. What do they use to attach tile to those mesh sheets anyway?

I have a feeling the pros reading this section of the thread about this mosaic are just shaking their heads. LOL!
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Unread 08-23-2020, 10:12 AM   #37
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Where's the "biting my tongue" emoji when ya need it?

You two must want that mosaic really, really bad.
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Unread 08-23-2020, 10:20 AM   #38
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Joe, it'll be less trouble to set each piece individually. You don't need to spread thinset on the floor, just put a dab of thinset on each tile as you go. I'd leave gaps of 1/16 between the tiles, not 1/8. Here is a job we did a few years ago. You can see what we had to deal with when I put the sheets together.
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Unread 08-23-2020, 10:21 AM   #39
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Well officially I’ve already told Mrs Joe that it’s not happening, but this mosaic has been the only tile choice that she was clearly thrilled about. I would love to find a way to give it to her if there’s a route available that isn’t completely insane. And to be fair, it’s by far my favorite too from an aesthetic sense. But at the end of the day I’m shooting for her to be thrilled about this bathroom, not just happy. So that’s worth a fair bit of pain to me. But not TOO much!
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Unread 08-23-2020, 10:22 AM   #40
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We pulled them all off the sheet and set them piece by piece. Just a little thinset on each piece, not a problem. Good job for my son while I took a break.
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Unread 08-23-2020, 10:26 AM   #41
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Wow, Davy, that must have been tough to install. Do you have a pic of the final product?

With how circular these stones are, I don’t think I’d have a prayer of getting 1/16 gaps. I think I’d be lucky to come even close to 1/8.
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Unread 08-23-2020, 10:30 AM   #42
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Well if just dabbing the back of the tile with a little thinset is going to give good adhesion then that might be a plan. The only problem with doing it that way is you have to compose the layout on the fly and that might be kind of interesting.
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Unread 08-23-2020, 10:32 AM   #43
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It doesn't have to be perfect. Just set the whole floor random with no pattern. What you have is different than these but since you aren't trying to tie the sheets together, just place them at random. That way there's no wrong way to do it.

Best I remember, it took 2-3 hours to set this floor. Long enough for me to get a good nap.

I sent my son to the saw with a hand full of stones to cut in half. That way we had small pieces in case we needed them against the walls.
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Unread 08-23-2020, 11:03 AM   #44
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All right, Davy’s got me seriously considering this. So back to the tile store tomorrow to verify the manufacturer’s specs and make sure I haven’t missed a requirement that would torpedo this whole thing.

Jim made a point in post #22 about slope with tiles like these. He said they should have more than a quarter inch slope but he didn’t say how much. Anybody got an opinion on that? Approximate dimensions of the pan will be 58“ x 39”.
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Unread 08-23-2020, 11:23 AM   #45
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I've read a lot of pebble floor post here that suggest 1/2"/Ft of slope isn't a bad idea.
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