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Unread 10-02-2011, 10:10 PM   #1
Dave11
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Kitchen Glass/Stone Tile Backsplash Question

After reading these forums for the past couple hours I (unfortunately) think I already know the answer to my question but need to be 100% sure. Simply put: Does my backsplash installation need to be restarted from scratch?

The tile I have is a glass/stone mosaic that is 12"x12" made up of 1"x3" tiles. It's about 40% complete and I really don't want to tell my good friend who is installing it that he needs to redo his work. He has done tiling for years and I've seen his other projects and they look great to my untrained eye. Even the 40% that is completed now looked great to me until I got on this forum.

What should have been a bigger concern is that he's never worked with glass tile before but I figured all tile is essentially the same (first of my many mistakes). Regardless, I did a little research and passed along the two big things that stuck out to me: don't use mastic and score and snap the glass to get a nice perfect cut. I already bought mastic (which he asked me to buy) so I returned it and bought Omnigrip adhesive (second mistake). Apparently just because it doesn't say "mastic" on the bucket doesn't mean it's not mastic.

Anyways, to cut a long story short, as things progressed most of my concerns were put to rest because to me the work looked great. That is until I got back on this forum and was searching around and saw I had some major red flags. Besides the mastic, I read that you can't (hopefully it's just shouldn't) put glass tile flush to the granite or the cabinets. Maybe it's not a huge deal because the granite runs up the back splash a inch or so?

Thanks in advance to all (if any) respond. I've already learned tons from just reading this forum. If any other pictures are needed, just let me know.

**Edit**
Just wanted to add on that the backsplash in the pictures is still incomplete because it's currently drying and my friend is going to grout it.
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Unread 10-03-2011, 05:08 AM   #2
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Dave, your friend has done a very neat job of installing those mosaics. The choice of adhesive is not so good. I can't tell you with 100% certainty that something bad will happen, but none of the glass tile manufacturers approve the use of mastic, so that's gotta mean something.

The lack of a gap between the bottom mosiacs and the granite backsplash may not be a deal breaker if the granite is caulked to the countertop. Even if the backsplash is caulked, you'd want some gap in there for either grout or caulk.

Given that you have 2 questionable aspects of this installation, and that it is only 40% complete, I'd stop the work and invite your friend over here for a chat before going forward. The two of you need to fully appreciate the potential for failure before deciding what to do next.
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Unread 10-03-2011, 06:33 AM   #3
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What Bob said plus:

While Omnigrip is an excellent product, its not meant for glass. Omnigrip turns brown over time as it dries.

I also don'e see an expansion joint at the cabinets on the side and top.

Are there any outside corners or exposed edges coming where the cut edges of the tiles will show more?

Other than that his work is very neat.
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Unread 10-03-2011, 02:27 PM   #4
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Thanks for the response guys. I've been trying to stall my friend coming over so I can figure out exactly what to do. The ominigrip turning brown is my biggest concern. There is also 2 walls where the outside corners will show more. Is there going to be a bigger problem there?

**EDIT**
He just came when I was responding and we talked a little about my concerns. The tile does have a white paper behind it, then the mesh backing, so I'm hoping the omingrip turning brown won't show through? The expansion joint thing I wasn't able to articulate well so that point kind of got passed over. Can someone help me explain this better? Plus I really didn't want to insult him which probably didn't help things. I almost want to let him do it, then if it fails, have him do it again. Thanks again for all the help guys. At the very least I'll be more knowledgeable when the bathrooms get tackled.
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Unread 10-03-2011, 03:21 PM   #5
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To be honest, since the color is on the back of the tile and the tile is so small, I would not be that concerned about the mastic. Omnigrip list TRANSPARENT glass as a limitation, yours is not transparent.

I would suggest, at this point, a high quality grout such as prism or the like and a bead of silicone (rather than latex caulk) along the 4" granite splash.
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Unread 10-03-2011, 03:48 PM   #6
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Thanks Nathan. That's what I'll pick up then for the final stages. On the plus side the work continues to look great and I'll keep this thread posted with pictures.
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Unread 10-03-2011, 06:40 PM   #7
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If the omnigrip is oozed up between the tiles where you can see it through the side edge of the glass there may be an issue with it turning color, if you stare at your glass tiles that much. If your tiles are about the thickness of a quarter or two, then you won't be able to see much of it.
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Unread 10-03-2011, 07:52 PM   #8
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Some of the Omnigrip oozed through but he wiped everything off and used a small screwdriver to get in between the cracks. The tiles are 5/16" thick so I think that's also a good thing.

About the Caulk and silicone, is there any specific one I should buy? I know Nathan said Prism grout or something similar so I think I'm looking for the latter so it can be picked up easily at like Lowes or Home Depot I don't want to make the same mistake I did last time and buy the wrong stuff.
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Unread 10-04-2011, 04:33 AM   #9
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100% silicone caulk is best, but for a backsplash, siliconized caulk is fine.
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Unread 10-04-2011, 11:30 AM   #10
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And for the grout? I mean to say grout and caulk. My mistake.
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Unread 10-04-2011, 03:46 PM   #11
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Use whatever non sanded grout suits your color choice.
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Unread 10-04-2011, 04:48 PM   #12
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Brand and things like that won't matter because they're all the same quality?
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Unread 10-04-2011, 05:21 PM   #13
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Brand matters to some folks, we all have our favorites. When used properly, they all will get the job done.
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Unread 10-04-2011, 06:53 PM   #14
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Awesome thank you.
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