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Unread 11-13-2008, 07:54 AM   #1
WoodyInMass
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One-inch mosaic paper-faced tiles

I may have bitten off a harder project than I thought.
My shower walls are going to be white subway tile, but I'm adding a decorative band made of little mosaic tiles.
The tiles are 1x1, on a sheet that is paper-faced. I'm intending to cut the sheets into three-inch high strips, to run horizontally at eye-level.
Some of the tiles are opaque black glass, some are gray stone. Since everything is opaque, I'm not worried about thinset show-through.
Since the tiles are paper-faced, I won't be able to see what's going on, and I'm worried about getting thinset squeezed out through the joints, or tiles that aren't stuck, are crooked,or are too low or too high.
Sounds like a nightmare.
Multiple questions:
1. This is a kerdi shower, so I'm supposed to use unmodified thinset. But it's glass tile so I'm supposed to use modified thinset. What to do?
2. I assume I'm supposed to use a small-notch (v-notch) trowel?
3. I've read that one solution to the thinset-squeeze-out problem is to use grey thinset and let it squeeze all the way through and don't expect to grout. Is this a good idea on a shower wall?
4. How long do I wait before peeling off the paper? Is it really going to come off without shifting the tiles?

BTW: I'm not worried about drying time. I only tile on the weekends, so whatever I use for thinset will have a whole week to dry before I do anything else.
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Unread 11-13-2008, 09:15 AM   #2
Dan Kramer
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Quote:
1. This is a kerdi shower, so I'm supposed to use unmodified thinset. But it's glass tile so I'm supposed to use modified thinset. What to do?
2. I assume I'm supposed to use a small-notch (v-notch) trowel?
3. I've read that one solution to the thinset-squeeze-out problem is to use grey thinset and let it squeeze all the way through and don't expect to grout. Is this a good idea on a shower wall?
4. How long do I wait before peeling off the paper? Is it really going to come off without shifting the tiles?
1. I did 3 rows of 1x1 glass over Kerdi and used Laticrete 317 mixed with LATICRETE 333 Super Flexible Additive. Then I let it dry for over a week before grouting. Right or wrong I don't know, but I felt good about it.
2. I would try using a small v-notch trowel and do a sample. Spread your thinset, press the tiles into the thinset using a wooden block or firm grout float. And then peel 'em off to see what kind of coverage you get on the back of the tiles. Also check to see if the thinset is pushing too deep into the joints.
3. I don't like this idea at all. If you get the right sized trowel you should get minimal thinset oozing throught the joints. Refer to #2.
4. I would wait overnight. A minimum of 24 hours. If you use an additive or modified thinset over Kerdi you will want to give it plenty of time to set up. The paper needs to be saturated to release. You can use a sponge and keep wiping or use a spray bottle to keep the paper wet.

Only my opinion. However, I just finished 40 sf of paper faced 1"x1" glass on a backsplash.
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Unread 11-13-2008, 11:41 AM   #3
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random ideas from someone who has no clue

1x1 tiles have a large perimeter for their area -- the thinset only has to cure/dry 1/2-inch from the edge to be completely set. On a 12-inch tile, 1/2 inch cured around the edge is a different story.

How big are the other tiles?

Any hope of using unmodified for those, and modified under the glass?

How about putting unmodified on the wall with your trowel, but back-buttering the glass tiles with a bit of modified thinset? Would wet modified and unmodified thinsets bond together properly?
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Unread 11-13-2008, 12:20 PM   #4
WoodyInMass
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The subway tiles are 3x6. I intend to use white unmodified thinset behind the white subway tiles.
I had assumed that I'd need to use a different thinset behind the mosaic, if for no other reason than I'll need to use gray. I could use modified there if it would help.

Does anybody have any insight into why modified thinset would be an advantage here? What is the relationship between modified thinset and glass/stone tiles?

I read a website that says to take the paper off after 20 minutes. Are they assuming a quick-set thinset? http://www.mosaictilesupplies.com/in...on=Custom&ID=3
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Unread 11-13-2008, 12:56 PM   #5
ceramictec
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Quote:
Does anybody have any insight into why modified thinset would be an advantage here? What is the relationship between modified thinset and glass/stone tiles?
you need the Latex-modified thinset because of the latex to help the thinset grip the glass.
unmodified wont work. you need to listen to what the Glass manufacturers installation requirements recommend.


I would use a good modified on the glass.

why are you adamant about using a GRAY thinset ?
what color is your grout going to be on the glass ?
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Unread 11-14-2008, 07:48 AM   #6
WoodyInMass
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"Set in color"?

Thanks, I'll use the latex-modified thinset.

I was intending to use gray grout. (The tile is opaque black and dark gray stone) That's why I had intended to use gray thinset. Is that not good?

BTW: Does anybody have any opinions on "set in color"? (I think this means letting thinset squeeze through and fill the joints, instead of using grout. ) It's recommended at http://www.mosaictilesupplies.com/i...ion=Custom&ID=3 as "what professional installers" do.
Does it work? Would a normal modified gray thinset be ok for this?
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Unread 11-14-2008, 09:01 AM   #7
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Your link's no good there, Woody.

Set in color usually involves grouting the tiles from the back side before setting them in thinset as I understand it. Makes a nice job, but it sure ain't no slam dunk on your first try. We've got guys hereabouts who have done a good bit of it, though.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-14-2008, 10:47 AM   #8
WoodyInMass
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Correct link for article about setting paper-faced mosaic tiles

I don't know why the link didn't come through correctly.
Here's another try. You'll need to copy-paste it into the browser, though, because I couldn't get the URL formatting to work.

This includes the recommendation for "set in color"

http://www.mosaictilesupplies.com/in...on=Custom&ID=3

Last edited by cx; 11-14-2008 at 11:09 AM. Reason: repair hot link
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Unread 11-14-2008, 08:29 PM   #9
Davy
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I would use modified on the glass also. I usually will let the glass tiles set a few hours, wet the paper on one of the sheets and pull it off. If the tiles move around, stop and let it set longer. You want the tiles to stay put but still be able to carefully scrape the joints with a knife and sponge the tiles.
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Unread 11-14-2008, 11:00 PM   #10
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try this option

mix your grout with Mapei Keracrete liquid and this will become your adheisive and grout all in one, then if adhesive shows thru it doesn't matter as its the color of your grout. I think Laticrete has a latex additive to do this also but not sure what it called use this on the mosiacs only!!
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Unread 11-15-2008, 10:17 AM   #11
madronatile
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I usually take the paper off immediately, then I can adjust before the thinset sets up.
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Unread 11-16-2008, 05:49 PM   #12
WoodyInMass
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Looks like I started a controversial topic! Lots of different opinions.
Thanks for all the responses.

The one option that nobody has suggested is letting the gray thinset take the place of the grout (if the color is ok.) I guess that one has no takers.
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Unread 11-17-2008, 05:42 PM   #13
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I could be wrong but I think the pros aren't keen on using thinset because thinset is not made to be in a grout joint. It's too pourous (sp? sorry) and would stain and hold dirt much easier.
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