General Note about Installation Guide
The following general installation and grouting guidelines pertain to most applications for glass mosaic tiles. The technical service departments of major setting material companies should be consulted regarding specific installation questions.
The end user is responsible for determining the acceptability of the product. Installation constitutes acceptance of tile order.
The handmade character of glass mosaic tile creates a degree of artistic variation in shade, color, tone, and size within each sheet of tile.
Open and inspect each carton of tile to confirm shading consistency. Randomly select 5 sheets from different cartons to establish color control during installation. Before installing tile, blend sheets from different cartons to assure random placement during installation. As sheets are being installed, check them against control samples prior to placing them in the setting material to assure acceptable shade variations and quality.
Cutting Glass TilesSmall format glass tile are best cut with specialty glass mosaic tile cutters/clippers, and the larger sizes such as the 4 x 12 series glass tiles are best cut with a wet saw. Cut edges are very sharp and should be smoothed with carbide paper or a "white stone" available at tile dealers.
Types of Setting Materials to Use
Setting material products are available through tile dealers, home centers, and major setting material companies.
Mapei: Adesilex P10 (bright white) nonsag mortar for glass tile. Mix with water or Keraply. Specifically designed for glass tile.
Custom Building Products: MegaFlex Ultimate Thin-Set Mortar (white). No admixture is necessary.
Laticrete: 254 Platinum Multipurpose Thin-Set Mortar. No admixture is necessary.
TEC (H.B. Fuller): Super Flex Premium Performance Universal Latex-Modified Thin-Set Mortar. No admixture is necessary.
5/8" x 2", 3/4" x 3/4", 1" x 1" etc.
Use enough setting material to assure 100% tile surface coverage but not so much that it will "ooze" above the top of the tile through the grout joints. Use a 3/16" x 5/32" V-notched trowel and do not flatten the "rows" created in the setting material. Apply only as much setting material as can be covered with tile within 10 to 20 minutes or while surface is still wet and tacky.
With firm, even pressure apply sheets of tile mesh side down into the setting material, using a wooden beating block or rubber grouting float to create a flat surface. Carefully align each sheet as it is installed to create uniform grout joints from sheet to sheet. Allow tile to set until firm. Clean excess setting material from the surface of the tile with a damp cloth or sponge while the setting material is fresh.
Special installation information for Multi Pattern glass tile: To achieve a seamless fit from sheet to sheet, individual tiles may need to be adjusted at time of installation.
Installation for stainless steel tiles/mosaics
Paper-Face Mounted Sheets / Plastic face mounted
For paper mounted
After the tiles have been installed, to remove the paper, apply a moderately wet sponge to the paper, allowing the water to soak through and dissolve the glue. (Warm water dissolves quicker than cold). Paper should be wet for removal only at time that it will actually be removed. If paper is wet for removal, but then dries again without having been removed from the tile it is VERY difficult to remove upon wetting it again. Starting at the corners, peel the paper from the tile. If tile comes up during this process, allow setting material to set a little longer. Once paper is removed make any tile alignment adjustments while the setting material is fresh.
For plastic mounted
Once all film-mounted sheets are installed into setting material, creating small pinholes or slits in the film improves the breathing and setting up process. Once setting material has set up, remove the film by pulling it from the tile, starting at the corners and pulling downward. If tile comes up during this process, allow setting material to set up longer. Once film is removed make any tile alignment adjustments while the setting material is fresh.
Further Installation Notes
Some setting materials manufacturers recommend applying setting material to the back side of the sheet of glass mosaic tile ("back buttering") with the flat side of the trowel immediately before placement of the sheet into the freshly trowelled setting material on the surface receiving the tile. This extra amount of setting material is recommended to help assure 100% coverage of the tile. It does, however, increase the amount of setting material available to "ooze" up through the grout joints. If too much is applied, the setting material will, particularly on the thinner 3/4" x 3/4" and 5/8" x 5/8" tile, completely fill the grout joints leaving very little or no space for grout.
If 100% tile surface coverage (no voids between the tile and the surface receiving the tile) can be achieved by applying sufficient setting material only to the surface receiving the tile, this "back buttering" step might be unnecessary. We suggest experimenting with a sheet or partial sheet of tile before starting the job to determine the best approach for achieving 100% coverage.
Water Immersion Applications
Regarding tile work in swimming pools, fountains, and other continuous water immersion applications, minimum cure time after grouting is 21 days before flood testing or filling with water. Follow setting materials manufacturers recommended cure times.
Shell mosaic tiles are suitable for dry, interior wall applications only. Avoid installation in areas exposed to direct rays from the sun.
GroutingGrouting may be done after tile is firmly set approximately 24 hours after installation. Apply grout, unsanded, with a rubber float, making sure that grout joints are completely full and free of voids and pits. Clean the surface with a clean, damp sponge.
Allow grout to set firm or until haze forms on the tile and the grout in the joints sets firm. Use a soft, clean, dry cloth to polish off haze and remaining grout residue. Final cleaning of grout haze and tile polishing is done with clean, dry cheesecloth within 24 hours of grouting.
Cleaning & maintanance
Normal cleaning of glass mosaic tile can be done with room temperature water and a rag. For a more thorough cleaning and to remove stubborn dirt and stains, use any of the many tile and grout cleaners available through tile dealers or home centers.
Shell mosaics consist primarily of Calcium Carbonate, which reacts with acids including vinegar, acidic foods and carbonated beverages.
We recommend cleaning with a damp cloth or a gentle furniture polish cleaner