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Unread 01-21-2019, 01:43 PM   #1
cnap
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Paper and mesh backing issue

Thanks to some research and digging around on this forum, I now know to watch out for the nasty paper, mesh, glue combination on the pack of mosaic tile sheets. I got a "good deal" on slate charcoal floor tile sheets on wayfair.com, but as you can see from the images, the amount of paper/mesh/glue coverage is ridiculous and the glue and paper are not surviving the water test. Unfortunately several reviewers on wayfair have indicated these are great for shower floor use (and of course no one mentioned this nasty backing or any thinset/adhesion issues).

I really want to avoid setting these individually as I imagine keeping them in a sheet will result in a more consistent slope. Thinking of using spacers seems like a pain. What do you think of this process? 1) soak the sheets, 2) dry off the tile face side and apply masking tape along seems in both directions (to preserve the spacing), 3) flip over and remove the mesh/glue/paper (it seems to come of way too easily).

Would the masking tape work around work? I haven't seen this as a recommended solution but it seems to make sense to me, and it seems I could wipe down the masking with a damp sponge and remove pretty easily either a few hours in or after fully cured.

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Unread 01-21-2019, 03:12 PM   #2
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Welcome, Chase.

I've separated your post from that other visitor's very old thread to prevent confusion on both.

If you're not willing to remove those tiles from the backing and set them individually, I'd very strongly recommend you select a different tile for your shower floor.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-21-2019, 04:00 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick response! So my idea of preserving the spacing using masking tape on the top side (opposite of the mesh underside) must be a no go? Has this been attempted that you know of? I will probably set them individually unless masking tape or some other method can be used to preserve the spacing that is currently provided by the mesh.
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Unread 01-21-2019, 04:20 PM   #4
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If you trust the masking tape, it might be ok. However, I'd only do it if I could still see the joints between the individual tiles as to ensure that tiles won't get set unevenly.

Best to set them individually. Beforehand, give them a good wash so the backs are all devoid of any glue residue.

Do your current sheets even line completely up? Oftentimes, sheets are not perfect and will look, well, like sheets when set.
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Unread 01-21-2019, 04:52 PM   #5
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'Fraid I didn't note the part about the masking tape on top of the tiles, Chase. If you think you can make that work, it would be fine as far as I'm concerned, so long as you can effectively remove that mess from the backs. Including, you understand, all the water soluble glue.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-21-2019, 05:44 PM   #6
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Thanks.

Wolfgang, the sheets seem to line up OK, but not perfect. Actually I think the variation is primarily within each sheet but not more than I imagine I'll have by using spacers. I'll have to think this through to make sure I want to try the masking tape approach.

If I set them individually, how to I go about setting them with a float while also using spacers? I'm thinking I would set the spacers down and dig them out later?
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Unread 01-21-2019, 06:38 PM   #7
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Chase. 3foot x5foot shower floor x 36 pieces of tile per sheet is 540 tiles to set individually. I think I would be calling Wayfair.
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Unread 01-21-2019, 09:05 PM   #8
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They make a clear adhesive film that mosaic makers use. I guess you could put that on the face, then remove the backing. But at that point I would opt for a different tile.
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Unread 01-21-2019, 11:01 PM   #9
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Thanks all. For the heck of it I soaked them and tried the mastic tape method. I was hopeful but by the time I scraped the paper and glue off there was just too much movement.

Full refund from wayfair so now I get to decide between placing individually and saving $ or finding another tile. Am I correct in assuming a flat surface and even spacing will be a challenge? Maybe I’d need to get leave in spacers? Is that a bad move? This is my 4th or 5th tile project but never dealt with mosaic or a shower floor.
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Unread 01-22-2019, 12:20 PM   #10
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I personally don't find placing 500 small tiles to be too much, so take this with a grain of salt. But how I'd do it is to find someone with a laser cutter and cut a template out of delrin for the tiles (basically a grid of squares spaced how you like). Then, either make your own sheets by filling the template with tiles and placing a sheet of sticky clear plastic on top, or simply use the template on the floor and lay batches of spaced tiles directly into the mortar. (thinset doesn't adhere to delrin.)
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Unread 01-22-2019, 10:40 PM   #11
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Am i missing something here? 1x1 sqft sheet mosaic tiles.....whats the problem? The only problem is sometimes theres a glue bump or glob on the bottom, causing one to sit proud of the others.....or one will be crooked of the others...causing you to rip him off and set him proper. .........or the pitch gets nutty closer to the drain...causing the grout lines to go all screwy....but thats the pan setters fault
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Unread 01-23-2019, 12:00 AM   #12
jadnashua
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The problem is that the glue holding that stuff on the back of that tile is water soluble, and not stuck well to the tile seriously decreasing the area where the thinset can bond the tile to the surface.
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Unread 02-17-2019, 04:26 PM   #13
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Just an update:

I went with a different tile entirely. The new tile didn't have a mesh backing and instead had a simple dot of glue between each tile in both directions. Got everything set and grouted.

Unrelated to my original post... I used kerapoxy cq grout and have three main thoughts after all of the research that went into that decision:
1) the stuff is messy and isn't hard to work with in terms of getting it in the grout lines, but it is simply messy and required a lot more working grout just due to everything falling.
2) the working time wasn't an issue for me, other than it getting more difficult to work over time. I worked with it for about 2.5 hours but did use the trick of placing it in small piles (I guess it cures faster in a larger mass?). I did put a small batch in the freezer just as a fall back since I heard that was another trick... turns out I did end up using that and it was easier to work with than the stuff sitting in the bucket for around 2 hours.
3) This stuff looks pretty funny when it is being applied and it was so "grainy" that I thought maybe it went bad or that I messed up the stirring process. It dried/cured fine and was pretty firm within 24 hours and started to look more like normal grout.

As far as the epoxy clean up process... it actually wasn't that bad as I got the bulk of it with water the night of grouting and it's nice that additional water doesn't mess with epoxy curing or color. The next day I used water with a little bit of vinegar and dish soap and that got the rest of it... now I just need to buff it or wash again with another bit of vinegar to get rid of some streaks. This was a glazed porcelain tile so I imagine that made a huge difference.
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Unread 02-17-2019, 04:28 PM   #14
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Clarification, only the wall tile was porcelain glazed.
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Unread 02-17-2019, 04:44 PM   #15
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The glue blob mosaics are what I feel most confident in for shower floors. Good choice. Lots of mortar contact area.
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