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Unread 07-08-2005, 05:56 PM   #1
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Trowel for mesh back mosiac?

I will be laying a 3' x 3' mesh back mosiac this weekend in the middle of some field tile. What would you recommend for a trowel notch? Also, would I benifit by cutting the mosiac into say (4) 18" square pieces and laying it in quadrants?


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Unread 07-08-2005, 06:10 PM   #2
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Hi Mike,
That's a really big mosaic! How large/small are the individual pieces? If it's tiny pieces, I'd say that you'd be better of with an 3/16" v-notch trowel. If it's larger pieces, step it up a size or two. Remember, that while everything is linked together by the backing mesh they are each individual pieces and require a notch that will give them all addequate support and coverage. What size the field tile adjoining the mosaic? Is there a differance in thickness between the mosaic and the field tile?
I'd lay the mosaic onto a sheet of masonite (smooth side up) and then comb out the thinset using a notch that's gonna leave you a little "proud" of the field tile. Then, with the help of several other people, lift the masonite and tip it so that the mosaic slides into the thin-set bed like a giant pizze off of a peel. Using a stiff straight edge (might even use a long 4" x 4" after it's been run through a mill to true it up) lightly tamp the mosaic into place. If you notice high spots, work the material down gentle with the straightedge and avoid creating low spots at all costs. This-set will ooze up through the mosaic. You can clean this away with a stiff paint brush, a hydro sponge and some water. If you have a great deal of "floating" to do under the mosaic, I'd suggest using a medium bed mortar instead of thin-set. It will be less likely to sag over the drying period.
Maybe this helped and maybe it didn't. Answer the questions at the top and I might be able to revise my suggestion to suit.
Best of luck,
PS: Most towns have a lumber yard/ mill that will true up stock material for you. While you might not care to spend the cash on a solid piece of fine0grain maple for your straightedge, some other straight-grained hardwood will need to be used. You *could* use a 4" level, but it's footprint is awfully narrow and you may end up creating channels in the mosaic instead of tamping it down flat.
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Unread 07-10-2005, 10:57 AM   #3
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Hi Mike,

I would cut the mosaic into manageable pieces. No way will you get it set in one piece without a ration of misery.
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