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Unread 05-04-2008, 06:09 PM   #1
rambo1224
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Laying 1x1 mosaic sheets on wall

I'm trying to put 1x1 mosaic tile on wall. They come in 13x13 sheets. I tried 1/2" trowel with modified thinset, but it doesn't seem to work very well. I can't get all the 1x1 pieces level and aligned the 1st try and eventually they break off of the sheet (from me trying to level/align them. I'm thinking of just buttering the wall (instead of trowel lines) and pressing the sheets flush. Problem with that is that I need something about 1/8 thick to apply to the wall first. What is the best way to do this?
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Unread 05-04-2008, 06:23 PM   #2
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No need for a 1/2 inch notch, go down to 1/4x1/4 inch. Small finish nails can be drove into some of the joints to help keep the sheets from sliding. If this is a wet area, use thinset. If this is a backsplash or wet area, use mastic instead. It tends to slide less. There are some non sag thinsets on the market also that would help.
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Unread 05-04-2008, 06:33 PM   #3
ceramictec
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if this is a NON wet area like Davy said Mastic with a small V notch or Square notch would be best.

if its a wet area try an Mapei's Ultralite or TEC's 3N1 lightweight mortar.
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Unread 05-04-2008, 08:26 PM   #4
Deckert
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If I'm reading you right, you need a 1/8" build up before you set your mosaics. Id do this with thinset, and take this opportunity to get your surface dead flat.

Once that dries, go with a small notch trowel as mentioned above, -OR- put the thinset on with a small trowel and then flatten the ridges out with your trowel and press your sheets in with a board.
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Unread 05-04-2008, 08:37 PM   #5
Tool Guy - Kg
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Yeah, if your substrate needs 1/8" of material to get it flat, make it flat ahead of time and let it dry. Then use a small V-notch trowel like mentioned and you'll have a much easier time.
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Unread 05-05-2008, 07:47 AM   #6
rambo1224
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What I was thinking about doing was cutting some DITRA and applying the 1x1 mosaic sheets to it. Once it dried, I would apply it on the wall just like larger solid tile squares. Any thoughts?

Also, I was using flexbond to apply (adding the milk to make it modified). Can someone recommend a non-sag thinset to use (1 that I can buy from Home Depot or Lowes)? Should I mix with mater or make it modified?
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Unread 05-05-2008, 07:52 AM   #7
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First, I'm pretty sure Ditra specs do not allow for 1x1 tile. 2x2 is if I recall the smallest.

Second, Ditra is flexible, so the finished 'panel' would bend and crack. This is just not what Ditra was made for.

What is on the wall - drywall?
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Unread 05-05-2008, 11:15 AM   #8
rambo1224
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The bottom half of the wall is tiled with 12x24 tiles. The mosaic sheets are going on the upper half of the wall. I had to use 1/2 trowel for the large tiles, so I need to build up the wall for the mosaic sheets so I'm even with the lower tiles. The wall is just drywall now but I need about 1/8 inch (right around the thickness of the DITRA), so my plan was to apply the sheets to the DITRA 1st, let them dry and then apply them directly to the wall. I thought that would make it easier to apply and allow me to make everything level.
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Unread 05-05-2008, 01:16 PM   #9
bbcamp
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Ditra could be use a filler on a wall application. Apply the Ditra, let cure, fill the waffle, let cure, then set your tiles. Good use of leftover Ditra.
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Unread 05-05-2008, 05:10 PM   #10
rambo1224
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I was going to:

#1) cut the ditra to the size of the 1x1 sheets (about 13 x13)
#2) apply the tile on top of ditra cutout with thinset and let cure
#3) apply the to wall with thinset

I thought this would give me a better chance of making everything level and uniform.
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Unread 05-05-2008, 07:33 PM   #11
Davy
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I've never done it like that. I would think you would need to be able to do some fine adjusting. I don't see that being the answer.
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Unread 05-05-2008, 08:33 PM   #12
jboyle
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We did a similar thing with some small glass mosaics on a recent job. We used EZ backer foam board and set the glass on it ahead of time. Then we installed them like larger tiles. It worked great, and saved us a lot of frustration. I don't know that I would use this technique if I were doing more than accent strips.
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Unread 05-06-2008, 05:19 AM   #13
rambo1224
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I would think any fine adjustments that need to be made would be for the entire 13x13 sheet (not a single 1x1).

What type of thinset should I use to:

#1) Apply the tile to the DITRA
#2) Apply the tile (with DITRA on back) to the wall.

I had been using modified flexbond for my large tile that are on the bottom half of the wall.
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Unread 05-06-2008, 07:47 AM   #14
bbcamp
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I don't see this as a good way to make the mosaic sheets behave like a 13" square tile. Besides, most mosaics require some tweaking because some of the individual tiles are not aligned properly.

Problems I see with what you are proposing:

1) Keeping the Ditra flat while you apply the thinset. It comes rolled up and wants to stay that way.

2) Maintaining Alignment between the Ditra and mosaic sheets. Won't be much of a problem if you cut the Ditra a bit smaller than the mosaic sheets, though.

3) Keeping the thinset from cracking when you pick up the Ditra/mosaic combo. I assum you'll let it dry before installing, otherwise you didn't accomplish anything by hanging it wet.

4) Keeping the Ditra/mosiac combo from cracking when you beat it into the thinset on the wall. Thin, rigid sheet being pushed into bed of thinset. Cracks to follow.


Install the Ditra on the wall and flat trowel thinset to fill the waffles. Set the mosaics, using small nails and/or painter's tape to hold the sheets in place. Pop any mis-aligned tiles loose and reset using spacers or tape if necessary.

Use the Flexbond for everything, just allow some extra time for curing.
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