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Unread 09-29-2010, 09:09 AM   #1
cbaur88
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Bathroom Vanity Backsplash

Hi Folks, I am new to the forum and pretty new at working with ceramic tile. I have however some experience in putting down ceramic floor tile, but I am no pro and had help w/ the project.

Project I am working on is a bathroom vanity back-splash. Attached is a very poor picture of my current bathroom back-splash that don't show the whole area. I will attempt tonight to take a better pic of the whole area. I want to tile across the back of the vanity counter top and the sides as well with a combination of small Mosaic glass and stone w/ mess backing followed by some small pieces of tile trim to edge it out. Here are few questions I seek advice on.

1. Removal of old tile. Should I remove the old tile and the drywall it's attached to and replace the drywall? Is it possible to remove the tile and keep the wall intact however I fear the job of removing old thinset.

2. What are the recommended wall prep for the tile. Is it ok to tile directly to the drywall? Should I put a waterproof sealant on first? backerboard necessary?

3. Space between the counter top and beginning of tile. SHould I put some sort of spacer here so I can either grout or caulk this area for waterproofing. Whats your advice?

4. What type of grout should I use sanded or non-sanded? The 12x12 mosaic has small 1x1 natural stone mixed in with it as well. Also is it ok to use a sealer on the mosaic glass tile or will it stain it or blemish it?

I am sure I'll a few more odds and ends questions. I want to thank you in advance for you reading this and taking the time to reply. Thanks much!

Chuck
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Unread 09-29-2010, 09:41 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum Chuck,

That bathroom brings back fond memories.....

1-You'll probably destroy the drywall when you go to remove the tiles. Be ready with a new piece of drywall. Prime and paint new drywall just past where the edge of the tile till end. That will give you a crisp line where the tile ends.

2- drywall is fine for a BS application, CBU is ok but on the overkill side, is more work and you'll pretty much wind up with the same end product, provided you prime the drywall with a decent primer such as Zinser

3- There is always a gap there, usually 1/8", up to 1/4" which gets caulked shut, preferably with 100% silicone.

4-Sanded grout for joints 1/8" and over, unsanded for joints 1/8 and under. A test to see if the sanded will scratch is always recommended.

5- Temporarily removing the faucet will be a huge help.

6- Since you have glass mixed in with natural stone, you'll be needed a white thinset to adhere them to the wall, the dry powdered type you mix with water.
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Unread 09-29-2010, 09:42 AM   #3
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Welcome, Chuck.

1. Site specific question and I can't see it from here. Those colors suggest it might be a mudded wall with rounded "mudcap" edges. You may or may not be able to remove the tile and mud, but it's frequently easier to simply cut the sheetrock (if it's sheetrock) around the tile and reomove the whole thing.

2. You can do any of those things. It's not considered a wet area. If you know it'll be a wet area in your installation, use the CBU, at least.

3. You must leave a space of 1/8" or so and fill it with flexible sealant (caulk).

4. Grout type is dependent upon grout joint width. Industry standard says for joints 1/8th" or less, use unsanded. For joints 1/8th" or greater, use sanded. I prefer to use sanded until the joints are just too small to force sanded into'em.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-29-2010, 10:04 AM   #4
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Thank You Much!

Fella's thanks so much for the quick informative replies. I sincerely appreciate it so much. You've really answered my questions and re-enforced what I suspected in allot of the questions mentioned.

It is staggering the amount of beautiful tile out there. The idea's and creations are endless. I was in my local Lowes and Depot for hours mixing and matching it was almost overwhelming but fun.

As the project rolls along hopefully I don't have to many more questions to pick your brain about. Thanks again!

Sincerely,
Chuck
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Unread 09-29-2010, 10:25 AM   #5
cbaur88
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Already I have two quick questions .

1. When I replace the drywall should I spackle the seams or can I leave it un-spackled and thinset over top.

2. Tiles will meet in two corners going around the vanity. Any suggestions for placing them in the corners? Do you just butt one against the other or do you leave a small gap to grout in?

Sorry for the newbie questions. Thanks in advance!

Chuck
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Unread 09-29-2010, 10:35 AM   #6
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You're probably going to damage an area larger than the existing tile. Since your new tiles are small, I would tape and float the new drywall as though the tiles weren't going in, then primer then tile.

Yes the edges where the walls meet also get a small gap, same as where the wall meets the counter. 1/8" is nice, siliconed closed.

Have you read the caulking tutorial?
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Unread 09-29-2010, 12:38 PM   #7
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Thanks Much Paul, that makes perfect sense.

Caulking tutorial is awesome, I'll be sure to follow it step by step on my project.

Wanted to ask about a tile sealant. What is a good quality sealant? Being my 12x12 mesh slab has both mosiac glass and also natural stone would it be ok to seal the whole darn thing? Or would the sealant ruin the glass mosiac? Thanks again!
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Unread 09-29-2010, 03:56 PM   #8
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A good sealant will not do anything to the glass. What kind of stone is it?
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Unread 09-30-2010, 06:50 AM   #9
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Hey Paul thanks for the reply. That make it's easier to seal the whole tile slab. It's a 12x12 mesh slab at my local Lowes. Looks like glass squares mixed with what looks like natural stone.

Here's a link to get a good idea of it. Anything special to know while working with this type of tile? I'am taking all the above recommendations and running with it. Thanks much for looking
http://www.lowes.com/pd_269569-93840...|0%26page%3D14
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Unread 09-30-2010, 07:25 AM   #10
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Since you'll be at Lowes anyway, get the dupont sealant in the brown bottles which says its for marble and stone. It will be water based.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 07:26 AM   #11
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Thanks again for the advice Paul, take care!

Chuck
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Unread 10-20-2010, 07:33 AM   #12
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Updated Photos

Finally got around to installing the vanity and painting. Attached are some updated photo's of the vanity and tile backsplash area. Backspash w/ pencil tile trim will come up just under the outlet cover about 1" inch or so.

Wanted to get some idea's or suggestions when using the pencil trim to trim the mosaic slabs.

What idea's or options to do in the corners where the walls meet and also on the edges? I guess a miter on the edges would look well w/ the pencil trim but are there other options? I also intended stopping about an inch before the counter top ends but open to suggestions or recommendations.

Also in the corners w/ the pencil trim do you just butt them together with a 1/8" space in between for the grout? Space between the mosaic's cubes are 1/8" inch. Getting a little nervous doing the job, want it to look nice.Thanks in advance!!!
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Last edited by cbaur88; 10-20-2010 at 07:34 AM. Reason: Updated Photos
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Unread 10-20-2010, 08:05 AM   #13
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Looking good. Miters on the pencils are the best way to go. I would leave the same grout line everywhere. Just take your time and don't be nervous.You can dry fit most of your pieces before you start adhering.
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Unread 10-20-2010, 12:30 PM   #14
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Thanks Jim. Would they have to be mitered in the corners as well where the wall meets or just on the edges? Sorry for the novice questions, not sure if it works like wood mitering or not. Thanks in advance!
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Unread 10-20-2010, 01:01 PM   #15
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It's a lot like wood molding. You could cope the corners if you had infinite patience, but it's not necessary. These joints will not open and close as much as wood does, so simple miters are OK.
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