Mosaic and blue stone patio [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

PDA

View Full Version : Mosaic and blue stone patio


Sterrytoon
11-28-2003, 11:50 PM
A client of mine wants a venetian glass mosaic sun set into the center of her bluestone patio. We live in Richmond, Virginia and it is getting very cold now (temps down to 17 at night, and then sometimes up to 60 or so during the day). Lots of freeze/thaw problems here. The patio is not sheltered in anyway, so it gets rain, snow, etc.

The bluestone patio was finished in September before we were hit by a hurricane, so it's been sitting for 2 months with the sun shape cut out of the bluestone waiting for the mosaic. The sun has eight 2 feet long rays coming out of a circle which is 3 1/2 feet in diameter. The hole the mason cut out is very raggedy on the bottom where the concrete slab is and the depth of the hole he cut out ranges from 1" to 2" deep. It's been just collecting water, dirt and leaves for 2 months. The venetian glass is just 1/8" thick, so I'm left trying to figure out what goes between the glass and the concrete slab that the mason put down.

What needs to be done to get the surface ready for the mosaic? The mosaic is already created here at my house -- using an indirect method where the glass tiles were placed face down on very sticky adhesive clear tile tape.

I was told by one very experienced tile man to just clean the hole out really well, and then buy a bucket of self leveling compound to fill the sun shaped hole up to the level of the venetian glass which is 1/8 inch thick. We called the tile company, and they say self leveling compounds are not meant for outdoor use. They say to hire someone experienced in doing mud to get the surface ready for the mosaic. Some people tell me we should not be fooling with concrete right now outdoors in cold weather, and we should wait until the spring to finish the project.

The products recommended to me to bring the surface up to within 2/8" of the surrounding blue stone are Laticrete 3701 mortar admix with 226 thick bed mortar. Then I'm told to use either Kerobond/Keralastic thin set or Laticrete 4237 thin-set mortar additive with 211 crete filler powder to set the mosaic in place.

Several mosaic artists have told me not to use thin-set at all as an adhesive, but to use Weldbond glue, liquid nails or some other outdoor construction adhesive to glue the mosaic onto the concrete. A concrete specialist told me buy fiberglass mesh and use that in the mortar to make it stronger. Another person said I should use wire mesh (like chicken wire) in the mortar. One person said we needed to grout the mosaic from the back while it is still on the tile tape before we put it into the thin set. One guy told me to use Spectralock grout, but then the tile rep says Spectralock is not for outdoor use ... to use regular sanded grout. Another guy said to seal the whole thing really well once it's finished ... then someone else said not to seal it. One guy told me to use a silicone type grout around the perimeter of the mosaic (where the glass hits the blue stone) because regular grout would just crack there because glass and stone have different expansion rates or something. Everybody tells me something different about the weather ... it's OK as long as it has several hours before it freezes, or don't even try it until spring.

I'm getting very confused, and a little nervous.

Can this project be done in cold weather? If so, does the concrete base need to cure before the mosaic is put down? What is the best adhesive and grout to use? Should it be sealed?

Please help ... this is keeping me up nights worrying.

Sponsored Links


John Bridge
11-29-2003, 08:06 AM
Hi. Is it Terry? :)

This part of what you posted represents good advice:

"Some people tell me we should not be fooling with concrete right now outdoors in cold weather, and we should wait until the spring to finish the project."

I would use the cement mortar with the Laticrete admix. I would bond it to the rough concrete with modified thin set, the Laticrete you mentioned is fine. You may need a mud man to do this, but it can't be done during winter. Cold weather, let alone freezing, will have a detrimental effect on the cement work.

My friend Eric Rattan is not only one of the country's foremost artists, but he is also a mud man and a tile setter. You should email him. I'm sorry to say Eric is a bit ignorant about computers, but he does manage an email from time to time. Everything is on his web site. I encourage you to contact him. Your other mosaicist friends are in desperate need of his advice as well, especially in the adhesives area. ;)

http://www.santafedesignstudio.com/ (Eric Rattan)

Sterrytoon
11-29-2003, 10:25 AM
Hi ... it's Susan. Thank you for the advice. I am going to recommend that the client wait until the spring. I've never done a mosaic for exterior use -- especially with our weather -- so I want to make sure it's done correctly. I've just been getting some really conflicting advice here by different people. The client is an attorney and very argumentative and very anxious to have the project finished for a big Christmas party. I am going to offer to fill the hole temporarily with some pretty blue and black polished pebbles until the spring. I will also hire an expert to install the mosaic correctly in the spring. Sorry to bother you guys, but I knew I was in over my head. My husband thinks I must be a bit crazy ... up at 1:00 am crying for help on the internet. Thanks so much for your suggestion.

John Bridge
11-29-2003, 04:05 PM
Susan,

Do get hold of Eric. He'll be happy to advise you. Lawyer, eh? :)

Trask
11-30-2003, 12:14 PM
Susan,

I agree with John..wait for the good weather. We live in the Nw where it rarely gets as cold as 17 deg. but we deal with constant rain and temps below 40 deg. all winter. The combination of the two makes this sort of work near impossible. I say nearly because a client with a sufficient pile of hundred dollar bills can get that hole filled under almost any conditions. It just requires lots of plastic,a big heater and a knowledgeable mudman.

The fact that these are glass tiles makes matters even more difficult. If you cannot find someone who is well versed in these installs do not feel pressured to cut corners..or your lawyer will have you in a bad spot when it fails.:bang: Stand on principle.

Sterrytoon
11-30-2003, 03:52 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions. I think Eric Rattan creates some of the most beautiful mosaics I've ever seen. Thanks for recommending his web site.

flatfloor
11-30-2003, 04:36 PM
I'm going to get some expert mosaic peeples here.

BTW, as you were told, SLCs are NOT meant for outdoors.

Sterrytoon
12-01-2003, 05:14 PM
This is the e-mail I received from Laticrete:

Susan,

Thank you for your inquiry. I will try to answer your questions in the order they were asked;

The rain water must be removed. There can be no standing water in the area to be filled.

The temperature should be between 40°F and 90° F during installation and for 24-48 hours after the installation. For every 18° below 70° the mud and adhesive will take twice as long to cure, and you would want the mud to be hard prior to installing the mosaic tile. Using warm blankets will help if you first cover the mud bed with a plastic sheet. The plastic is intended to keep the moisture in the mud longer and will not allow the blanket to dry the mix too quickly. The mortar bed should consist of LATICRETE 226 Thick Bed Mortar gauged with LATICRETE 3701 Mortar Admix and should be installed over a wet slurry bond coat of whichever thin-set combination you choose from below.

SpectraLOCK Grout is an excellent choice for exterior installations (see attached data sheet).

We would recommend using LATICRETE® 317 Floor N’ Wall Thin-Set Mortar (white) or LATICRETE 211 Crete Filler Powder (white) gauged with LATICRETE 4237 Latex Thin-Set Mortar Additive to install the Venetian glass mosaic.

To allow for the differential movement of the mortar bed and mosaic from the blue stone installation you may want to consider a flexible sealant (e.g. LATICRETE Tile and Stone Sealant – 100% silicone). Please see attached data sheet.

Allow the mortar bed (3701/226) to cure until hard 24 – 48 hours, then proceed with the installation.

Mitch Hawkins
LATICRETE International, Inc.
Technical Services Training Supervisor

Attachment - Technical Communiqué, Issue 74-02
October 1, 2002

COLD WEATHER ADVISORY

As the seasons change and we enter winter, the temperature goes down and damp conditions are encountered. We must all be aware of the effect these climate changes have upon the performance properties of mortars and grouts and make the proper adjustments. Under cold conditions the following will occur:

1. All Portland cement based mortars and grouts will set slower
2. Latex admixtures and mastics can freeze
3. There is an increased chance of efflorescence
4. 100% Epoxies can become very thick and unworkable

Curing under cold conditions

All mortars and grouts whether cement based, epoxy or mastic set more slowly in the cold and in some extreme cases will not cure at all. A good rule of thumb Is that for every 180F (100C) reduction in temperature, the mortar or grout whether cement based or epoxy based will take twice as much time to cure. In other words, if you can grout a tile installation in 24 hours at 700F (200C), you would need to wait 48 hours to grout a tile installation at 520F (100C).

Rapid curing at low temperatures is the key to opening a tile installation in a timely fashion. Rapid setting mortars, such as; LATICRETE 4237 Rapid, LATICRETE 101 Rapid Set Admix, and LATAPOXY 300 Rapid Setting Mortar, are suggested at lower temperatures.

Protection of Water Based Products

All water based products, including mastics and latex admixtures, will freeze when exposed to temperatures below 320F (00C). Laticrete products upon thawing will still provide the same performance properties. However, many competitive products can be damaged by freezing. It is advisable to protect all water based products from freezing since all frozen material must be thawed out before use, which is very time consuming.

Efflorescence

In the fall and winter, it is not just cold but wet as well. Cold and damp conditions promote the formation of unsightly efflorescence. Efflorescence is the white salt which sometimes forms on the surface of grout and tiles or stone. Efflorescence is caused by the salts which are present in Portland cement mortars, grouts and concrete substrates which dissolve in water, migrate to the surface in the water solution and are deposited on the surface as the water evaporates. Under cold damp conditions, all cement based materials stay wet longer, allowing more of these salts to dissolve and promoting the formation of efflorescence. Latex additives will help prevent the migration of efflorescence salts. Efflorescence can be removed with acidic cleaners. Be sure to check a small test area to make sure there is no damage.

100% Solids Epoxy Mortars and Grouts

100% Solids epoxy mortars and grouts are stable to freeze/thaw conditions. However, epoxy resins tend to become very thick at low temperatures, many times so thick that they cannot be mixed or spread easily. For best results, it is recommended that these materials be stored at 700F-800F (200C-260C) to facilitate mixing and spreading.

The curing of epoxy mortars and grouts is also sensitive to temperature conditions. Unless specially formulated most epoxy mortars and grouts will not cure below 600F (150C). It is therefore extremely important to insure that the epoxy, air and substrate temperatures are above 600F (150C). Accelerated versions of Latapoxy are available which will cure at low temperatures. For instance, LATAPOXY 300 Rapid will cure at temperatures as low as 400F (50C).

Steven B. Fine
Senior Research Chemist

LATICRETE INTERNATIONAL, INC.
1 LATICRETE PARK NORTH*BETHANY, CT 06524-3423 USA
TELEPHONE (203) 393-0010*TOLL FREE (800) 243-4788
TELEFAX (203) 393-1684
©1996 LATICRETE INTERNATIONAL, INC. ®T.M. Reg. U.S. & Foreign Pat. Office
Everyone should be aware of the effects of temperature upon the performance of the materials used for the installation of ceramic tile and stone. When the proper precautions are taken good installations will result.

Sterrytoon
12-01-2003, 05:29 PM
Sorry, when I cut and pasted this advisory the last time, all the little degree signs for the temperatures turned into zeros, so all the temperatures converted to ranges like "700 F". Here it is with the correct temperatures.


COLD WEATHER ADVISORY

Laticrete ®, Technical Communiqué
Issue 74-02, October 1, 2002

As the seasons change and we enter winter, the temperature goes down and damp conditions are encountered. We must all be aware of the effect these climate changes have upon the performance properties of mortars and grouts and make the proper adjustments. Under cold conditions the following will occur:

 All Portland cement based mortars and grouts will set slower
 Latex admixtures and mastics can freeze
 There is an increased chance of efflorescence
 100% Epoxies can become very thick and unworkable

Curing under cold conditions

All mortars and grouts whether cement based, epoxy or mastic set more slowly in the cold and in some extreme cases will not cure at all. A good rule of thumb Is that for every 18 F (10 C) reduction in temperature, the mortar or grout whether cement based or epoxy based will take twice as much time to cure. In other words, if you can grout a tile installation in 24 hours at 70 F (20 C), you would need to wait 48 hours to grout a tile installation at 52 F (10 C).

Rapid curing at low temperatures is the key to opening a tile installation in a timely fashion. Rapid setting mortars, such as; LATICRETE 4237 Rapid, LATICRETE 101 Rapid Set Admix, and LATAPOXY 300 Rapid Setting Mortar, are suggested at lower temperatures.

Protection of Water Based Products

All water based products, including mastics and latex admixtures, will freeze when exposed to temperatures below 32 F (0 C). Laticrete products upon thawing will still provide the same performance properties. However, many competitive products can be damaged by freezing. It is advisable to protect all water based products from freezing since all frozen material must be thawed out before use, which is very time consuming.

Efflorescence

In the fall and winter, it is not just cold but wet as well. Cold and damp conditions promote the formation of unsightly efflorescence. Efflorescence is the white salt which sometimes forms on the surface of grout and tiles or stone. Efflorescence is caused by the salts which are present in Portland cement mortars, grouts and concrete substrates which dissolve in water, migrate to the surface in the water solution and are deposited on the surface as the water evaporates. Under cold damp conditions, all cement based materials stay wet longer, allowing more of these salts to dissolve and promoting the formation of efflorescence. Latex additives will help prevent the migration of efflorescence salts. Efflorescence can be removed with acidic cleaners. Be sure to check a small test area to make sure there is no damage.

100% Solids Epoxy Mortars and Grouts

100% Solids epoxy mortars and grouts are stable to freeze/thaw conditions. However, epoxy resins tend to become very thick at low temperatures, many times so thick that they cannot be mixed or spread easily. For best results, it is recommended that these materials be stored at 70 F-80 F (20 C-26 C) to facilitate mixing and spreading.

The curing of epoxy mortars and grouts is also sensitive to temperature conditions. Unless specially formulated most epoxy mortars and grouts will not cure below 60 F (15 C). It is therefore extremely important to insure that the epoxy, air and substrate temperatures are above 60 F (15 C). Accelerated versions of Latapoxy are available which will cure at low temperatures. For instance, LATAPOXY 300 Rapid will cure at temperatures as low as 40 F (5 C).

Steven B. Fine
Senior Research Chemist

LATICRETE INTERNATIONAL, INC.
1 LATICRETE PARK NORTH*BETHANY, CT 06524-3423 USA
TELEPHONE (203) 393-0010*TOLL FREE (800) 243-4788
TELEFAX (203) 393-1684
©1996 LATICRETE INTERNATIONAL, INC. ®T.M. Reg. U.S. & Foreign Pat. Office
Everyone should be aware of the effects of temperature upon the performance of the materials used for the installation of ceramic tile and stone. When the proper precautions are taken good installations will result.

John Bridge
12-01-2003, 09:05 PM
Whatever. Wait until spring. :)