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Install Onyx Tile in a Bathroom

Updated:2014-05-20 11:03:55
Onyx is a translucent, exotic stone that has a lot of appeal among homeowners who enjoy unique design. Onyx is a metamorphic stone, like marble, but much more fragile and delicate.

Onyx tiles are frequently reinforced with a fiberglass mesh on the back to help keep them intact; leave this mesh in place when installing to help give your installation additional strength. Onyx tiles are installed similarly both to other natural stone tiles and to glass because of its translucent nature. Take care with each step of an onyx installation to ensure the outcome you desire.

Instructions as follows:

                                                       

Firstly, lay out the onyx slabs either directly onto the area being tiled, such as a floor, or in an area of equal size and shape to the area being tiled, such as a wall. Balance the installation by starting with a full tile in the center and moving outward to put cut tiles in the corners or edges of the installation. Mix the onyx tiles from several boxes at once to ensure a pleasing variation of color.
Secondly, cut the onyx on a tile wet saw to fit the edges of the installation. Take your time cutting; let the saw grind through the onyx without forcing it to avoid chips.
Thirdly, spread a layer of white thin set that has been modified with latex onto the area to be tiled. Inspect the onyx pieces before you lay each one; some tiles are extremely translucent, to avoid seeing the trowel marks through the tile, spread a thin layer of thin set directly onto the back of the onyx. Press each tile firmly and evenly into the thin set in the order you determined earlier.
Fourthly, allow the thin set to dry for up to 48 hours before sealing and grouting the onyx. Use an impregnating marble sealer and paint the onyx to protect it from grout stains. Let the sealer sit undisturbed for 10 minutes and buff it away in a circular motion using a soft, lint free cloth.

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