Category: Home Ideas

Do It Yourself – Install Mosaic Tile

mosaic tiles installation

Installing Tiles and Mosaic Designs

Whether installing a classic mosaic pattern on a small bathroom floor, or bringing some interest to a backsplash by layering mosaics of different colors through a larger field tile, learning how to lay tile that is mounted in sheets takes practice and a little know how. Follow these tips to ensure that the job turns out the way it’s imagined.

Learn the Difference in Mounting

Mosaic tiles can come in a few different formats. Loose tiles, which care placed individually, and those that are mounted on mesh, craft paper or contact paper.

Loose mosaics are installed like any other tile, and are typically used for accenting, or piecing together a small, but intricate design. Mounted mosaics come in full square foot increments in patterns to be pieced together, or in sheets of one color or repeating design that can be cut up.

Mesh mounted mosaics have the sheet mounted to the back of the tiles. These tiles are installed right side up, with the mesh being pressed directly into the mortar, and are among the easiest mosaics to install.

Face mounted material will have either brown craft paper, or contact paper covering the front of the material. In the case of custom mosaic patterns, there will sometimes be contact paper on both sides, the back side of which will need to be removed prior to installing. These mosaics are installed with the paper facing out and the mosaic tiles being pressed directly into the mortar.

Paper faced material is typically used with glass mosaics, where the mesh could be seen through the glass, or in materials that are uneven in thickness. Face mounted material will require extra steps during the install to ensure that the spacing between the sheets is even, thickness differences are accommodated and the paper is removed when the tiles are set.

Getting Ready

Begin by gathering the supplies needed for installation, including a grout float, tile saw, tile nippers, sanded grout, white thinset, tile spacers to the exact size of the grout joints already set in the sheets, sponges, water and trowel. Prepare the surface to be clean and dry; mosaics are able to “flex” more than other materials, due to the many grout joints, making them ideal for floors and other surfaces that are less than flat.

Begin with a dry layout; practice piecing together the patterns, and lining up the grout joints, to ensure an even pattern without visible separation between the sheets.

Make any cuts at this time, either to the mesh or paper or to the tiles themselves with the tile nippers or saw. Lay the sheets from the center of the wall outward to the sides to ensure an even layout with cut tiles buried in corners.

Installing Tiles

mosaic tiles installation

Mesh mounted materials can go down in full or partial sheets much like any other material. Paper faced materials, however, should first be back buttered, or have an even coating of thinset applied to the back of the sheet to even out thickness differences and provide an even surface with no trowel marks for glass tiles. Flip the sheet upside down and sprinkle dry grout into the joints to prevent the thinset from leaking through. With the flat edge of the trowel, smooth a layer of thinset onto the back of the sheet. This is in addition to any thinset applied to the wall, and can be used to make up thickness differences between mosaic accents and field tiles as well.

When the sheets are in place, and the spacing correct, allow paper faced material to set for about an hour. Thoroughly soak the paper with water to loosen the glue and peel the paper away. Any tiles that come loose should be replaced with a small amount of thinset as quickly as possible. Make any adjustments to the grout joints at this time, and leave to dry for 24 hours. Apply the grout at this, taking care to pack it well in to the many grout joints before wiping away excess and leaving the grout to set for an additional 24 hours..

Mosaic designs can be created by cutting up and reconfiguring the sheets prior to install for a creative, custom look. Mosaics also create inexpensive and interesting borders when cut into strips.

Always be sure to remove a few tiles from paper faced material upon receipt to ensure that the correct material has been received, as it can sometimes be difficult to tell when looking at the back of the tiles.

Be sure to work slowly and carefully, and enjoy the product of effort and the beauty of the mosaics for years to come.

Paint Like a Pro Contractor with the Right Tools

Use Square-End and Sash Brushes with Natural or Synthetic Bristles

No one would expect a Nascar racer to be competitive in a go-kart, or a home framer to be productive using a hand saw rather than a circular saw to cut studs. The same thing is true of professional painting contractors. High quality painting tools are essential.

Use the Right Bristle Brush

paint tools

There are a wide variety of paint brushes available. Altogether too often, when a homeowner decides to tackle an interior or exterior painting job, the brush purchasing rationale is that when doing just one job, why spend the money on expensive brushes?

Nothing could be further from the truth. Buy quality products like Purdy. It will go a long way towards professional results, and with care, the brushes can be used in multiple projects in the future. These are the 2 most common types of brushes:

Sash brushes. These are the ones that have the bristles tapered from one side to the other. They’re great for getting into corners. Another basic use is cutting in edges and corners. The term sash originates from window sashes (window frames).

Square-end brushes. These are used for flat surfaces. Like their sash cousins, they come in a variety of widths.

Characteristics of a Quality Paint Brush

The best ones cost more because of the time and materials that go into their construction. There are several things to look for:

Packaging. It sounds silly, but how the brush is packaged at the store is an indication of quality. The ones that are simply laying in a bin are junk. Look for packaging that is essentially a container for the business end of the brush, with a hole at the bottom to slide the handle through. Do not throw this away. This is for storing the tool after use to keep the bristles straight.

Multiple wood spacers between bristle rows. These are located in the heel and are there to hold more paint when it’s loaded up.

Reinforced metal ferrules. This is the metal transition piece between the handle and the bristles and it holds the bristles in place. Look for a one that holds them securely; no one wants to pick loose bristles out of just-spread paint or see one encased in dry paint like a fossil.

Natural Bristles or Synthetic?

Generally speaking, use natural bristles for oil-base paint and synthetic bristles for latex-base paint. Using a natural bristle brush in water-based paint will damage it.

Other than that, the reason for using different materials in different bases has to do with how well they hold and spread the product.

Use Paint Rollers for Larger Areas

These are used for painting walls or ceilings. Always look for a uniform nap on rollers, as well as beveled edges, not square, so as not to not leave a bead at the edges. Also, use a resin tube that won’t saturate and break down when subjected to wet paint.

How long should the nap be? The general rule is the smoother the surface, the shorter the nap. For smoother walls and ceilings, use a 3/8” nap. For semi-rough surfaces like concrete, use a 1/2” – 3/4” nap. For rougher surfaces like stucco or brick, use 1” – 1 1/4”.

How to Fix Streaked Gutters

Every homeowner wants to avoid gutter streaks, also known as tiger stripes. These streaks on your gutter or wall just keep on appearing and you have no clue where they are coming from. So the best solution you can come up with is to call in for repairs and a new installation for your gutter. When most homeowners notice these streaks, they tend to conclude that they must install new gutter system. Before you start installing new gutters, just ensure that the streaks are not as a result of the following factors.

Accumulation of dirt and grime

In most cases, since the gutter system is exposed to the open environment, it is very possible to see lines forming on the gutter and the adjacent wall. When dust and other pollutants get in contact with water, these lines will appear. Other chemicals especially from acid rain and those that are in the air will react and form lines on the gutters as well. The lines can be a big problem as they are not easy to clean away and they are not easy to control either.

In this case, you get professional gutter cleaners to help remove these lines. Though they may seem stubborn, a professional gutter cleaner has all the necessary tools to clean gutters effectively.

Not cleaning the gutters regularly

If you see the streaks on your wall and gutter, the first thing you should is to try and clean them away. Make sure that you chose the cleaners keenly. Some stains will just come off with simple detergents that will not harm the gutter while other may require some very powerful detergent depending on the cause of the stain.

If the paint on the gutter is can easily come off if you use stronger cleaning agents then you can just clean the area more than once to get the stain off. If the option of cleaning is not making the situation better then you can ask a gutter professional to come in. In such cases, gutters experts advice that you should contact a professional gutter cleaners.


Gutter streaks can make your gutters appear ugly and in fact reduce the value of your home. Therefore, getting rid of such streaks is part of gutter cleaning exercise and should be taken seriously.