2" Mosaic on Mesh [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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02-21-2013, 11:53 PM
I am about to place a 12 sq. foot shower floor with 2" mosaic and am looking for some advice about how to place them. I cut the 2" tiles on the saw and they are currently loose. I am currently planning to glue them to some fiberglass mesh before setting them with thinset.

I had originally purchased Weldbond glue to use to attach the tiles but after reading some posts on the forum I became wary of using Weldbond in a wet environment. Today I went to Master Wholesale and they recommended I use Bostik 1100 FS Polyurethane Adhesive (it comes in a 10.3oz cartridge).

My questions are:
1) what is the recommended method for placing 2" mosaic over this area? In addition to mesh I've also heard of people attaching contact paper or an equivalent to the top of the tiles rather than gluing the mesh onto the bottom.

2) If gluing the tile to a mesh prior to setting them is the recommended method, is the polyurethane adhesive a good product to use? I know that Weldbond loses it's bond when wet but is that a non-issue after the tiles have been set in thinset?

3) One concern I have is how to glue the mesh to the tiles without glueing it to the underlying surface. My current plan is to place some plastic over a board, place the mesh over the plastic, and then place one small dot of adhesive on each tile before placing it on the mesh. I'm hoping that I can simply move the mesh around during the 90 minute drying period enough to keep it from bonding to the underlying plastic. One advantage of Weldbond over the polyurethane is that it would be easier to break from from the plastic (I imagine). I do know that it is important to minimize the glue as to preserve some bonding surface for the thinset. I've also thought of turning the tiles upside down and then glue the mesh to the tiles. The tile pattern has a number of 45 degree angles and such and I'm not sure that I'd be able to keep them square if the tiles were upside down. Any recommended methods on how to mount the tiles to the mesh?

I've enjoyed reading the forum. I'm glad to final be able to post a question.


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02-22-2013, 12:00 AM
Welcome, Derek. :)

For twelve square feet I think I'd be inclined to mark a few lines on the floor and set the tiles individually. By the time you figure out how to make twelve-inch squares and set the individual tiles on those squares with some sort of glue and still need to set those on your shower floor and ..................

I'd just set the floor.

My opinion; worth price charged.

02-22-2013, 12:38 AM
I'd probably just try to set them individually as well.
Even with 2"x2" tile on mesh from the manufacturer I have found that a lot of the time I have to cut up the sheets and straighten things out anyhow.

I'm sure it will be a pain, but it will be either way.

02-22-2013, 06:47 AM
im with the others by the time you sit down and carefully glue each piece to mesh you could of set the whole floor.

02-22-2013, 11:57 AM
Thank you for the feedback. I think the challenge is setting a good grid system if the tiles are placed directly but perhaps that is easier than the mesh.

I also have one remaining question about the use of black slate tiles as accents in the floor mosaic. We used black slate for the bottom of the niche and I'm considering using that as black accent tile in the mosaic as well (the rest of the tiles are porcelain). However I know that there are some concerns with the performance of slate over time. Is there any reason not to use slate on the floor of the shower as an accent? Will it erode, crack, or become more excessively scratched?

Thank you again.


02-22-2013, 01:05 PM
I had slate in my shower for 8 years(I moved). A good sealer will help, and you may have a little cleaving but the slate held up great for me .

02-22-2013, 01:11 PM
Slate shower, 5yrs old, used twice per day. It has held up just fine, yes i know its dirty again. Its always dirty again..
Thats the drawback I find, cleaning it sucks

02-22-2013, 05:48 PM
John, don't know if you use bar soap or not, but I switched to liquid soap and zero soap scum. I don't clean as often and when I do it's to sanitize more than scrubbing soap scum and none of that white streaking from the soap dish. Sorry, back on topic now.....:)
Derek, get your centerlines down, make sure they're square. If your cuts at the wall are less than half tile then move your centerline half a tile over. So your tile will be splitting the centerline and your cuts will be over half a tile. Put a line every 2,3, or 4 tiles including your grout joint and you have your grid. A lot easier than mounting the tile.

02-23-2013, 04:12 PM
I am also intending to use 2" tiles on a shower floor so I was interested in this thread. My tiles are 2"x2", 6 x 6, on a 1 ft sq. sheet.
My understanding was that the mesh backing is just for convenience in laying the tiles and that it has no function in actually securing the tiles. Presumably the tiles are adhered to the substrate by the thinset which contacts the tiles between the mesh's holes. Is this not correct? I don't understand the questions in some of the threads which seem to worry about the functioning of the mesh after the tiles are laid and grouted. Am I missing something??
Thanks. This forum is fantastic. The way people contribute to help out each other is truly collaboration at its finest!

02-23-2013, 11:16 PM
Jim I too was a bit confused about the concern about glue bond with the mesh. I certainly can see how a poor bond with the mesh while cutting/preparing the tile could be a pain but it seems like it shouldn't be important after it is placed. However, the posts that were concerned with the issue were convincing enough for me to choose a better glue or to just mount the tiles without mesh (finally I chose the later). But if the tiles had come mounted I don't think I'd have taken the time to pull them off. I look forward to hearing the responses to your question.

I have another couple questions regarding my project. Today as I was preparing to set the (2" mosaic) tiles on the floor I noticed that there is a depression in the bed near the drain that is about 1/4" too low (3/4" below the edge of the drain). I know that this is too much depth to make up with extra thinset when placing the tiles, so instead I filled the depression and am letting it dry before placing the tile. The floor still has a slope exceeding 1/4" per foot in all directions. My questions are: 1) Noting that thinset isn't to be used for depths greater than 1/4". Is it okay to use more than 1/4" if it is placed in multiple lifts (only one extra in addition to setting the tile)? 2) How much drying time do I need to allow for the thinset layer to dry before setting tiles on the area I filled around the drain?


02-24-2013, 07:06 AM
My understanding was that the mesh backing is just for convenience in laying the tiles and that it has no function in actually securing the tiles.
That's correct. It's to keep the tiled attached for installation.
I don't understand the questions in some of the threads which seem to worry about the functioning of the mesh after the tiles are laid and grouted.
The problem is that the glue that is used to attach the mesh is water soluble. Some tile has so much of this glue on the back that very little thinset is actually holding the tile in place. When the mesh glue becomes wet in showers, pools,etc. you have an adhesion issue and tiles start falling off. Big issue right now.

02-24-2013, 09:29 AM
Is there any reason not to use slate on the floor of the shower as an accent? Will it erode, crack, or become more excessively scratched?body acids, efflorescence, soap scum and pink mold (Serratia marcescens) that grows off high phosphorus and fatty acids in soap/shampoo is going to play into the demise of that floor.

if you keep up on it with cleaning and resealing you'll do good.

here's a 6 year old slate shower in a home that didn't make it.
it wasn't maintained well, no fan in it and a soffit holding steam in.

there was a plethora of other things destroying it, one was the lack of proper waterproofing to help the floor mud drain properly.

here's the rip out: http://ceramictec.com/moldy-shower-rip-out-florida

here's a blog I did on re-doing it.



02-24-2013, 04:04 PM
I'm curious about pricing on work that you pros do.
In my area (Ontario) people are paying as much as $25,000 to $30,000 for a complete bathroom overhaul, including all the new fancy touches. I am currently doing a Schluter shower in my ensuite (just the shower, rest of the room was done a while ago.) So no labour to pay, just materials. I'm expanding the shower to be 34" x 54" and 8' high. All new plumbing, a pot light, nice tiles and eventually sliding glass door(s). My job will cost me about $3,000 for the shower per se and then another $1,800 for the custom glass and its installation. I guess my point is that a nice shower will cost somewhere areound $4 to $5,000 PLUS labour. I would assume you folks charge about $300 - $400 per day for labour so that would add about another $2,000 or so.
Is this about right? It must be a stressful part of the life when customers want a nice job done but are unwilling or unable to pay the going rates. (?)
Jim (again, just curious)

02-24-2013, 04:06 PM
I apologize if I got off-topic.
Did not mean to hijack the thread.

Houston Remodeler
02-24-2013, 04:16 PM
Don't worry Jim. If you want to know about pricing, search the forum for that. You'll see we are pricing all over the scale. Which makes the info fairly useless.