Glass tiles have become increasingly popular in new homes. Model homes often feature small glass tiles in mosaic style used as kitchen back splash or used in shower enclosures. The glass adds a translucent quality and a gleam. Many new tile shapes are available and glass can be mixed with marble and other stones in long rectangular strips. These designs allow the glass to add a pop of color or brilliance, almost like a gemstone. Installing glass mosaics can require considerable patience for the best outcome.
Things You'll Need
- Latex fortified thinset mortar (white)
- 3/16 square notched trowel
- Rubber grout float
- Glass mosaic tile nippers
- Wet saw for tile
- Wet drill for tile
- Latex fortified grout
Spread white latex fortified thinset mortar over the substrate, the surface where the tile is to be applied. White mortar is used to bring out the color of the glass tile. Use a 3/16 square tooth trowel at a 45 to 90 degree angle over the area where one sheet of mosaic tile will be installed. Flatten the trowel ridges.
Place the paper faced glass tile (some tiles will not have paper on their face) face down on a work table and back butter the tile mesh that holds the mosaic tiles together. Back butter means that you apply a coat of mortar to the back of the tile. Do not flatten the trowel ridges.
Position the mesh against the substrate wall. Make sure your tiles are level and even and wipe off any excess mortar. Press the tile sheet gently into the mortar using a rubber grout float. Double check that the tiles are straight since they may move when you press the tiles into position.
Remove the paper on the front of the tiles once the tiles begin to set up (3 to 5 minutes). Cut around objects or openings using mosaic tile nippers. For large cuts use a wet saw or wet drill. Most cuts are made with nippers. Allow the mortar to harden overnight.
Grout with a latex fortified white grout. Drag the grout float across the tiles at a 45 degree angle and make sure all the grout lines fill with grout. As the grout begins to dry (within 15 minutes) wipe off excess grout. Do not allow grout to dry on the tiles as you will not be able to remove it. Because mosaic tiles are so small you may need to work in small areas so that all grout lines can be cleaned and the tile cleaned as you work.
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