How to corner mosaic tile sheets

Updated March 22, 2017

At first glance, cornering mosaic tiles can appear to be a difficult task. Many people simply resort to calling in flooring specialists, convinced they would not be able to undertake the procedure themselves. In reality, cornering mosaic tiles can be performed with relative ease if the proper steps are followed. Performing the task yourself will also save you considerable worker fees. Over the years, many improvements in mosaic tiles have been made to expedite the process, including the new development of tiles that are bonded to sheets with plastic dots, plastic mesh or paper.

Perform a practice run with the mosaic tile sheets to ensure that the mosaic pattern will match the tiles. Lay the sheets out in various arrangements until you find one that you are satisfied with.

Mark perpendicular lines in the centre of the room, with grid lines that correspond correctly to the dimensions of the mosaic sheet. Mix the mortar with a stirring stick, and use the trowel to spread it on a small area inside of the layout lines. Use the smooth part of the trowel to spread the mortar and the notched edge of the trowel to produce full, even ridges.

Place the corner of the first tile sheet just inside the corner of the layout lines. Make sure the sheet is squared to the lines, then put the tiles securely into the mortar using a beater block and rubber mallet. Ensure that the surface of the sheet is level in the mortar.

Dampen the paper mount with a sponge, and slowly and carefully pull the sheet up and check that it covers the area completely. If there are bare spots, use a trowel to respread the mortar bed evenly and reset the sheet with the help of the beater block.

Repeat the previous steps and techniques with the next sheet. Typically you will figure out how much mortar to use per sheet after several repetitions. Make sure the edges of each sheet are even with the other sheets around it.

If there is spilt or excess mortar, use a damp sponge to wipe it away. Do not allow excess mortar to dry, as it becomes extremely difficult to remove. Allow 48 hours for the mortar to set, then scrub the paper mounting adhesive off the tiles.

Things You'll Need

  • Adhesive mortar
  • Mosaic tile sheets
  • Gloves (optional)
  • Stirring stick
  • Trowel
  • Rubber mallet/hammer
  • Beater block
  • Metal straightedge
  • Scrub brush
  • Paper mount adhesive
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About the Author

James Wiley graduated from Providence College in 2009 as a double major in global studies and Spanish. Wiley's capstone thesis paper was published in the Providence College database. He has also competed in international script-writing competitions and coauthored a pilot which placed in the top 15 percent of international entries over the past year.