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Old 07-04-2018, 10:13 PM   #1
JohnRizzo17
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Glass subway tile installation questions

Iím preparing my kitchen backsplash to put up some glass subway tile. I have a few questions that I hope you folks can answer before I tackle this. Iíve done several DIY tile jobs with help from this forum. This is my first time with glass tile, though.

Thinset
My research tells me that Laticrete 254 Platinum White is a good choice. Is this correct? Or is the Laticrete 285 Glass Tile Adhesive best?

Grout
Manufacturing recommendations are to use unsanded grout. Iíd like a grout that is stain proof. Any recommendations?

Walls/substrate
The walls in my 1957 home are about 1Ē thick. Itís plaster panels that are more like cement than plaster attached to the studs, a layer of drywall on top of that, then a skim coat of plaster. I had undercabinet lights put in and holes that were needed to do this are filled with drywall. So, right now the walls have some uneven spots, drywall fillers, and the rest are either paint or bare plaster.

I donít want to remove all the walls and replace with cement board, which I know is probably the right thing to do. Can I put the tiles up and use the thinset to fix uneven spots, or is there a membrane that makes the substrate solid enough for glass tile. Iím most worried about the tile or the grout cracking with all the uneven walls and filler pieces of drywall.

I attached some images, but they are upside down. I canít figure out why or how to fix this. Sorry about that.

Thanks!
John Rizzo
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Last edited by Tool Guy - Kg; 07-06-2018 at 09:51 PM. Reason: Rotate pictures to upright position. :)
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:49 AM   #2
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1. GTA or trilite would be better and easier to work with.

2. Mapei flexcolor cq or bostic dimensions are great for glass and are pretty stain resistant.

3.I would cut out the worst sections in larger squares/rectangles. Shim it out how you need to to make it flush with surrounding. Regular primed drywall is fine. Use alkali resistant mesh on seams and skim with thinset during or before installing tile.
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Old 07-06-2018, 06:28 AM   #3
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You have some pretty big gaps there, those could lead to tile cracks down the road. I agree that you need to tape and flatten your wall. After sanding and removing the dust, you can use our ECO Prim Grip to give yourself a suitable bonding surface for tile and keep the gypsum from the wallboard and the cement from the mortar apart. After that, use a white mortar like our Adesilex P10 specifically designed for glass tiles. Knock the trowel ridges flat before installing the tile so you don't see lines in the glass after grouting. We have a new mortar for glass tiles called Flexcolor 3D that is translucent so it gives some 'depth' to the grout joint and picks up the color of the tile. Good luck!
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Old 07-06-2018, 07:40 AM   #4
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I checked with the LATICRETE Tech Team on this one...here's what they said...

We would recommend GTA (Glass Tile Adhesive) or 254 PLATINUM for thin set and grout with PERMACOLOR SELECT NS.

For the wall, we'd say to cut out whatever you can and replace with sheetrock, and then tape seams with alkali resistant tape and thinset per industry standards, in that this will likely be easier than cement board.
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:14 AM   #5
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Wow! Great advice and recommendations. This helps me a lot. I found a local store that sells what I need. I think I know what Iím doing, or at least I can say I have a game plan.

I removed the section of the wall that was bad and went and picked up some Hardi-backer. Iíve worked with this stuff in the past and I like how easy it is to cut and work with.

I have another question regarding installation...can I just use the mortar I get to adhere the tiles to the wall for the mesh tape? I think Iíve done this in the past. Or do I need a specific product for this? I want to make sure I prep the mesh tape joints correctly to avoid problems in the future.

Thanks,
John Rizzo
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:12 AM   #6
rmckee84
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Yes, you can use the same mortar for both. You're going to want to hydrate the hardi before troweling thinset on the wall otherwise it will suck all the moisture out before it has time to bond properly.

I don't know what type of glass you're using but after you comb out the thinset you should use the flat side of the trowel to knock down the ridges. Sometimes with glass the ridges will show through the top or sides if you don't. Also make sure and silicone your corners and where it meets the countertop don't grout them. Don't make 90 degree L cuts, always leave a radius cut in the L shaped corner. Otherwise you risk cracking later.
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:34 PM   #7
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I have an update on this project, as well as a grout questions.

I was out of town on vacation for the past week and a half, but was able to prep the wall and use a bonding agent just in case. I was also able to set all the tile. Man, doing tile by yourself when there are so many cuts takes so much longer than I expected!

Now Iím back from vacation and I want to grout. I start my new job on 8/20 and wanted to knock out a few ďhoney-doĒ list items before then...including this backsplash. I wanted to make sure the color was right before putting it on the set tiles, so I put some extra tiles on a wood board and grouted them. Iím so glad I did. I screwed up and got a grout (Mapei Flexcolor CQ) that has quartz in it. Duh! I donít know what I was thinking. As soon as I scooped some out I knew I screwed up. I think I was supposed to get the Flexcolor 3D (as was recommended in this thread), but didnít like the idea of the iridescence.

What grout can I use that is stain proof, but wonít scratch the glass tile? Premixed is preferred. Obviously it needs to be unsanded. The Mapei Flexcolor 3D and Bostik Dimension look like great options for glass, stain resistant and premixed, but they are the sparkly kind.What other options are there that are not sparkly?

Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:17 PM   #8
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Trim an already set glass tile?

I tried to get in really close around the electric boxes with the tile, but got a little too close on one. I only need to take off about 1/8Ē - 1/4Ē on the side. Whatís the best way to trim glass tile that has already been set on the wall? I havenít grouted yet and the tile was set 2 weeks ago. Is this even possible? Has anyone successfully done this?

Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2018, 07:40 PM   #9
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Hi John

I use this guy for cutting around recessed lights. It goes on a high rpm rotozip drywall cutting tool but it may work on a drill. That or you can simply remove the tile and reinstall a new piece a tad smaller.
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Old 08-11-2018, 08:14 PM   #10
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Were it mine, John, I'd use a variable speed angle grinder with a smooth diamond wheel and a rather soft touch. Would be really handy to have a helper with a spray bottle of water to make it a wet cut, but I'd likely try it dry.

Depending upon your glass, it'll either work or it won't, but that's just a guess.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:43 PM   #11
JohnRizzo17
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Thank you for the suggestions. I figured Iíd try to get this fixed without removing the tile, but worst case scenario, I can remove the tile and set a new one trimmed to the correct size. Iíll see if I can find either of these tools. I have a rotozip and. 4.5Ē angle grinder.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-13-2018, 06:37 AM   #12
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John,

I use my wet saw and diamond blade to make such cuts.

The one circled in red should be OK but larger L shaped glass tiles should be avoided as the glass tiles can crack later. Months later. Its best to make the very inside of the L shape as large a radius as possible to spread out the stresses.
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