How to set mosaic floor tile

Written by sarabeth asaff
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How to set mosaic floor tile
Always install mosaic tile in sheets. (Getty Creative)

Mosaic tiles are two inches or smaller, can be made of stone, glass, porcelain or ceramic, and come in multiple colours and shapes. Sold on netted sheets or mounted onto paper, mosaics, despite their size, are laid in 30-cm (12-inch) increments over the floor. When installing mosaic floor tiles, the key is to lay them out several sheets at a time.

Things you need

  • Razor blade
  • Pencil
  • Straight edge
  • Tile nippers or tile saw
  • Thin set
  • Trowel
  • Grout
  • Grout float
  • Damp sponge

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  1. 1

    Lay several sheets of mosaic out on the floor at a time in a dry layout. A dry layout consists of laying tiles without mortar to determine cuts, grout joints and placement. If the mosaics are mounted to mesh, lay the mesh down on the floor. If the mosaics are mounted on paper or plastic, lay the paper up and the tile down.

  2. 2

    Use the razor blade to cut rows of tile off of the sheets where necessary to fit the tiles flush to the walls of the room. If cutting off a full row of tile will leave too much space between the tile and the wall, mark the tiles with the straight edge and pencil and cut the tiles with either tile nippers for small jobs or on the tile saw for multiple cuts. Return the cut sheets of tile to the dry layout to double-check the fit. Be sure to leave the same amount of space between each sheet of tiles as there is in the grout joints of the sheets themselves.

  3. 3

    Install the sheets on the floor by trowelling a small amount of thin set over the area to be tiled and combing the thin set with the ridged side of the trowel until the ridges are uniform in height. Press each sheet into the thin set and wiggle the sheets together until the grout lines are even.

  4. 4

    If there is paper covering the mosaics, allow the thin set to set up for about an hour and then wet the paper with a damp sponge. Pull the paper up from the tiles. Mesh-mounted tiles will remain on the mesh even after installation.

  5. 5

    Allow the thin set to cure for 24 hours and then grout the mosaics by packing the grout joints with grout using the grout float. Wipe off excess grout with a damp sponge, being careful not to over-wet or "wash" the grout, which will lead to a reduction in grout colour. Allow the grout to cure for 24 hours.

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