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Old 12-23-2017, 09:41 AM   #1
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carrara subway, honed, advice

I'm remodeling a full bath with 3x6 carrara subway. tub/shower and wainstot. Ready for tile next week.

As for the edges and tops (where bullnose might typically be used), I was going to polish/ease the edges with grinder and pads (first time trying that, but I've seen it done). It just dawned on me that this might not work with honed tile. Advice? The tile was special ordered by the client..I'm figuring I might have to just get some bullnose, pencil or something on order.

Last edited by Grasshopper; 12-23-2017 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 12-23-2017, 10:03 AM   #2
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Why do you think it wouldn't work with honed? Typically, it would be easier with honed, because you wouldn't have to polish the edges quite as much.

I use these inexpensive PVA pads from Harbor Freight. They work very well, and you don't need a variable speed grinder to operate them.

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Old 12-23-2017, 10:03 AM   #3
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You can limit how high you go with the polishing pads to give yourself only a honed finish.

But 3x6 tiles are tiny and a bit of a pain to polish individually. It's too easy to polish the ends over. Do you have some sort of clamping set-up that would allow you to line up 2 or more tiles in a row so as to cut down on the tendancy to round over the ends? If not, I'd consider this.

And does your client know about the dangers of discolored marble tiles in a shower...especially the floor pan?

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Old 12-23-2017, 10:25 AM   #4
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I was planning to clamp several down at a time and polish.

This is a combo tub/shower, so no separate shower or marble floor to worry about.

This will be their second tub/shower marble bathroom. I did one several years ago in crema marfil 12x12's, or some other pinkish marble..I forget exactly.

They are aware of potential staining, but this is what they (she) wants.
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Old 12-23-2017, 02:45 PM   #5
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Like Greg said, the stick on sand paper will sling off of a fast turning grinder but the paper does a great job. I've also used the PVA pads and they also do well.

I like to line them up on a flat surface just barely hanging them over the edge. I clamp a straight edge on the flat table along the back side of the tiles to keep them from sliding back. That way you can polish from one tile right on to the next without rounding the ends like Bubba mentioned. If you can't rig something to hold the tiles down, you may have to hold them down with one hand while polishing with the other.

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Old 01-16-2018, 11:09 AM   #6
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marble subway and mosiac job

A couple questions, if I may.

1) For the marble subway job (3x6 honed calacatta) I'm doing, I'm going back on forth on whether to finishing the bottom course of my walls first (about 1 3/4 to 2"), or after installing the marble mosaic floor (some really tiny pieces, too, on 12x12 sheets). Which order do you guys typically do this? If it were a shower, I do walls first, but for some reason want to go the other way on this to make it easier to align the sheets with wall.


I neglected to install a marble corner shelf. Other than a high speed grinder with diamond wheel, anybody tried something less dusty? I'm thinking of using my polisher with cutting wheel, plus damp sponge on a GFCI plug, or even a dremel with diamond bits.


I need to take some of the shine off the pencil trim I'm using (polished carrara). I applied vinegar for a minute or two, then rinsed. I might do that again to get them even flatter. Any other suggestions.


What's your preferred non-staining grout for marble. Spacing is all 1/16. We're going with light gray. Anything special in the Mapei line?
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Old 01-16-2018, 01:49 PM   #7
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1- We normally install a ledger a few rows up, tile the walls, remove the ledger, tile the bottoms of the walls, then tile the floor. Some pro's tile the floor first. Whatever floats your boat.

2- Use stainless washers as a biscuit, epoxied into the grout joint and into the shelf.

3- Increase the strength of the acid (carefully ) until you get the desired finish. Or use dry polishing pads, starting at 400 then work your way down.

4- Seal the marble first with Miracle 511. Wait the 6 hours, more is nice, then grout with Flexcolor CQ or Fusion Pro

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Old 01-16-2018, 06:46 PM   #8
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Thanks Paul. All great solutions.

Well, it looks like I'm going to be doing some cutting for something else after all. I discovered my help tailed outside my vertical line, the top two feet outside the shower. I went to remove my blue tape and was like "wth...?". Before I edge with pencil, I'll be trimming one way or another. It flairs out past the line 3/4" or more by the time it reaches the top...grrrrrr. Nuts that I missed it in all the excitement.
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Old 02-06-2018, 07:34 AM   #9
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time to grout

Time to grout.

I'm having second thoughts on using Flexcolor CQ due to the graininess (looks-wise, not function-wise). Is the aggregate finer than in years past? Last time I used it was about a year ago.

Btw, I just used FusionPro on a marble floor regrout job. That was a workout. Too gummy. Ugh.
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Old 02-06-2018, 04:48 PM   #10
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I havent used it in awhile but in the past the aggregate was fairly large.

If you're looking for a single component grout, Bostik also makes one.
Mapei FA has a very fine aggregate but it isn't premixed.
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