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Unread 05-03-2021, 07:48 PM   #1
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Backsplash Project

I have the Sonoma Stellar 3x9 tile in crackle finish for installation on a backsplash. Sonoma says to dip the tile in a penetrating sealer and then seal again before grouting. What is the best sealer for this tile and also one that won't impact the adherence of the tile to the thinset since the tile will have sealer on all 6 sides? I've looked at Miracle 511 Penetrating Sealer, Stonetech Bulletproof, Aqua Mix Sealer's Choice Gold and others.

What would you guys suggest for the sealer? And suggested thinset? Thanks for your help.
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Unread 05-04-2021, 09:07 AM   #2
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Hi Ken, .

I've used all those sealers, and they're all good. Aquamix is easy to get.
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Unread 05-04-2021, 08:37 PM   #3
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Do not "dip" the tile into a sealer before install. That would inhibit bond.
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Unread 05-05-2021, 05:28 AM   #4
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John, thanks for your reply. Do you have a preference which sealer would work best? And not cause a bonding issue as Dog paws states?

Dog paws - the tile manufacturer's instructions are to dip the tile for 5 seconds...but I've read some comments like yours that doing so will inhibit the bonding. Is there a sealer that won't affect the bond with the thinset?

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Unread 05-05-2021, 09:55 AM   #5
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I agree with Mike
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Unread 05-29-2021, 06:51 AM   #6
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Help with layout on backsplash, I'm confused

I'm going a bit batty trying to visualize what layout is going to look best with my backsplash tile so I could use some sage advice. I'm installing a 3" x 9" white subway tile (the crackle finish tile from my earlier post) and my kitchen is a u shaped kitchen, 14' in the base of the U, then left leg 6'1" and right leg is 7'6" (and this leg has a downdraft cooktop). Both legs end against either a pantry cabinet or an oven cabinet. My concern is in the 14' dimension which has the kitchen sink centered on this wall and there is a window centered behind the sink. And then wall cabinets on both sides. And the tile is running to the ceiling.

My initial idea was to start in the center but if i do that, then I end up with a 1" cut on every other row against the cabinets on either side of the sink. This option also helps me have uniform cuts on the cabinet above the cooktop.

The other option is to shift the starting point about 2 1/4" and that will give me a 3 1/4" cut by the cabinets. That would look better but I'm wondering if the 3 rows below the window being offset of the faucet is going to bug me. Also the corners won't be the same cuts but maybe that doesn't matter? And with this option I won't have uniform cuts by the cabinet above the cooktop. But there are only 2 rows of tile above the cooktop as this cabinet is only 6" shorter than the other cabinets.

I've always believed that centering the tile is best but also to avoid having narrow cuts if possible. I can't decide which is better in this case. So I need help. Let me know what you all think would look best.

Photos of the window wall and the cooktop wall are attached. Thanks, Ken
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Unread 05-29-2021, 08:47 AM   #7
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No easy answer, Ken, it'll all come down to what you will "see" the most, or what will bug you the least.

If it were mine I'd havta center the tile on the sink faucet and the cooktop, tiling outwards from there, letting the inside corners be however they end up. Mrs. Ken can select some decorative things to place in those corners. I'd make peace with the "slivers", understanding they were a necessary evil.
If I recall correctly my memory is excellent, but my ability to access it is intermittent.
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Unread 05-29-2021, 09:23 AM   #8
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What tile pattern are you planning? You could consider different patterns like grid, 50% offset, 30% offset, etc if those might help alleviate the situation? (also that manufacturer might make different tile sizes in same color/style?)

I don't consider 1" as a 'sliver', but it might be less desirable than 2". If you have the luxury of time, and plenty of extra tiles, what I did in my tile project was to tape a few rows of tiles (with spacers) to the wall in different arrangements to look at and consider for a few days before deciding which arrangement I preferred.
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Unread 05-29-2021, 10:10 AM   #9
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Ken, it'll help if you'll keep all your project questions on one thread so folks can see what you're working on and what's been previously asked and answered. A moderator can give it a more generic title any time you'd like to suggest one.

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Unread 05-29-2021, 12:25 PM   #10
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Tile layout dilemma

Dan, thanks for your input. Center on the faucet and cooktop was my first thought but then, I'm not sure about the narrow cuts against the cabinets on either side of the window. I've seen some photos where there are narrow cuts and they look ok but then always been taught to avoid a narrow cut if you can but maybe this way is the best option. Kinda wish I had the Sketchup program and was able to run some drawings to help with the visual...

Phil, thanks for not thinking that a 1" cut is a "sliver", since I'm leaning that way. I am planning to do a 50% offset and but I can't do a different tile. These are handmade to order so I have to go with them...and I don't have many extra to make a test pattern. Or the time to do a test. My poor wife has been waiting since February for me to get this done...she is very patient. So tomorrow is the day.

CX, will do on the future posts.

If anyone else has any thoughts, send them over. Thanks,
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Unread 05-29-2021, 01:23 PM   #11
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To dip the tile into sealer can be interpreted in a few ways...literally dunk the entire thing in sealer, or to place it glazed side down into it until the entire surface is covered...I'd do it that later way. Depending on the type of sealer, it may not affect the bond even if you did dunk it. Some probably would.
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Unread 05-29-2021, 03:02 PM   #12
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Your idea is the process that I used. I poured a small amount of sealer into a container and placed the tile with the glaze side down...just enough sealer to get the face wet and not get on the back. I tried a sample tile, placed some sealer on the back, let it dry, and then mixed up a little thinset and applied it to the section that had the sealer and a section with no sealer. The section without the sealer, the thinset bonded like it's supposed to. The section with the sealer, the thinset peeled off but I did have to use quite a bit of prying force with a putty knife but once you got it under the thinset, the thinset released from the tile.
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