Seeking a few tips on tile install


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Old 10-03-23, 06:09 AM
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Seeking a few tips on tile install

Hi, I'm installing a subway tile backsplash in my kitchen. I've done tile jobs before, but it's been many years, so I'm looking for a few clarifications from those that know.

1. Still the standard to leave a 1/4" between countertop and first row of tiles which will later be filled with chalking?

2. This project is over plaster and in some areas, dry wall. Paint was fully cured over a year ago, but the kitchen's been in use. How picky do I need to be about the cleaning? Is TSP still the go to or or there a modern alternative, perhaps one that's effective but less toxic?

3. On one wall, horizontally speaking, the kitchen counter extends beyond the cupboards above by about 1.25 inches. I could match the backsplash to the counter or to the cupboards above. In cases like these, what's the more common choice? I'm thinking I should match the cupboards, not the counter top. I guess a third option would be to run a column of 1.25" cuts of tile all the way up the wall to the ceiling, but I'm not sure that would look right and it certainly would be more work.

4. Regarding my situation described in #3, I can terminate the edge of the backsplash using bullnose or I can use one of those metal edging strips. What choice looks better, especially considering the problem I described in #3.
 
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Old 10-03-23, 10:10 AM
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1. Leaving room for a bead of caulk is a good idea. It doesn't have to be 1/4" unless that coincides with your grout spacing.

2. You can use TSP or any other grease cutting cleaner. All grease & dirt should be removed and don't forget to thoroughly rinse the surface afterwards as thinset doesn't stick well to TSP residue.

3. We can't see what you've got but I'd align with the cabinet above. Or, you go up from the counter and have a short horizontal reveal where it meets the cabinets. At my house I came down from the cabinets so there is a inch or so of counter without backsplash behind it.

4. I did the end of the tile at my house with bullnose but that's an aesthetic decision. Do whatever you like. I find the aluminum edging to be a bit 50's in style.
 
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Old 10-04-23, 08:51 AM
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1. It's good to know I don't have to do 1/4", but that doesn't tell me what I can do instead. I assume there must be a minimum to allow for expansion. For me it's an issue of trying to get the tile to fit, top to bottom, in a way that doesn't create a weird look. Our resources suggest I can get away with 1/8", but I just don't know what the minimum is.

2. So I could just use Dawn Dish soap instead of TSP?

3. I was more wondering if there was an industry standard, but it sounds like it's just a judgment call. I agree it's better to match the cabinets rather than the countertop.

4. Thanks for your input. I agree with you the edging doesn't look as good, but I just couldn't find bullnose tiles that matched the subway tiles, which is very strange considering how common subway tiles are. (Lowes).

Whether I get a reply from you or not, just want to say thanks for the input. Have a good one.
 
 

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