Use white thin set mortar when installing light colored tile. Use grey when dark colored tile. Non sanded grout for 1/16" up to 3/16" spacing and sanded grout when 3/16" and bigger spacing between tiles.
Seal natural stone tile before grouting to prevent grout haze and easier clean up after grouting. Also seal stone tile surface area before using epoxy grouts. Seal grout lines after grouting when using normal grout. Any natural stone can be enhanced for a wet look by applying a stone enhancer or can be sealed by normal sealer.
For thin tile use v-notch trowel. For thicker tile 3/16" to 1/4" square notch tile trowel. Mix both grout and thin set mortar to the consistency of peanut butter. Easy mix mortar with mixing paddle attached to a power drill. Add water or acrylic mix in bucket prior to adding mortar for easier mixing.
For outdoor installations use cement backer board. For indoor installation where moisture is an issue like bathroom tub area and shower use backer with a build in moisture barrier. If you use backer with no moisture barrier you need to paint the backer with a waterproof sealer prior to tiling when tiling in a high moisture area.
For kitchen back splash where moisture is not present a you can tile directly to the drywall. Make sure the paint is secure and not flaking and remove grease or loose paint if necessary before tiling.
Buy between five and ten percent extra tile to make provision for tile lost due to cutting.
Use pan liner when pouring custom shower pan. Pan liner between 6" and 8" up on sides and over the front edge. Add backer with backer screws over front edge and seal the screw heads and joints between backer sections. On the walls install backer over the pan liner with the last screw 6" to 8" from the bottom. This ensures that the puncture hole from the attachment of the backer / pan liner is above the water line.
Pour custom shower pan with sand mix mortar. Damp mixture but not watery. Shape the pan and leave for at least 72 hours to dry when room heated. If not heated leave longer before tiling your custom pan.
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