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Joni’s kitchen remodel: Mystery of the slipping tile solved

This tile has a handmade look, and precise grout lines are not called for. The vibe it's providing is so perfect for the goals of the homeowner Joni.

Patti here. Since our weekend tile project, which Joni and I wrote about in a previous post, we have gathered some valuable information.

First and foremost is that thinset should be the consistency of peanut butter! Ours was more the consistency of sour cream, so it was too thin. (Notice the food references; it is a kitchen, after all.)

Second, with this Oceanside tile, we need to make certain we thoroughly cut through the thinset all the way to the wall surface with the quarter-inch notched trowel. That means when we apply the thinset and pull it across the wall with the notched side of the trowel, we should hear the trowel scratching on the wall.

All things considered, I think our problem was that the consistency of the thinset was too thin and we applied it too thickly.

To our credit, we weighed and measured the proportions exactly, to the manufacturer’s specifications. But there are variables to consider, I’m sure, and we now know to mix it thicker no matter how precise our measurement. These are the types of things a professional would know.

For Joni and I, a couple of novices, I consider this all well within a reasonable learning curve, and I’m tickled with the tile. It’s beautiful and has exactly the right feel to set off the colors and features of this kitchen. We’ll keep you posted.

See the project so far.

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