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Old 05-11-2019, 07:04 AM   #1
Elkski
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Mapei Adesilex P10 and glass subway back splash

I am installing my glass subway tiles soon for the kitchen backsplash. its about 30 sq ft.
I am using Schluter Dilex- AHKA for the granite countertop joint. I primed the wall using the Mapei grip prmer 2 coats.
I installed the metal yesterday using the Adesilex P10 with water. I wanted to be able to use weights and hold the metal in place and then tile later. My wall had one bad curve.
It was a very light feeling mud. 8 hours later my pile of leftover mud was still very soft. I could push in a stick very easy where the pile was 2" deep. IT had a crust. The filled voids in the installed metal was still soft.
I did then read where not to mix this mud to much or over 300 RPM. let slake for 10 mins. I probably did the normal 4 min mix and 5 min slake I used high speed. it was a small batch.
Did i mix in to much air?
Should I use Keralastic instead of water for the tile? I read it gives more flexibility.
I will mix at a lower speed and slake for 10 mins next time.
I also worry that I dont have the typical flexible joint between the plane of the wall and the granite counter.
The tile receipt suggested to use Laticrete 254. I assume any good glass thinset will be ok.

Im using some Mapei Flexcoler 3D grout.
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:35 AM   #2
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How much water did you use? Mapei advised me to use a 3:1 powder to water ratio when mixing small batches.

The Keralastic is only specified when you'll be installing this where it'll be submerged, like a pool. I used it to set my shower floor tiles and they said to just use water. This stuff is really expensive presumably on account of a high percentage of modifiers for the anti-sag and high adhesion qualities.
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Old 05-12-2019, 05:30 AM   #3
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I mix the water until it looks right. . I have since mixed my next two batches at slow speed. So it's more dense. I've learned a lesson to mix thin sets at a slow speed and SLC at high speed. I don't see why small batches would have any different ratio because this is chemistry. I got a slightly open 40# bag for $15 instead of 30$. I did mix up my last batch a little too thin but the tiles still need spacers or they set in sag. I will let my tiles cure for 3-4 days before grouting.
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:56 AM   #4
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I just tried the three and one ratio and it was so stiff so I added about 5 tablespoons more water. I used 1.4 l water.
It's still quite stiff. But it will he fun to try.
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Old 05-12-2019, 12:18 PM   #5
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One thing I've noticed is that if you mix per the directions mortar is a lot stiffer and drier than you'd expect. It's really frustrating when you read the directions for installing something like Ditra or Stratamat and they say to mix your mortar to a "loose consistency" or similar, which requires much more water than the thinset manufacturers specify. And if you ask them, they'll say you should follow the directions.

Worse yet watch Laticrete's video on Stratamat installation, the mortar looks like water as they slop it around. But they'll never tell you to mix at the 1:1 ratio or whatever would actually produce something like that.
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Old 05-12-2019, 01:37 PM   #6
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I mixed up an exact 3 : 1 by volume ratio and my mixer did not like that too much but it kind of comes in at the last few minutes. I did add Maybe 3 more tablespoons for my 1.4 liter water amount.
at 3 to 1 my mixer drill would stand straight up in a 2 gallon bucket only 1/3 to a half full. There was zero slump as I pulled my beater out of the mud. anyway I enjoyed working with this batch of thinset very much it was easy to spread on the wall with hardly any drips unless you were a real fool. It troweled real nice I did a butter coat on the tile and the wall. A lot less thinset getting into the grout joints. I just called it quits with 12 tiles to go because it was getting a little stiff and I'm hungry so I would say it has just shy of atwo-and-a-half-hour working time.
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Old 05-12-2019, 03:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenjp
One thing I've noticed is that if you mix per the directions mortar is a lot stiffer and drier than you'd expect. It's really frustrating when you read the directions for installing something like Ditra or Stratamat and they say to mix your mortar to a "loose consistency" or similar, which requires much more water than the thinset manufacturers specify. And if you ask them, they'll say you should follow the directions.
I would have to respectfully disagree with ya Jeff. I measure every time I mix, whether it be thinset, grout, deck mud, ect. I use Ardex mostly and some Mapei from time to time and I have always had a good creamy mix to work with. As for the stratamat I asked my Ardex rep about that he said mix it as loose as you want just don't go over the max water and you will be good with use same goes for installing shower membrane, don't exceed our Max water recommendation.
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:36 PM   #8
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I'm sure for normal applications the problem is my expectations. It just seemed to me, for instance when using Ultraflex 2, that when mixed per the directions it was sorta dry and started getting noticeably drier before the pot life was up. No problems with how it worked though. I did get Mapei tech support to "approve" a 4:1.25 mix (vs. the specified 4:1) and that definitely helped.

As for the "loose" mix for uncoupling membranes, I'd direct you to Laticrete's installation video - https://laticrete.com/en/radiant-flo...trata_heat-mat at about the 3:10 mark. It shows a mortar that flows like a thick liquid. And they told me the same thing Ardex tells you - mix it loose but don't use more water than the directions state. No way in hell they're following their own advice in that video. Laticrete doesn't even provide a range, just 5.5 quarts for a 50lb bag. No allowance for how "loose" you want it. I wish they'd just come out and print directions for use with decoupling membranes right on the bag.

I've heard the pros say they just eyeball it enough times to believe it's probably not that important. But for a noob DIYer who's trying to make sense of the directions it's confusing.
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:39 PM   #9
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I finished. My last two tiles in upper corner I made mistake and didn't put both their cut ends in the corner.
I won't know how it will look until grout. With these wavy tiles lippage was not easy to see. I do see some that I could have done better.
I did try to flatten out the trowel ridges like i Read to do on glass but that didn't work so well. It was ti sticky to do that.
I could never see the lines through the tiles. I did back butter. I do worry that the lines will show with the translucent grout. Especially because the grey grip primer shows. I did a test board to do some test grout. It's a scary thought that I may have to go back and hide this using white grout in a bag .
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:23 AM   #10
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When I did my test board I mixed it up very close to 3 to 1 ratio and it is so thick. I just mix by hand and it was so hard to do maybe if I had mixed more it would have gotten a little softer but it would barely adhere to painted drywall when I troweled it. it was very dry these past few days and that may have some bearing because I'm sure much water evaporated during the mixing and the 10 minute slake.
This was probably a little less than 3/1 but close to what an exact 3/1 looks like.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:31 PM   #11
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Opps i did a double post.
So I'm cleaning up the saw location and I and dining Glass 12' away. I am thinking I should have wore a resperator. I guess you guys must put down very large tarps or something ?
I will grout my test board to see the the grout is transparent enough to see the trowel lines. Right side is smoothed down mud. I must have been tired as I have the left side full tile face down.
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:04 PM   #12
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Mapei Flexcolor 3D may not be for me!

Well I tested my grout out in my test board.
Pros:
Can't see trowel lines
It's is pretty
You get a white scotch bright pad
You get a dense sponge
It looks interesting
Amazingly the glass beads didn't scratch glass tile that I see.
Cons.
The tub is only 55% full
It's expensive.
It says only do a small area like 10-15 sq ft. I will be hard pressed to do a 3 sq ft area.
It dries fast. They warn you to start scrubbing using moderatly wet 3M white pad at 5-7 mins. No joke.
Even with the tightest wringing job the white scrubby emits water when you do the point pressure that's required.
This is when you realize if you didn't have the white pad but just a sponge you would be in trouble. It says to go in circles and shape the grout lines as you scrub grout off the surface. I had to scrub so hard and my wavy tile resulted it the grout lines washing out near 1/8". I pretty much gave up with some grout spots on the surface. Forget about it on the white painted side if the tile I set weong.




I did a 2nd application to see if I could do better. I used a smaller rubber float, even tried a margin grout float. You better have a new non oxidized rubber float or it will discolore the clear frosted glass color. I started cleaning as soon as I could float it in and most off the surface. I tried hard to squeeze out more water but white pad still released to much water. I targeted the surface grout with attitude. I tried to stay away from grout lines. It gets hard so quick and sticks like glue. My little 1 sq ft test board was a challenge. The white scrubby is about shot after 2 sq ft. I give myself an F. This much grout on the surface is not acceptable. A rip out start over if your wall looked like this.
I will get new floats or try the Bondo spreaders as someone on the internet suggested. Yes I watched several you tube videos. I can't believe the mapei one. It may have left less color on the wood look tiles than brand x but I can't believe the tiles we're clean. It appears the glass beads are suspended in a clear glue. But I can't confirm this with only two colors. But after 2 hours it's a nightmare to remove.
I know much of my problem is from the wavy tile.
I think if I did this test board before I would have picked the smooth surface tile of the same color.
Any pointers tips websites YouTube videos you can point me to would be a big help plus a good supply for a case of white scrubbies.
How will I protect my granite countertops do I do the top row only couple grout lines and then move downward I can't imagine the mess and the back pain I'm going to have after I do this.

Oh it was about 80 degrees today.

Also it's not recommended in steam showers so that's a waste of half a Hundo. I guess it does say not to be used over 140 f. Plus not good for pebble where grout maybe larger than 1/2". Means the sample board at floor and decor is wrong.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:11 AM   #13
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Okay so the blue flexcolor 3D is out for the steam shower waterfall and back of niche.
Any ideas on what other grout I should use? I am going to have jolly trim next to these tiles on the vertical 11" waterfall and quadec around the niche. so it's easy for me to use different grout than my main wall tiles which are close to White.

I have not given up on the frosted glass flexcolor 3D for the backsplash tiles but I need a plan b grout. I have done another test board and plan to do some tests possibly pre-taping the front face of the tiles first and then after grout informing the joints I will rip up the tape. Yes I may end up doing this on all 108 wall tiles. What other grout would you suggest I try that would be much easier to form between my large grout lines in the wavy surface area?
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:00 AM   #14
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Ultracolor Plus FA is going to be your best bet for the pebbles/steam shower. Just test it on the glass first, it has a fine aggregate that isn't supposed to scratch but if the glass is very soft it may. In that case you would have to use unsanded grout.
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:40 AM   #15
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I bought some avalanche ( whitest color) FA to test on blue glass for steam shower plus test for plan B on backsplash.
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