Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

Welcome to John Bridge / Tile Your World, the friendliest DIY Forum on the Internet

Advertiser Directory
JohnBridge.com Home
Buy John Bridge's Books

Go Back   Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile > Tile & Stone Forums > Professionals' Hangout


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Unread 07-02-2009, 05:52 PM   #1
Jeraza's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Covina California
Posts: 21
marble mosaic problem...help !

High-End custom home where we just installed 7/16" x 7/16" mosaic tile floor in a guest suite. Sunlight comes into the room from an angle which really emphasizes even the slightest amount of lippage and the butt seams between the sheeted 12x12 mosaic tiles. Were left scratching our heads as to what to do to resolve the problem without ripping it all out and trying again. In order to get proper thinset coverage we trowel the floor and backbutter the tile and slowly & carefully set the tile with our levels, look and feel for any lippage and move on to the next tile. But no matter how careful we are we do get some very minor lippage and as I said earlier when you step back and look at the installed mosaic tiles from a distance of 10-15' you can see where a lot of the tiles butt up to one another. The thin layer of dust that sits atop the tile just seems to make things stand out even more. These visible butt seams seem to be a bigger issue to the designer than any minor lippage but were at a loss as to how to eliminate the problem with this type of mosaic tile. Damn frustrating because we think the floor looks teriffic, not perfect but really well done in our opinion.

This is a good client / contractor of ours and want to come up with a solution but were at a loss as to how we can resolve the problem in an equitable manner for us and the customer. Should we consider sanding/honing the top of the tiles to all but eliminate the lippage & butt seams?

Will this even work ?

We welcome your input, tips / tricks and possible solutions as this is a new one on us and the designer is of course being somewhat anal in our opinion but the contractor wants to keep her happy, so were willing to do what we need to do to keep everyone happy.

Thank You in advance ...

Jeraza is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Unread 07-02-2009, 06:15 PM   #2
Tile contractor
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: MA.
Posts: 905

I saw your post this morning, You really shouldn't be able to see a height difference where mosaic sheets meet. Doesn't sound right. How much lippage? The floor can be ground in but you're gonna need a pro to do it. I've never had a pro do it for me, thats how I know you need a pro to do it

Maybe someone from your area will stop by and point you in the right direction with a contact.
matman is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-02-2009, 06:21 PM   #3
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Kenosha, Wi
Posts: 1,031
You can indeed polish the tiles in place. I have no clue how as I've never seen it done, but it can be done. Im sure someone with more experience will be along shortly. In the mean time you could head over to the works in progress thread as I believe there are some pics there.


Post 1012
I'm Dan.

I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
-"Invictus" by William Ernest Henley
Tilehelperdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-02-2009, 06:28 PM   #4
Hugging Trees Oct. 1st
java's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 2,683
I think Jerry is saying his mosaics are on the sheets butted together in places.

I can see in my head what you are saying and I would recommend the palm sander. I would make a sample board to come up with a plan for the grits and the finished hone but I'm sure it can be done.

Last edited by java; 07-02-2009 at 07:35 PM.
java is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-02-2009, 07:34 PM   #5
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 8,612
Hire new member stone dude.

Sorry to hear of your "problem"

Sheer drapes to diffuse light coming thru the window?

gueuzeman is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-02-2009, 10:13 PM   #6
Remodeling and Tile Contractor
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Kirkland, WA
Posts: 2,113
Hi Jerry,

Sometimes the "factory spacing" on sheet mounted mosaics doesn't cut it. I usually keep a razor handy while setting, and will stick the blade through the grout joint and cut the mesh where needed to adjust the spacing. Yes, its a pain On some materials/patterns/etc you notice it a lot, others its not as big a problem.

Hope you get this worked out to everyones satisfaction.
Facilities Manager, TPC Snoqualmie Ridge
Reformed Remodeler and C54 Tile Contractor
Deckert is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-03-2009, 05:22 AM   #7
Tile & Stone
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Northeast/Connecticut
Posts: 2,578
Did you inspect the material before install. We had some mosaics from Akdo that had to be some of the worst material I have ever seen. 1/8" difference in thickness from sheet to sheet, and on the sheet. Akdo used to have nice material but they went big time into high end and it is mostly overpriced landfill that they sell now. What exactly is the material you installed?

CTEF Certified Installer
I lost my hero on 5-21-16 You will be missed. Semper Fi
tilemanct is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-03-2009, 06:49 AM   #8
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ontario
Posts: 502
what about using the Tuscan Leveling System?
advertguy2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-05-2009, 11:42 AM   #9
Jeraza's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Covina California
Posts: 21
I've heard the Tuscan leveling system is intended for 12 x 12 and larger format tilework...
Jeraza is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-05-2009, 11:47 AM   #10
Jeraza's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Covina California
Posts: 21
Well I think by the reply's we will try to wetsand with a palm sander a small area repolish as necessary and see if it resolves the problem and take it from there.

Thank's guys I appreciate the input
Jeraza is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-05-2009, 12:12 PM   #11
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: canada
Posts: 81
Deckert said it best about how to eliminate where the tiles look like they don't fit preoperly. I always keep my Olfa blade handy to cut the mesh like he said and adjust til they are square with a uniform grout joint everywhere. Doing tons of mosaic myself, I found that using a floor tile (12x12 or larger) to press down on the sheets (flipped over so the face of the tile is against the face of the mosaic) works great to eliminate lippage on walls and floors. It works better than your level because it's a larger surface area. I usually keep a spare tile in the back of my truck just for these situations...

Are the tiles grouted yet? Natural light can accentuate even allowable lippage in ungrouted floor tile (1/32-1/16) to the point where it looks really bad because of the shadows cast....Once it's grouted the look usually goes away.....
raiders510 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-07-2009, 04:11 PM   #12
Registered User
pooky's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,311
how about a pic

just to establish how bad it really is?

I don't know how you eliminate the butt seams except to stagger the sheets?

as far as the lippage, you could fresh set the material and beat it in to flat?

I'm not comfortable with the hand sander idea . . .

a large floor polisher would be better I think -- saw a recent post where
a trav floor was polished out and it looked great

that said, mosaics would be very challenging for anyone to resurface -- seems like the edges would catch on the diamond disks.

still, if the cost pencils out vs a redo , it's worth a shot.

good luck
Stephen -- Man vs. Tile -- The Battle Continues . . .
pooky is offline   Reply With Quote

Stonetooling.com   Tile-Assn.com   National Gypsum Permabase

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
marble mosaic tile mjandro Tile Forum/Advice Board 2 01-13-2009 07:47 PM
Granite Mosaic Sheet Problem KenH83 Tile Forum/Advice Board 9 12-17-2007 12:04 PM
Mosaic tile problem Jean G Tile Forum/Advice Board 9 08-08-2007 09:19 PM
Marble Mosaic Victoria Tile Forum/Advice Board 4 02-27-2003 09:29 AM
Marble Mosaic problem...Need Help! ohsogold Tile Forum/Advice Board 3 03-18-2002 05:46 AM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:51 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2018 John Bridge & Associates, LLC