If you have never installed your own mosaic tiles before, you might think it's a very difficult task. However, in reality, mosaic tile installation is as simple as 1-2-3: Prepare the surface; Apply the tiles; and Grout the joints.
1. Preparing the surface.
To install tiles to walls or any other surfaces, you will be using thin-set as the bonding agent. To make sure the thin-set bond strongly with your surface, you will need to clean off any debris. Next, if your surface is smooth like a painted wall, you will have to rough it up using an 80-grit sanding sponge.
Using the flat side of a trowel, firmly apply thin-set to the surface. Your coat of thin-set may not have been evenly applied to surface. To remedy this, use a 3/16" x 1/4" v-notch trowel to apply additional thin-set and comb full notices in one direction. Then, once again, use the flat side of the trowel to flatten the notches and achieve a smooth, consistent thin-set setting bed.
If your surface is large do not apply thin-set all at once. Instead work in smaller sections so that you can apply your tiles before the thin-set cures; otherwise the tiles may not stick properly. If you notice the thin-set curing ("skin over"), simply scrape it off and apply a fresh coat.
2. Applying the tiles.
Now comes the fun part. Apply your mosaic sheets to the thin-set, the mesh side away from you. Some translucent glass mosaics will have a plastic sheet instead of mesh. In that case, make sure the plastic is facing you so you can peel it off post installation.
As you apply the mosaic sheets, pay special attention to the grout lines. The lines in between the sheets should be uniform with the grout lines between the mosaic chips. For best results, use spacers of the same width. Then to achieve the flattest possible surface, lightly tap the sheets with grout float or wooden beating block and a finish hammer. As you tap from one sheet to the next, you will be able to unify the sheet transformations.
3. Grouting the joints.
After allowing 24 hours of cure time, its time to finish with the grout. We strongly recommend that you use a non-sanded grout. They are a bit more expensive but will ensure that you do not scratch your beautiful tiles when you grout them.
Using a rubber grout float, apply your grout. As you pull the float horizontally and vertically over the tiles, you will begin to work the grout into the joints. Repeat a couple of times until the joints are filled with grout. Then pull the float diagonally to remove excess grout from the tile.
Once the grout set-up (firm), use a wet sponge and wipe the tiles in a circular motion to eliminate the remaining uneven grout points. You can also remove traces of grout from the tile surface by lightly wiping it with a clean, damp sponge. If there are still grout residue, you can remove the rest of it with a clean, soft cloth.