When retiling a shower or backsplash, one option is to use sheets of small tiles called mosaic tile sheets. Available in a variety of materials including ceramic, tumbled stone, glass and even metals such as copper and stainless steel, these mosaic sheets are made of many small tiles, usually 2 inches or smaller each, adhered to a fibreglass backing or held together with glue spots. These sheets of tile are ideal for the do-it-yourselfer, as they are easy to install.
Mark the lines for the mosaic tile sheet's placement. Start by finding the centre of the area you wish to tile, both horizontally and vertically, and mark this point with a pencil.
Measure out from the centre point one-half the width of the mosaic sheet on each side of the centre mark. Use a carpenter's square to extend each of these points to create a square the same size as one mosaic tile sheet.
Mix the thinset mortar according to the manufacturer's directions.
Spread the thinset mortar over the area within the square, but do not cover the lines. Use the flat side of the notched trowel to apply the thinset to the surface, and then use the notched edge to create grooves in the mortar. Hold the trowel at a 45-degree angle and apply firm pressure to ensure an even application of the thinset mortar.
Place the first sheet of mosaic tiles on the thinset, making sure to place it within the lines of the square. Apply firm pressure to the tiles to set them in the thinset mortar.
Apply thinset mortar to the area to one side of the mosaic tile sheet you have set. Do not cover an area larger than you can cover with the mosaic tile sheets in about 20 or 30 minutes.
Apply the mosaic tile sheets to the thinset mortar. Place the second sheet of mosaic tile next to the first sheet, leaving a gap that is equal to the gap between the tiles in the mosaic tile sheet.
Cut the mosaic tile sheet backing with a utility knife to cut full tiles off once you get to the edge of the surface you are tiling. Use tile nippers to cut the tiles to fit, if needed.
Mix the grout according to the manufacturer's directions.
Allow the thinset to cure for the length of time recommended by the manufacturer.
Apply the grout to the gaps between the tiles using a rubber grout float. Apply steady, even pressure, and drag the grout float across the tiles on a diagonal to ensure that all of the corner joints are filled with grout. Hold the float at a 45-degree angle.
Allow the grout to dry for 30 minutes, and then wipe the excess grout off the face of the tiles with a damp grout sponge.
Allow the grout to cure according to the manufacturer's directions.