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Old 08-07-2006, 08:19 AM   #1
John Dumbrille
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One step method

Hi guys,
Im updating some information on one step install methods for paper and plastic ( face) mounted mosaic sheets. I have no first hand experience doing this, and I notice most people still use the older thinset/grout method.

The info I have is:
Mapei recommends their Keracrete liquid latex mixed with Keracolor U grout for some one step applications of mosaics. They've partnered with Italian company Bisazza Tile for many years and this is an approved method for them and some other manufacturers. Laticrete's Nash has also posted on this forum about their Tri-Poly Fortified Sanded Grout (1500 Series), mixed with Laticrete 4237 Latex Thin-Set Mortar Additive.

Above all, Im wondering about pro installers' experience - if you use a one step method, anything to watch for? If you dont use the method, what's holding you back?

thanks,
John
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Old 08-08-2006, 11:04 AM   #2
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hmm

So far this hasnt worked very well. Still...
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Old 08-08-2006, 11:13 AM   #3
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Back when I was an apprentice, my father sent me out on many repairs, using the 4237 and grout, so that the tile could be set and grouted all in one shot. The biggest problem I experienced with this was the latex making the grout smear like crazy, and several times, I had problems with the grout shrinking once the latex dried. I'd do it again, for PATCHING. But I'd never try this for an entire installation.
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Old 08-08-2006, 01:15 PM   #4
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Interesting
A couple weeks ago we tried to do a one step on some floor mosaic and it didn't work well. Used TEC products. Back to the tried and proven. Set the tile and get the mortar out of the seams as you go. Grout it up the next day.
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Old 08-08-2006, 04:33 PM   #5
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on the last two shower floors I installed with small mosaic tiles (1”x1” 1”x2”) I used the spectralock grout to set the tile.

I dry laid the tile and made all my cuts,
slightly dampened the mud bed with my sponge,
burnt the epoxy into the mud bed with the flat side of the trowel,
then spread out the epoxy like thinset,
set the tile,
pounded it like a red haired step child with a grout float,
adjusted the tile and sponged off any excess grout.

I didn’t grout the floor 100% at that time because I didn’t want to keep moving the adjusted tile. Grouting the next day was a walk in the park. No matter how much you try and clean out thinset from small mosaics you always seem to find multiple spots of it when you grout.
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Old 08-08-2006, 07:31 PM   #6
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Bill, JTG and Kilroy, thanks alot for the input. Kilroy: never thought of the method's main advantage for some was avoiding having to dig out the thinset that's bubbled up between the tiles, thanks again.
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Old 08-08-2006, 09:09 PM   #7
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John I use a similar method with separate grout & real thinset, but they're both applied at the same time. This allows me to use (with most glass tiles) one of the super-modifieds to set with, plus the top layer (grout) doesn't need to be mixed with latex which is what can cause some of the difficulties.
So I have one bucket of thinset, one of regular grout mixed up & ready to go. We spread the thinset with a notched trowel then flatten it out in flat, smooth bed that won't show through trowel marks. Then the tile sheets are filled with grout from the back using a grout float (pic below of Aaron backfilling them right on the floor). The sheets are then gently flipped over, placed, & beaten in.
Before we do another 6-9 sf, first we go back to the previous section we did a half hour ago & wet/pull the paper and straighten the lines with an 8" scraper blade. That half hour can be up to two hours depending on the substrate, type of thinset, thickness, etc.
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Old 08-08-2006, 09:11 PM   #8
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For me personally, it's the fastest way to get the straightest lines with facemount glass.
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Old 08-08-2006, 09:56 PM   #9
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Well, ain't you just the clever child, Tom Hulse.

Seems like a fella would absolutely need him a helper for that method, which is a bit problematic for us do it aloners.

Makes good sense, though.
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Old 08-08-2006, 10:38 PM   #10
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I did about a third of that room by myself. 4 or 6 sf sections instead of 6-9 sf.
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Old 08-08-2006, 11:26 PM   #11
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Just seems like a fella wouldn't have time to do nothin' but mix pookey and clean buckets and tools if he was by hisownself.

But I alla time work alone, so I'm not usually surprised what someone can do all by his onesies.
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Old 08-09-2006, 12:10 AM   #12
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Tom-- sounds like you got it down pat, but I gotta ask ya-- you didn't see any signs of latex migration?

I know the shots above look great!!
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Old 08-09-2006, 07:02 AM   #13
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Tom,

What did you charge for that? That's a boat load of glass compared to a typical splash.
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Old 08-09-2006, 08:32 AM   #14
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CX I can do 2-3 sections before remixing. It's actually better with this method if the grout is nice & dry. Mixing is fast by myself because I'm doing such small sections that I don't need much pookie, so I mix it all by hand. All mixing & washing are done right there next to my room. It's only a couple minutes every couple hours.

Bill no because it's just like every other normal floor. Modified mortar (actually a super-modified approved by the glass manufacturer), with regular grout on top. Both are mixed with water so migration issues wouldn't be likely.

John K, $15/sf, plus $15/Lf for the base, plus some stair labor, plus prep. I didn't charge enough for the stairs, making it all full tile was very time consuming, I'll get more in the future. There's about 80,000 tile in there. Only 3 of 'em are cuts. Everything else is stretched, shrunk, or built-out for full tile.
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Old 08-09-2006, 10:37 AM   #15
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One way or the other, that's some sweet work, Tom.
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