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

Written By: Kathy Price-Robinson - Jun• 18•08

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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One Comment

  1. Great recovery. I really like the way that you identified the problem and corrected it, and all with good humor.
    The first time I laid floor tile on a fixer-upper house I was repairing to rent out, and it was after having watched a 20-minute Home Depot tiling video. My brother helped me and the bathroom came out, not good, but acceptable. Our only major flaw was to leave the spaces too wide next to the walls. We filled them in with excessive grout. We got better with each successive job.
    The important thing is try to do it and get better next time.

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