Good Questions: Tips for Tiling?

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Roxana is looking for DIY advice.

Dear AT:
This weekend, I plan on putting up mosaic tiles of unpolished marble (which I purchased at Tile Outlet for a great price) for my kitchen backsplash. The little stones are all tightly packed on 12" X 12"squares of mesh backing.
I have no experience on how to do this, so any tips or ideas where to look for help (books, websites, etc.) would be very much appreciated. I am mostly nervous about putting up the concrete and cutting the stones to fit around the outlets and other weird shapes.
Thanks,
Roxana

Here is some info we found online:

  • Natural Handyman Q&A - Tumbled Marble Backsplash
  • This Old House - Backsplash Bonanza (page 3)
  • Mosaic Tile Installation How-to (for glass tiles, not an exact match, but might be helpful)

    We tackled a similar job when we tiled the walls surrounding our tub with glass mosaic tiles and it was a surprisingly easy. It took quite awhile (3-4 days), but it was not super-challenging, even though we had never done tile installation before.

    We found the most useful tools to be patience (only apply a small area of adhesive at a time) and a good level (we did wide vertical stripes of alternating colors which HAD to be straight). Once the adhesive dried, the grouting went quickly - although cleaning it off is another story; it was a big job.

    Our bathroom floors are unpolished marble so we have a word of advice about that material...make sure you use a really good quality sealer. We ended up using two sealers that allowed in water (causing a hazy look to the tiles in areas) before finding one that worked well. Having to strip off the bad sealers (twice!) was no fun.

    Good luck with the DIY (and send us pictures when you finish!).

    Anyone have any good advice or resources for Roxana? Let her know in the comments below...

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