Mix the mortar until it has the consistency of dough with no lumps. But this doesn’t work with mosaics. In a pinch, just use a block of wood, but keep the face free of grout, which could scratch the tile. Buckets with lids don’t. We use a small kitchen scale or postal scale for weighing out the thinset and the water. If this happens to you, wait for the thinset to firm up a little. Mist the thinset sparingly if you see it drying. In this video you will learn 2 techniques for applying thinset to small areas. Dean lets this layer of thin-set firm up before moving on to the next step. These techniques are very different than the technique used for applying thinset to large areas. But he says a wood float with a handle on it works great too. Whether you spread the thinset in small patches or put a smear of thinset on the backside of each tile will depend on your style and pace of work. Mixing … He makes the depth of the notches equal to the thickness of the tile band, plus about 1/8 in. There is only a tiny amount of water in a fine mist, and so you don’t have to worry about it messing up your unused thinset or throwing off your measurements, but it is highly effective at getting the dust out of the air. The mesh, plastic or paper backing that holds mosaic tiles together can get in the way if you don’t trim the edges. Photo and mosaic: @Julie Sperling. Equip the tile saw with a tile-cutting blade or use nippers to complete the cuts. If you are sloppy in how you clean your fingers (gloved or ungloved), you will use up tons of rags. Scrape fingers off on the wadded newspaper in the garbage can. The slot in the bed of most tile saws is so wide that small mosaic tiles will fall in, making them difficult to cut. Install the mosaic or glass tile accent band. And protruding backing can prevent you from pushing adjoining sheets close together. If you get to the end of a wall or up against an object and are left with a gap that’s too narrow to fill with tile but too wide to caulk, you can close it by spreading the rows of tiles slightly. HOWEVER, if you live some place with extreme cold or extreme wet, it never hurts to go to your local building material store and ask what contractors are using in your area before choosing a paint or a roofing material or a sealant or anything like that. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. Apply thin-set adhesive to the wall using a notched trowel. Coat the Wall with ThinsetMix thinset in a bucket. My master bath we have 12×12 sheets of white marble mosiac tile each tile on the sheet is roughly 2″x2″, I was planning to use white thinset and a 1/4 x 1/4 Square notch. (Keying or burning in allows the tile mortar to bond better with the substrate by increasing your bond to the pores or texture of the substrate. Position the tile over the mortar bed and press it in place. Let the joint compound or thin-set harden and you’re ready to set tile. As with glue, thinset can be used in either of two ways: It can be spread on a small area on which tiles are then placed, or it can be applied to the back of each tile individually. Thinset tile mortar provides a very strong bond and is resistant to moisture and mold growth. For outdoor and wet mosaics, thinset is recommended instead of adhesives. (Versabond thinset is sold in white and gray.) Our latest shed is also a pavilion—and you can build it, too! Mist with a spray bottle to control dust. Tile installation requires grooves in the thinset to create air pockets which facilitate the adhesion of the tile. For mounting sheets of tile on mesh or paper, it’s a lot simpler: Spread the mortar on the wall with a notched trowel, butter the back of the sheet of tile, and then press the sheet to the wall. You can break the plastic handle off your wife’s favorite spoon or bend a thin piece of pipe in a hurry if the batch is large enough. Cutting curves in mosaic tile is tricky. Use a spray bottle at its finest setting to mist your work area with water as you stir and scoop. For detailed mosaic artwork where you are placing each tile by hand, you will probably want to mix 1 to 3 pounds at most. Often, the tile used for a decorative band is thinner than the tile that surrounds it. He spreads a layer of thin-set in the band area and uses the notched trowel to screed the thin-set to the right thickness. We use the following materials to keep the work clean and efficient: The plastic tray or recycled container lid holds a small amount of thinset for use. No matter how you handle the thinset, you will occasionally get some on your fingers. First Dean carefully calculates how wide the band will be by measuring the width of the tile band and adding the width of two grout spaces. To backbutter mosaics simply grab a scrap piece of your substrate, in this case it was kerdi-board, and comb the thinset onto it just like you would if you were installing the tile to it. Whether your spread the thinset or apply it to each individual tile, you will need a way of keeping your hands clean and a way of cleaning up random drops and smears. spread thinset and set tiles. 4. Next, Dean creates a custom screed by notching a plastic putty knife. Thinset is your go-to tile mortar for most indoor and outdoor applications. This video shows how to achieve a full coverage of the thinset on the back of the glass mosaic tile. Mosaic & Glass Tile Mortar Thin-set mortar for glass and mosaics. APPLYING ADHESIVE: Apply a good quality latex-modified thinset approved for use with glass or vitreous/porcelain tile. Apply the mortar or mastic in the same manner as the rest of the wall and place the tiles. Hold the block so the face is parallel to the surface and bounce it up and down to set the tile. The temptation to use mastic instead of thinset for backsplash tile installation may be appealing, but … Mastic Vs Thinset for Back-splash Installation; I am about to install a tile backsplash in our kitchen, using these tiles, in 2" x 4" "mosaic… He is also an avid DIYer at home. For Versabond thinset, we add 1/2 cup or 4 oz of water per 1 pound of dry thinset powder. Wear a dust mask and do this outside. Take care to mix all the way to the bottom of the bucket and scrape the edges to make sure that no powder, lumps or clumps remain. He’s done everything from single-tile repairs to an 8,000-sq.-ft. floor, and he currently runs Sorem Tile & Stone in Hudson, WI. This page explains how to mix and use thinset mortar for detailed work with glass mosaic tile and other tesserae for outdoor and wet mosaics where PVA adhesives such as Weldbond should be avoided. Generally speaking any vertical tile installation should be done on cement … If you find a dip in a wall, flatten it by screeding a layer of setting-type joint compound over it as shown here. A video in the intermediate Library demonstrates that. A margin trowel is very useful for scraping the sides of the bucket and making sure there aren’t pockets of unmixed powder down in the edges of the bottom of the bucket. Adjust the saw’s cutting depth so you’re not cutting into the plywood. Then just saw as usual. Skim (flatten) the surface of the thinset application with the long flat edge of the trowel. For a small area, you could use glass tile mortar (which is suitable for glass, thin marble, and porcelain tiles). The installation method for any tile but especially a mosaic is to comb the area in a direction, sit the tile on the area, then gently press the tile into the thinset perpendicular to the thinset streaks back and for… Scoop a small amount of thinset into the tray and keep the rest of the thinset in the mixing bucket. The nitril gloves we sell are ideal for this purpose because they are latex-free and powder free and are more durable than the latex medical examination gloves we used to sell. Get the Right Substrate. All rights reserved. Even if you take all the standard precautions, you’re bound to get an occasional bit of thin-set oozing out between tiles, especially if they’re really thin like these glass mosaics. Note that these gloves are much thinner and offer much more dexterity than the thick grouting gloves. Gradually add the thin-set powder, mixing it thoroughly. Starting … (A good test is to cement a few rocks together, wait about 6 days, and then bust them apart with a hammer and look for crumbly material or a lack of adhesion.) Dean Sorem installed his first tile in 1979 and has been a professional tile setter ever since. Take your same putty knife and turn it into a notched trowel. You don’t want to leave thin-set between the tiles because it may show through the grout. Here Dean is removing the spacers after the adhesive behind the surrounding tile has set up. If you’re working with thin mosaic tile or glass mosaic tile that isn’t painted on the back, apply the thin-set with a notched trowel and then flatten it slightly with the flat side of the trowel before setting the tile. Q: To tile the ceiling above my tub, should I use mastic or thinset? Twist the tile slightly as you set it to create … Flattening will prevent the ridges and air pockets from showing through transparent glass tile. Use a square-notch margin trowel for applying thinset mortar. The thinset bag has mixing instructions on the label, but those were written for mixing the entire bag. Make sure you clean up outside and do not pour unused thinset down drains. Since thinset tile mortar has … Keep the bucket covered and use the putty knife or margin trowel to scrap the sides of the bucket so that all the thinset is in a blob and doesn’t dry out. Website, Text and Images © 2003-2018 J.E. Home House & Components Fixtures Bookcases. Cut the mesh between the rows with a sharp utility knife. Every so often, pick up a sheet and make sure all the tiles are sticking to the mortar. Here’s how Dean solves the problem. wet areas or exterior areas). An aluminum ice scoop or a large steel kitchen spoon can be used to scoop out the thinset powder, but you can also use a recycled plastic container (such as used for cottage cheese or yogurt) and just store this improvised scoop in your bucket of thinset. 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