Stoned? Or should they be?

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Daughter just tiled her kitchen back splash with ~ 12" matted squares of rough textured "stone faced" tiles. Individual pieces are ~ 3/4" by anywhere from 1" to 1½" in width and perhaps 3/8" - 1/2" thick.
Tile is a light tan color but the coloration varies. Nice looking and all would be well in the world if only the manufacturer had not inserted darker pieces in the border of each mat where it interlocks with the others.
Upon installation when step back and view it from a distance there is a very distinct vertical dark area as well as a horizontal one where the mats butt together.
It's bad enough that it has to be cured "in place" or removed completely and start with a fresh wall.
She has some extra sheets remaining and tells me
1) there is no way to remove lighter pieces from the field to insert where the darker ones exist in the boarder. (I have my doubts about this. Perhaps not easily removed/replaced, but I suspect where there's a will there's a way)
My thoughts are:
1) not knowing if the stone tiles are colored by dye or au natural, I'm thinking about "feathering out the coloration along the horizontal "seams" with a wash of diluted muriatic acid and see if we can't bleach it out a bit.
2) if that doesn't work, investigate removing the darker ones (contrary to her belief that it cannot be done) and blend it/soften it that way. Note that these individual tiles are butted tight against one another and no grouting is used or recommended with this tile. I have a diamond bladed tile saw and, I think, the patience to do the trimming (lengthwise only AFAICT)
3) Look into a masonry or concrete dye, make a wash that will darken the entire wall. This is not all that desirable as she still likes the varied coloration in the tile.
4) Pick a lighter color and paint the damn tile and be done with it.
Anyone have a better suggestion or wish to warn me off of attempting any (or all) of the above solutions?
Thanks!
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On 4/19/2016 7:54 PM, Unquestionably Confused wrote:

Without a photo, I'm just guessing...
But, shall I assume these little tiles are adhered to a "mesh" (like a really coarse weave "burlap")? Is there visible space BETWEEN the tiles (the equivalent of grout lines)? Or, are they tightly packed?
E.g., bathroom floor tile ages ago was "sheets" of small 1"x1", 1x2, 2x2 tiles arranged in a seemingly "random" pattern. So, when you laid these sheets, the floor looked like it had been pieced together one (variable size) tile at a time.
[Your comments suggest these aren't as "regular" in size/shape?]
With that bathroom tile image in mind, you appear to be saying that all the tiles on the edge (or *an* edge, same problem, different visual aspect) are "dark". So, when you lay these sheets of seemingly random little tiles together, the randomness illusion is shattered by this periodic "dark stripe" -- every 12 inches, etc.
Instead of removing/replacing tiles, can you, instead, ELIMINATE tiles? For example, instead of a square with dark borders, strategically cut out a few tiles along an edge -- giving the "set" a more irregular shape.
Then, arrange to remove a complementary set of tiles on the OTHER edge (i.e., the edge of the adjacent tile that would mate with this one) so that the two sets fit together like "puzzle pieces" -- instead of "nice, REGULAR squares?"
E.g., instead of (ASCII art):
XXXYYYYYYYYLLLL XXXZZZZZZQQQQQQ AAAAABBBBQQQQQQ AAAAABBBBCMMMWW AAAAADDDDCMMMBB
cobble up the tiles to resemble:
...YYYYYYYYLLLL XXXZZZZZZQQQ... .AAAABBBBQQQQ.. ...AABBBBCMMMWW .AAAADDDDCMMM..
(the '.' represent placeholders for folks without fixed width fonts)
So, when you lay two sets side-by-side, you get:
...YYYYYYYYLLLL ...YYYYYYYYLLLL XXXZZZZZZQQQ... XXXZZZZZZQQQ... .AAAABBBBQQQQ.. .AAAABBBBQQQQ.. ...AABBBBCMMMWW ...AABBBBCMMMWW .AAAADDDDCMMM.. .AAAADDDDCMMM..
And, when you cram those together (letting the overlaps from one set fill the corresponding "voids" in the other) you *see*:
...YYYYYYYYLLLLYYYYYYYYLLLL XXXZZZZZZQQQXXXZZZZZZQQQ... .AAAABBBBQQQQAAAABBBBQQQQ.. ...AABBBBCMMMWWAABBBBCMMMWW .AAAADDDDCMMAAAADDDDCMMM...
instead of:
XXXYYYYYYYYLLLLXXXYYYYYYYYLLLL XXXZZZZZZQQQQQQXXXZZZZZZQQQQQQ AAAAABBBBQQQQQQAAAAABBBBQQQQQQ AAAAABBBBCMMMWWAAAAABBBBCMMMWW AAAAADDDDCMMMBBAAAAADDDDCMMMBB
[sorry, I refuse to post HTML]
Yeah, its a fair bit of work (and might not be possible without a close examination of your particular "tile sets") but it should break up the pattern -- esp if it is as pronounced as you suggest.
You can cheat *if* your set has a "line" that runs through it. E.g., cut the top two rows (of letters, in my example) off of the bottom 3 rows and shift it over a fair bit.

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On 4/20/2016 1:43 AM, Don Y wrote:

Paper mesh mat (unlike the nylon mesh one typically finds) and no space. Tightly packed. The only way you could possibly grout between the individual pieces would be to lay the surface flat and have a grout mix the consistency of water<g>

Yes and no. They are uniform as to height (vertical dimension) and vary slightly in horizontal dimension (but I don't believe it's totally random, hence my thought to go in and look for field pieces that will match the horizontal dimension of some of the offending darker pieces along the seams/edges)

Some, but not all of the tiles on the edge are darker.

I think we're on the same page here. It WILL involve replacing/swapping tiles from the field to the edge, something my daughter doesn't believe possible. As I haven't seen it in person, I don't know for certain but I think it can be done (with a good deal of work)
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On 04/20/2016 8:59 AM, Unquestionably Confused wrote: ...

Possibly, but unless it's a quite limited number I'd guess the result won't be worth the effort. If the sizes are exact-enough, likely the ploy will be to break the offending dark one to get it out of the matrix and then replace it but I think I'd plan on getting used to the pattern as the practical solution.
--



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On 4/20/2016 10:18 AM, dpb wrote:

Multi-tool with a carbide blade and lots and lots of patience. Kids will always provide a challenge to their parents, even into their 30's. OTOH, they also provide us with grandchildren and that makes it all worthwhile<g>
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Unquestionably Confused wrote:

You said they were afixed to a paper mat. If that is the case, you should be able to bend them toward the mat and simply cut the paper with a knife. Or even cut the paper without bending.
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On 4/20/2016 11:06 AM, dadiOH wrote:

That would work for obtaining the *replacement* tiles from the yet-unused mats. But, would be inappropriate for removing the tiles (portions thereof) that are already affixed to the wall!
Hence the appeal of an acid wash, stain, etc. (alter the appearance IN PLACE)
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On Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at 2:09:51 PM UTC-4, Don Y wrote:

Sounds like a good way to make what's already a big problem worse. AFAIK you can't acid wash or stain tiles. They are fired, hard ceramic, aren't they?
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On 4/20/2016 1:58 PM, trader_4 wrote:

Nope, open and porous finish. Not glazed or sealed (AFAIK) At least she didn't seal them right away<g>
I plan to test whatever acid/bleach, dye, etc. on the extras
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On 4/20/2016 1:06 PM, dadiOH wrote:

Sure, I can do that in my sleep with the spare sheets which will become the source for the replacements. Not so much with the thin set the "problem children" are embedded in.<g>
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On 4/20/2016 6:59 AM, Unquestionably Confused wrote:

So, you could, possibly, "rip" each to form horizontal strips. Then, stagger the strips (left to right) to shift portions of the "darks" so they don't reinforce each other, visually?
For example:
XXXYYYZZZ AABBBBBBC DDDDDEEEE FGGGHHHII
can become:
XXXYYYZZZ AABBBBBBC
and
DDDDDEEEE FGGGHHHII
which can then be shifted to yield:
XXXYYYZZZXXXYYYZZZ AABBBBBBCAABBBBBBC EEEDDDDDEEEEDDDDDE HIIFGGGHHHIIFGGGHH
instead of:
XXXYYYZZZXXXYYYZZZ AABBBBBBCAABBBBBBC DDDDDEEEEDDDDDEEEE FGGGHHHIIFGGGHHHII

Understood. Enough that they're similarity reinforce each other, visually.
You can't rotate the set 90 degrees as the individual tiles wouldn't be oriented correctly (standing on end). But, can you rotate 180 degrees without introducing a visible artifact?

My approach just selectively removes tiles along the edges -- in the hope that the tiles REMAINING on the opposite edge "just so happen" to fit into those voids. This is probably tougher to achieve than selecting (and swapping) individual tiles from ANYWHERE.

The "tight fit" aspect might make it impractical to achieve -- without it looking like it was pieced together.
Ask for a photo of one. Then, of a couple (so you can determine if they are all identical; or, if there are some number of variations).
As they are square, they obviously expect some regularity in the pattern (because they always "end" with a straight edge).
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On 04/19/2016 08:54 PM, Unquestionably Confused wrote:

Don't worry about minor color variations.
By the time most women get done decorating a kitchen, there's so much gobdamn knickknack clutter on the counter tops that you can't see the back splash anyway.
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On 04/20/2016 03:26 AM, Harry Calahan wrote:

I agree, it's only noticeable because it's new and you are looking for problems...more than likely it won't be noticed after a few weeks.

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On 4/20/2016 3:26 AM, Harry Calahan wrote:

Unfortunately, there is no clutter to cover this problem and it is NOT a minor color variation. She sent us photos along with her concerns and from the photos it almost looks like somebody took a can of dark spray paint and "fogged" a band about 1½" wide horizontally and vertically along the joining edges of the mats.
A technical term perhaps, but it looks like shit!<g>
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On Wed, 20 Apr 2016 02:26:58 -0600, Harry Calahan wrote:

Has my wife been visiting you?
Do you have the set of ceramic measuring spoons shaped like various fruits of solanacea (tomato, eggplant, potato, pepper) on the wall, which you are not supposed to use because there are already 3 different sets of such spoons in the kitchen drawer?
For Each FOOD in [Potato, Avocado, Strawberry, Peanut, etc.] Do you have the serving dish for FOOD shaped like a FOOD? End
I'll bet that you don't have the porcelain rooster with the rough black stomach and chalk pieces in his boots that you are expected to use to write the grocery list on his stomach.
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On 4/20/2016 9:07 AM, Mike Duffy wrote:

We have a turkey platter that has a turkey molded into it. Does that count?
--
Maggie

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On Wed, 20 Apr 2016 22:27:50 -0500, Muggles wrote:

Sure. And the milk pitcher shaped like a cartoon cow, the juice pitcher shaped like a pineapple, the honey jar shaped like a beehive, the ice cream dishes shaped like waffle cones, the cheese dish shaped like a cheese wheel with a wedge removed, and the parmesan shaker shaped like a mouse.
--
http://mduffy.x10host.com/index.htm

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wrote:

I thought I had the honey beehive jar, but it's just the plastic bee shaped squeeze container. Everything else is just ordinary dishes. I guess I'm more practical than trendy when it comes to dishes.
--
Maggie

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On 4/20/2016 1:26 AM, Harry Calahan wrote:

Wow! Here, SWMBO wants/expects the counters to be free of EVERYTHING! "They're for food prep, not junk storage!"
I can't even leave a container of tea "out" despite using it every hour or two!
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On 04/20/2016 12:22 PM, Don Y wrote:

No clutter? Seriously?
You are a very lucky man! I'm jealous!
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