We're installing a split face stone that has interlocking edges like this

What type of trowel? Manf. website indicates 1/4 to 1/8. Since they are going on a wall I assume v-notch?

Will nippers cut these?

There's a couple of areas where the tile will start in the middle of the wall (ie waiting for a backsplash to come in. From your experience, what can I get that's typically nice and straight/true to temporarily screw to the wall to hold these up? I thought of some cheap composite molding but even that stuff I find warped from time to time.

Anything else I should have ready?


Trowel - This depends on your substrate. If I am going on perfect straight backer board I might go 1/8", for drywall or not perfect go with 1/4".

You should notch horizontally. Actually it doesn't matter if you do it right but horizontal will help them from falling initially.

Nippers... No way. You will need a wet saw or angle grinder with diamond blade. You will need to take the sheets apart and cut each piece individually unless you have a really good wet saw with a good feeding track.

If you are waiting for a backsplash to come in, I suggest you install that first. You should start this tile right next to the backsplash and work your way out. Always start at the focal point and know that you can hide bad cuts in corners.

To hold tile up during install... we usually use 2x4s. But really if your mix is right and you trowel right these tiles will hold up just fine. You would do the bottom row first and just make sure you give the second row 20-30 minutes before you start stacking. But if you want to put something under that is fine, but you shouldn't need to.

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Ended up using 3/16 v-notch trowel. As recommended by the guy at lowes. That said, he said I might want to go up to 1/4 if I was using the "custom" mortar (which I think is more like mastic?) vs the premium mortar.

I did use a wetsaw like this: http://www.lowes.com/pd_320300-46922-3540-01_0__

the stone cut very easily as long as I went slow. The nice thing about the simple tabletop wetsaw is that it made it very easy to cut and grind individual pieces. That said, it did make a mess so I was happy that the weather allowed me to use it in the garage.

After sawing I sprayed each piece clean and let it dry for a bit while I was putting up the mortar. One of those pump cans that you pump some pressure into ahead of time would have worked, but since I couldn't find mine, I ended up filling my wagner power painter with water and used that. Either way I'm glad I did that - I think it was more effective/less messy that cleaning them once they were on the wall.

I found some straight 1x2s that worked great for holding up the floating areas. It is debatable whether I needed them to avoid sag - but they were great to make sure things were level.

I also got a rubber mallet and a scrap piece of the 1x2 for taping the sheets together to make the seams disappear

I also had an old padded drywall sander that I used to push on the tiles into the mortar for more even pressure.

Other tips are make sure you take a quick look at the seams before you move on to the next sheet. slightly moving a couple of stones can make all the difference in avoiding a zipper look.

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