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Old 09-19-2018, 08:55 PM   #1
caracal
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Marble backsplash install

I'm about to install a marble mosaic backsplash, first time tiling a wall.

The largest tile in the mosaic is 1.5" x 7" .. pretty small.
I am getting mixed advise from all tile stores, some say glue some say thinset different brands everywhere I go..

I ended up getting Flexbond from Home Depot, it was the cheapest option compared to the tile stores. I can still return it if it's the wrong product. This is what the Custom rep told me when I called the 800 number to use. Anybody used this for marble on a wall, and does it work well?

I am applying over painted drywall, but where the caulking met the old countertop it has peeled the top layer (brown paper is showing), a long line across, a quarter inch thick.

Do I need to seal the drywall where the brown paper is showing before applying any glue or thinset? What should I use if I need to seal it?

I also got a 1/4 x 3/16" V-Notch trowel, is that a good size for these small tiles?
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:02 PM   #2
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You'll need to use thinset.
Flexbond will probably be ok as long as it is white. Grey thinset tends to discolor or darken natural stone.
I would probably hit the paint with some sandpaper and skim coat the area that was affected by removing the caulk using thinset.
That trowel will probably be ok, the best trowel is the one that provides appropriate coverage.
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:20 PM   #3
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Yes I got the white colored Flexbond.
Skim coat of flexbond sounds good, I already have plenty of it..

By coverage you mean the coverage on the back of the tile ?

How does one determine how thick the thinset layer should be? The wall is pretty straight, so I don't need to add any thickness to compensate for anything, so assuming a perfectly straight wall, how thick would I need the layer?

Once I push the tile in place and it's completely covered on the underside, how much space should be left between the tile and wall (thinset thickness) ?

Some people told me not to push too hard.. but then their tiles fell off sometimes.
In videos it shows to tap with a rubber mallet.. but this marble cracks easily, is it a good idea to use a rubber mallet, or just push by hand with a grout float?
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:31 AM   #4
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1. Yes
2. If you set a sheet then peel it back the backs should be mostly covered.
3. It won't be very much especially if you use a v-notch trowel.
4. Use a grout float to embed the tile into the thinset.
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Old 09-21-2018, 07:00 AM   #5
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Hi, Chris.

While white Flexbond is a fine mortar with many good qualities, I’m concerned about your tiles sagging/oozing down the wall while you work.

So....are your mosaic tiles mounted on a wimpy mesh backing where all the tiles can wiggle around some relative to each other? Or are they mounted in a fashion that makes the individual tiles stiff to each other?

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Old 09-21-2018, 09:21 AM   #6
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I agree with Bubba, if you're going to use a Custom thinset, I'd use white Prolite.
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Old 09-22-2018, 08:52 AM   #7
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Tool Guy,

I think it's a standard backing, not too stiff.. the spacing between the tiles is very small so the backing holds, because of the tiny space, it's 3/32 or less, down to almost 1/16.

In the middle of the tile, they can't really move much, but the parts that stick out on the left/right can move a little. It's very important that the glue stick it exactly where it has to go, because of the tiny space. I bought some wedges to stick between them.

Around outlets I cut little pieces too, so nothing will hold there but my wedges, or 1/16 spacers I got.
What would you recommend if not Flexbond? I'm in Canada, I haven't seen Prolite.

A store here recommended Kiesel Servolite
https://en.kiesel.com/fliesenkleber1...84380f6f5a858f
But I have no idea if that's any better.
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:37 AM   #8
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When you press a sheet of tile in the thinset, it may want to slide down a little, closing up the joints. With Prolite, I usually have to place my hands flat on the tiles and try to push it back up, then it stays put pretty good. With the Flexbond, you may have to do this several times or use the wedges in each joint.

Sometimes it helps to draw a line horizontally across the back splash at the top edge of where each sheet needs to go. This helps you get them straight.
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Old 09-22-2018, 10:53 PM   #9
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If you can't get Prolite, that Servolite will work very well for you. but please MIX PER DIRECTIONS for the best non-sag characteristics.
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Old 09-23-2018, 02:25 PM   #10
caracal
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Thanks Tool Guy.

How about custom Megalite?
They have that here at Home Depot, it's even more expensive than the Kiesel Servolite though..
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Old 09-23-2018, 04:10 PM   #11
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I’ve used Megalite, as well. Good stuff. Either of these will work well. I don’t think you’ll notice much difference between them.

But the more expensive mortars aren’t purchased as much from box stores, so the stock isn’t turned over as much. Sometimes really good mortar like Megalite sits on the shelves a long time. So I’d make sure that whatever you choose, make sure it isn’t old, expired stock. Check the date codes.

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