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Unread 11-22-2014, 06:28 PM   #1
nola mike
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Sea glass tile border?

So, I have a river house and am renovating the bathroom. The plan is to use sea glass that I've collected as a border in the shower, and use river rock for the floor. Remainder would be some sort of standard stone tile. I wanted to use a thicker bed of white thinset, and embed the glass. Everything would be very irregular, so I think grouting would be difficult and unnecessary. I did a test run, and it looked OK except that the clear/white glass disappeared. Thought about tinting the mortar, but I think I'd have the same problem. The rest of the glass is green and brown, and I'd rather have the white mortar beneath them. Question is is there a way to tint/paint the mortar after it's cured? That way I'd have white beneath the tile with clearly delineated joints. I'm just worried that if I try to grout it I'm going to end up with a mess...
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Unread 11-22-2014, 07:11 PM   #2
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Nola,

Thinset makes terrible grout. You can set the tiles as usual, then use Flexcolor CQ to span those gaps between the tiles.
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Unread 11-23-2014, 09:15 AM   #3
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Problem is, this isn't tile. It's actual sea glass, so is very thin, some of it curvy, irregular, etc. There isn't, AFAIK, a way to set it and still maintain any sort of gap between pieces. I also know that trying to clean out squeezed out thinset is a pita, so I'd definitely like some better techniques if they're out there...

Edit: kind of what I'm talking about, although I didn't have any thinset and used drywall mud
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Unread 03-12-2015, 11:48 AM   #4
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Again, the glass won't be thick enough to have an actual joint between the pieces for the grout. Would something like this work?
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Unread 03-12-2015, 03:19 PM   #5
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How about a 1/16" square-notched trowel?

Perhaps if that is too big, you could modify it by adding a piece of metal or wood across the notches to bring the height down more if you like.

I found this trowel that has 1/32" notches on it!! *click*
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Unread 03-12-2015, 04:10 PM   #6
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Unfortunately that wouldn't work either. The pieces are not uniform; some are curved, some are thicker than others. If anything I'll need a thicker coat to make sure that the surface is somewhat level.
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Unread 03-12-2015, 05:48 PM   #7
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Mapei kerapoxy can be used as an adhesive, ardex also has an epoxy grout adhesive.
Laticrete has a latex than can be mixed with their grouts to make them into a thinset. 311 I think it is.
And there is another company that makes a grout that can be used as a thinset, but I am having trouble remembering who that is. Ha looked it up its merkrete integra.
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Unread 03-12-2015, 07:57 PM   #8
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I see some thicker rock at the top of your pic. You'll have a hard time buttering up the thin glass to match up with the thick rock. I would cut the rocks down thin with a wet saw so everything is close to the same thickness. If you have to, instead of troweling, back better each piece so you can get the floor flatter. With the thinset mixed a little on the thick side, you can add extra to the thin tiles, less on the thicker stone.
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Unread 03-13-2015, 07:45 AM   #9
nola mike
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@cain: Saw the merkrete products. That solves the thinset as grout problem, but not the contrast problem. I'm thinking I use something like the integra with their grout stain product. Of course, they don't have anywhere near me that I can buy the stuff. I'll look into your other 2 options.
@davy: The rock is going to be the floor, the glass is going to be a border.

Still trying to decide what would look best for the bulk of the shower. Leaning towards travertine; feel like it should be stone of some sort. It's a tiny bathroom, so I'd like to possibly carry whatever I use for the shower walls to the bathroom floor.
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