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Unread 11-12-2016, 11:12 PM   #1
johnbuzz
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water jet cut mosaic mounted on water soluble glued mat!!!!!!!!

Have been installing for years and thought I would not ever wind up scratching my head (that is putting it extremely mild!!) with an install ever again!! There are some companies that have decided to use a water based glue to mount their mosaic on the mat. Personally I would give $1000.00 to meet with their board!! One cut on the saw and hurry, you might be okay. Two cuts and WTF... it will slide off the mat before you can get to the wall. Three cuts or for a faucet and your dealing with trying to unscramble eggs!!! I mean it's hard enough installing this in a 7'x7' octagonal shower with two 4'x5' windows and a 4'x2' niche. This water jet cut mosaic is zero grout line, zero spacing, zero tolerance, along with trying to start in a place that not only makes sense but to be able to wrap around two large windows and the niche and be able to not only meet at the exact zero tolerance height but the zero tolerance location to make this jigsaw puzzle stuff meet perfectly!! Add 8 corners to the deal that involve 22 1/2 degree cuts that have to not only meet perfectly but travel up ten feet to the ceiling. So... when your tile slides off the mat you may be thinking $1500.00 to meet with the board! Am I alone on this sliding crap? At $50.00 pr. square foot you would think that a bit of rubber or something added to the glue would be an affordable ingredient. Man... guess I needed to vent...lol. Thanks, Buzz PS..Yes I know that I have one piece sideways...(: and sorry, the picture is sideways too..
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Unread 11-13-2016, 12:27 AM   #2
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Unread 11-13-2016, 05:50 AM   #3
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Have been installing for years
It shows. That's some nice detailed work.
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Unread 11-13-2016, 07:43 AM   #4
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That's a nice installation Gordon . I realigned the photo ... hope you don't mind .

Name:  Beyond the eye shower.jpg
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Size:  69.8 KB

If there is zero grout space and the glue on the back is water soluble ........ I am curious how the mosaic will hold in a shower environment ? The dark lines appear to be grout lines , or ,are they made of a contrast material like stone ?
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Unread 11-13-2016, 07:12 PM   #5
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thanks Roberto for the picture twist. The dark is a grey marble. The thin set does ooze between the mat squares to make contact with the marble. I butter the back and trowel the wall. The grout will be an acrylic white mixed like thick soup to fill the tiny spaces.
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Unread 11-13-2016, 07:23 PM   #6
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I really do hope your beautiful work doesn't get ruined .
If you don't mind me asking , what waterproofing membrane did you use ? Thin set must be of a premium quality to be able to grab thru the mesh , of course .
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Unread 11-13-2016, 07:42 PM   #7
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Kerdi... I have tested it to try to pull it off. It is attached very good. I think the thin set is mixing with the glue because when I do get it off it separates between the Kerdi and the thin set, not the mesh area. I use TEC custom blend, and TEC unmodified uncupling for Detra
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Unread 11-15-2016, 09:39 PM   #8
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Here's my thought on why it is made this way: the fiberglass mesh backing is great because it allows the thinset to get around it and bind to the tiles, it's not there to actually adhere the tiles to the thinset, just to keep us from having to lay individual tiny tiles. So, we still need the thinset to bind to the tile, right? And that's why we're supposed to back-butter mesh backed tiles, to make sure the thinset really gets through that mesh to the tiles?

So if I'm right about that, think the point of it being water soluble is that it will soften up with the moisture in the thinset, and create a bind between the tile and thinset, or even allow the thinset to dissolve it and then come into contact with the tile itself. If it weren't water-soluble, it would be forming an impenetrable barrier between the thinset and the tile - like how ditra uncoupling membrane doesn't actually stick to thinset. But, that's my "I'm a chemist" logic, and I could be wrong.

Anyway, I had the same issue with our marble basket weave mosaics, the adhesive that was used does soften with water. Figured out with the first sheet my husband cut and carried upstairs, when half the tiles fell off after the sheet, that we could make one pass on the wet saw, then soak up most of the water with a rag, and let the sheets dry upside down. As soon as the water dried, the adhesive would reset just as well as it had been before getting wet. With some of the sheets, it actually helped that the tiles loosened up a bit, as I could shift certain ones a little if they were askew on the mesh (mine have gaps for grout) as I was laying it.

We were lucky, no sheets really needed more than one cut, but I would probably have unearthed my hair dryer to speed up the drying process if any had needed multiple cuts. Instead, we just put them on top of some cardboard overnight (upside down!), and they were fine the next morning.


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Unread 11-15-2016, 09:40 PM   #9
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Oh no....this TapATalk app is kind of annoying, I didn't realize this was in the professionals area, sorry!!!


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Unread 11-15-2016, 10:11 PM   #10
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Beth, you are not restricted from posting your thoughts on any subject here in the Hangout. It's open to all.
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Unread 11-16-2016, 07:53 AM   #11
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Beth... Thank you for your info. We think Alike. I have the cardboard laying out for drying, have a heat gun, and the drying time does firm the glue back up. The drawback is that I have 5000 square feet of marble mosaic to lay and time is a big factor. I did however find a solution. I'm putting tape strips on the front of the mosaics that need more than one cut. After the cut I install the piece, the next day remove the tape. I by the way, I do agree with the bonding theory with the soft glue merging with the thin set. All is well now... Thanks everybody that helped.. and or listened to my venting..
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Unread 11-16-2016, 11:38 AM   #12
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Oh, ok, thanks! And btw..was my logic right?

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Unread 11-16-2016, 11:40 AM   #13
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5000 square feet, I couldn't even imagine

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Unread 11-16-2016, 12:09 PM   #14
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Is the word bond breaker expanding or collapsing ?
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Unread 11-16-2016, 05:36 PM   #15
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The water based adhesive used to attach the mesh to the back of the tile, does not blend with the cement mortar. It does interfere with the bond. In some cases these adhesives can completely coat the back of the tile and form a very weak link in wet areas. The mortar will be well bonded to the water based adhesive, but the adhesive will dissolve in the water and the tiles will come loose. It is important to put together a mock up and make sure there is adequate clean area on the back of the tiles for the mortar to bond to when it will be subjected to moisture, as in a shower.
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