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ilyaz 04-08-2010 04:34 AM

shells and desert rock backsplash?
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We were recently traveling overseas and visited a desert and some beaches. As the result, we now have a small collection of interesting looking shells and rocks. Now that we are remodeling our kitchen, we had an idea of somehow incorporating them into the backsplash. The attached photo shows mostly the rocks. I have no idea what type they are (sedimentary/volcanic/etc). The main question is: given their odd shape and varying size (e.g. the one at the bottom of the photo is about 3" X 2.5"), is there any way to attach them securely to the wall? Do we need to use some special type of adhesive? Do we need to prepare the rocks and shells in any way, e.g. clean them in a special way, polish them etc? Once installed, is there any way to make cleaning them, and the backsplash areas around them, easier?
Thanks much!

kok328 04-08-2010 05:45 AM

I would set them in thinset and then apply a sealer to keep them clean and cleanable.

ilyaz 05-11-2010 02:35 PM

We ended up dropping the backsplash idea but what I do want to try is to make a rock/shell collage inside a picture frame. I can set them in thinset but how would I attach it to the back of the frame? Suppose the back is made of thin plywood. Will thinset stick to the plywood well enough for me to hang the collage on the wall? Do I have to treat the back with something for better adhesion?

frozenstar 05-11-2010 11:37 PM

Does applying an adhesive glue on both side of the rock and wood would work? Try it first on an ordinary rock.

itsreallyconc 05-12-2010 04:14 AM

howzabout stapling some expanded wire mesh to the backing ? you also couldda precast another backsplash but beware - the next owner may not be as appreciative :)

handyguys 05-12-2010 11:58 AM

The thinset will stick to plywood. If the plywood is bendy or flexible the thinset will work loose. Hot glue or liquid nails will work too. You may want to install the plywood in the frame first.

Are you going to try and grout it? That could be problematic. I would just paint the plywood first and then use a hot glue gun, with clear glue, to attach your collection. The nice thing with the hot glue is it sets up very fast and if something isnt going to stick it it wont mess up the piece too bad. Just make sure everything is clean and dry first. Take some pics when you are done. Sounds like a fun project.

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