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Old 03-22-2014, 10:39 AM   #1
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Installing Mosiac tile backsplash

We want to install the micro mosiac tile backsplash in both our bathrooms, but not sure about the installation. Here is the tile we have selected:

Micro Mosaic Travertine 5/8x5/8 Honed Tile - Mosaics

I am told that the grout has to be rubbed into the grooves with a sponge, then the excess rubbed off the surface of the tiles. I understand from talking to someone here who did this in their house that it's quite a messy job! Also, they have had some problems with the grout cracking.

I'm always looking for simpler ways to do things. I can't see why I can't use a colored silicone caulk which would be easy to install and should solve the cracking problem. What am I missing here? Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:47 AM   #2
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since it is installed on a vertical wall, no foot traffic, it should work. The elasticity of the silicone caulk, while the "bus is in motion", should prevent cracks. Cleaning the excess off the tile face, may be a concern.
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:56 AM   #3
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That's a general use tile and will want mastic to mount it on the wall, then grout to fill the spaces between tiles. I put a lot of this down in our stick house bathroom a couple years back. The job is messy, but not that bad if you use buckets of water and sponges. This tile once installed is about thick (just the tiles are 1/4"). For a back splash in your RV, you probably should use liquid nails instead of mastic to mount the tile, but you'll have to clean excess very quickly and well. Silicone caulk should work, but again, everything will still end up being fairly thick. Have you looked at faux tile specifically for back splash use? I've seen some in panels that can be cut to fit and are a lot thinner and lighter than real tile.
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:59 AM   #4
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There is a lot of help out there for DIY tile installs.
Nothing can replace hands on experience.
I've done many tile jobs over the last 20 years.
I'll never forget my first grouting experience. I failed.
It is messy, prepare for it. Walls are more difficult than floors.
Grout cracking usually means movement in the tile or a bad mixing job.
I wondered the same thing about using silicone. From experience, it is doable, but very difficult to keep it only in the grout lines.
I have seen sheets of tile with silicone used as grout to form the sheets, leaving a few joints and corners to caulk. I believe American Olean was the manufacturer.
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Old 03-22-2014, 11:19 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies! It's been a while since I used silicone caulk, but can't you wipe off the excess with a wet sponge?
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:10 PM   #6
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Monaco used a product called Kerapoxy Mapei epoxy grout and a adhesive called Gold Bond. In Elkhart ,IN they used a vendor called Cherry Tile to do the work. They did most of the back splashes on a flat surface then installed one piece to the walls.

I have used the Kerapoxy grout on our bedroom floor and it is different than most all other grouts, but I wouldn't use them on walls. You just don't get the flex that you get on floors and a vertical install, it would not be necessary for your needs because there is almost no flex.

Our floor has no cracks in 40' of tile, here's a pics of the bedroom install.






PS, Yes it's true I do carry a wet tile saw that also doubles as a small table saw.
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
We want to install the micro mosiac tile backsplash in both our bathrooms, but not sure about the installation.
Joe, I have been thinking about tiling but at the moment have too many things on the to-do list before I get to that project. However, I just did a quick Google search and this was one of the first hits that came up. Wonder if anyone in the iRV2 community has experience with this?

Keep us posted on your project progress...

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Old 03-22-2014, 12:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
Thanks for the replies! It's been a while since I used silicone caulk, but can't you wipe off the excess with a wet sponge?
Simple answer, NO.
You can't get a nice grout line without tooling it to be smooth and even.
Most commonly, a finger works well. With grout or latex caulk, water will work to keep it smooth and remove grout or caulk from tile surface.
With silicone, a solvent base should be used for tooling or removal. Like alcohol or mineral spirits.
With my experience, the only way I would attempt silicone grouting, would be to use masking tape on both sides of grout line. Requiring to do all horizontal lines first, then vertical, then corners etc. with 24 hrs drying time in between.
Watch some videos, practice on some samples, If you can handle cutting and installing tile. grout will be no problem.
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:58 PM   #9
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If you have not started, take a look at "Smart Tiles". I don't think there's any grouting.
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Old 03-22-2014, 02:19 PM   #10
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If you have not started, take a look at "Smart Tiles". I don't think there's any grouting.
Nice... a multi day project looks like it just turned into a 2 hour project.
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Old 03-22-2014, 02:33 PM   #11
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I'm pretty sure there are threads here where other members have used the Smart Tiles (or similar self-adhesive/no grouting) with success. We're considering it except what is in stock at either HD or Lowe's is limited & trying to determine what I like just seeing it online isn't working for me.

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Old 03-22-2014, 03:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by NLOVNIT View Post
I'm pretty sure there are threads here where other members have used the Smart Tiles (or similar self-adhesive/no grouting) with success. We're considering it except what is in stock at either HD or Lowe's is limited & trying to determine what I like just seeing it online isn't working for me.

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Hey Lori- I think they will send you samples. Not free though, I believe $2 ea.
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Old 03-22-2014, 03:42 PM   #13
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Thanks. I might try that if I get it narrowed down to 2-3 options.

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Old 03-22-2014, 03:46 PM   #14
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We just installed Smart Tile in our Safari. It's simple to do and it looks good.
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