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Unread 10-05-2013, 06:46 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
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First Tiling Project Questions

I am planning to tile my kitchen backsplash next week and I have questions. The field tile is 4" x 10" ceramic. Over the range I am planning a feature framed in chair rail with 1/2" x 1/2" glass mosaic inside the frame.

1) Should I use glass tile mortar for the mosaic and is Versabond good for the field tile?

2) What size trowels?

3) The chair rail tiles are hollow. Should I fill them with thinset?

4) I am going to mix the thinset by hand. Is a margin trowel the best mixing tool?


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Unread 10-05-2013, 08:07 PM   #2
kevin n.
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I've done many backsplashes with Versabond and mix it with a margin trowel in the smaller plastic paint buckets. No problems in ten years. I use an 1/8" v-notched trowel.

I use the same methods for thicker glass mosaic tile, but use glass mortar for the 1/8" thick glass and smooth the trowel groves flat so the ridges can't be seen through the glass.

Filling hollow chairrails is a good idea as it helps with coverage rather than just the two edges that actually touch the wall.

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Unread 10-09-2013, 04:21 PM   #3
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More questions

Thanks Kevin.

Now I have questions regarding the feature tile area.

1) I will be setting chair rail molding as the frame. Is it best to use as many whole tiles as possible and then cut tiles for the corners only? When I lay out my design on paper this way, the corners of the frame are not equal. Or should I make the corners equal and cut the middle tiles as needed?

2) The center of the frame will be 1/2" x 1/2" glass tiles on mesh. Should I set the entire frame first and then the glass tiles?

What do the pros do?

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Unread 10-10-2013, 09:48 AM   #4
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Not a pro, but I had similar issues with the layout of my granite tile countertop. I decided to make the ends and edges come out as full tiles with a smaller stripe down the middle, and it really looks good to me. As I'm picturing a frame, I think the symmetry of full tiles for the corners is the right way to go.

I'd be half tempted to put up the glass tiles first, and then frame around them. That way you know the frame is symmetric around them, you don't have to worry about getting the measurements of the frame exactly right in case the glass doesn't go up exactly as you expect.

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Unread 10-10-2013, 10:11 PM   #5
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Center your 4x10 layout on the framed section. Filling your chair rail before hand is fine, but not necessary. Keep the cuts on the chair rail symmetrical, and I'd try to make them all similar size (for example, don't have 2 mitered pieces in the corners that are 6" long, then the middle piece is only 2" long). Versabond would be fine for the entire project.
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