GGCL Guide On How to Glue Mosaic Tile to Wood
Glue, called mastic, is the least expensive method for installingmosaic tiles. Mastic adheres the tile directly to a wooden sub-floor, to a wooden back-splash or onto a piece of plywood. Creating mosaic designs or laying out a standard grid pattern using mastic is just like using thinset with the exception that you must wait for the glue to tack before starting and then work quickly to complete the project before the glue dries too much.
- Remove any obstacles from the installation area. Unscrew switch plate and outlet covers and set aside. Unscrew register covers and save the screws for reinstallation later. Set the removed plates and covers away from the installation area.
- Level the surface using a wood filler. Fill in all large gaps and holes as these will prevent proper adhesion of the tiles. Leave the filler to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Measure and mark one vertical and one horizontal line across the center of your installation area. Use a chalk line tool to snap a line across large areas. When creating a mosaic, trace or draw the design of your mosaic directly onto the wood.
- Spread the mastic over a 3-square-foot section of your installation area using a notched trowel onto the wall. When creating a grid pattern, start at the center where the lines intersect. Spread the mastic as thick as the tiles. For example, if your tile is 1/4 inch thick, spread the mastic 1/4 inch thick. Once spread, rake the notched edge of the trowel through the mastic to create furrows.
- Clean up excess mastic as you go. Scrape off immediately any drips, spills or mastic that went beyond your installation area. If mastic dries on the surface, remove it with a mastic remover.
- Leave the mastic to tack according to manufacturer's instructions. Most will specify a time limit to wait, but check the package for tips or instructions on the consistency and feel of the mastic when it is ready.
- Set the tiles into the mastic according to your design. Press the tiles gently to set them. After setting three full-size tiles or approximately a 1-square-foot area of mosaic tiles, place a level across the top of the tiles to verify they are even. Tap down uneven tiles or corners with a rubber mallet. Once they are even, continue installing tiles in this manner until your design is complete. Leave the mastic to cure for 24 hours.
- Measure perimeter tiles by laying the tile flat on the surface so that it touches the edge and overlaps the last full-size tile installed on a row. Mark the tile where it overlaps the installed tile. Cut the tile along that line with a tile cutter. Install the cut tile just as you did the full-size tile.
- Prepare grout powder by mixing it with water until it is the consistency of peanut butter. Lift a dollop of grout with a rubber grout float and press it into the joints.
- Drag the float across the joint diagonally while holding it at a 45-degree angle to firmly pack the joint. Sponge off excess grout from the surface of the tiles after packing all the joints around each tile. Rinse the sponge frequently to prevent spreading the grout around.
- Stop grouting and sponge off the tiles again after 20 minutes. This removes any leftover haze before it has the opportunity to dry on the tiles. Avoid letting the haze dry on the tiles. After wiping the tiles a second time, continue filling and wiping the remaining joints in this manner. Leave the grout to cure for 24 hours.
Things You Will Need
- Screw driver
- Wood filler
- Tape measure
- Chalk line tool
- V-notched trowel
- Mastic remover
- Rubber mallet
- Tile cutter
- Rubber grout float
Purchase water-resistant mastic for high humidity installation areas. Use spacers between each tile during installation to maintain even joints between them. Always work in a well-ventilated area when using mastic, mastic remover and grout.
Mastic is not suitable for outdoor tiling.