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Frequently Asked Mosaic Questions

The frequently asked mosaic questions page includes help with mosaic tile projects.

It contains information about mosaic tables, grout and glues, outdoor mosaics and more.

As I receive questions from the contact us page I will add them here.

If you do not find an answers to your mosaic questions, please send them to me by going to the contact us page and I will be happy to help you out.

No guarantee is implied by these instructions. Use at your own risk and please make sure to wear goggles and gloves while cutting and manipulating mosaic materials.

I want to do my first project. I have an old round table that is laminate with a wood border. It is going to be our outside patio table. Do I need to sand the table first or anything? I don't want it to fall off after it has sat in the sun for a while.

First of all the most important thing is to make sure your table is solid and sturdy enough to hold the weight of your mosaic.
Once you are confident that it is, I recommend sealing your wood with either a paint or stain.
Better yet is to sand smooth or slick surfaces and then make a mixture of 1 part Weldbond glue with 5 parts water, then paint the table with this mixture. This will not only seal your wood but create a good bonding surface.

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I have an old round table that is laminate with a wood border. How do I make the edge smooth rather than just a blunt edge from the table to the tile that you can see?

I for one love a wood border around a table or counter top. I make sure the top of the moulding is level with the top of the tile; this creates an inlay to place your tile pieces.
But from what I understand since your table already has a wood border you will not be able to make it level with the top of your tile.
So what I suggest is that you leave a space the size of your grout lines, or maybe a bit larger, from the edge of the table to the first piece of tile.
Then when you come to grout the table make a smooth edge going down from the top of the tile to the wood border.
Another good reason to do it this way is that having blunt tile to close to the edge of a table can be a bit dangerous for you and your table. Somebody will walk to close to your table and get his/her clothes stuck on a piece of tile; this will just tear their clothes or pop off that piece of tile.

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I would like to create a mosaic on a plain wall in the garden using pebbles, shells and coloured wall tile. What sealer should I use to protect against weather and frost?

For an outdoor mosaic the correct adhesive and grout is even more important than your sealer.
Do not use a water based adhesive for exterior projects, use a thinset bonding mortar. These products are all available at your local building supply store. If you are still not sure, read the label of the product, it will have recommendations such as "For indoor use" or "For outdoor use". Same goes for your sealer, make sure you use an exterior grade sealer, ask at your local building supply store. Re-apply a sealer every year afterwards.

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What is a good adhesive or method for tiling a laminated tabletop?

Well it depends on a few factors. First if you are going to use a laminated table top make sure this table is for indoor use only.
Raw wood is a good material to mosaic on because it gives the good bonding of your glue.
If you have a laminated surface, there could be a problem with this bounding. To seal your table top and to create a good bonding surface you can apply a mixture of one part Weldbond glue and 5 parts water to your surface.
Once you prepared your surface and your table is solid enough you can mosaic your table.
For a complete description on how to create mosaic table top visit the mosaic table page.
As for the glue you can use prepared tile glue that comes premixed in a pail or Weldbond glue. There is no need to use mortar glue on a table top provided you keep your table inside.

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What type of tile sealer is used for outdoor projects and will this help to prevent the grout from cracking?

Yes you definitely should seal your outdoor mosaic.
There are two types of sealers, penetrating and membrane sealers. The Penetrating sealer actually goes in the grout and fills all spaces whereas the membrane sealer forms a membrane and gives a glossy finish to your grout.
Sealants are easy to apply, and both types can be used outside. However for outside mosaics I always apply 2 coats, and reapply a fresh coat every year. By doing this you will protect your mosaics from discolouring and cracking.

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Can you create a mosaic for a kitchen back splash from a family crest and coordinate with the back splash?

I personally do not do commission work but I know a great artist who does.
She can do anything you want from little projects to large murals. You can get more information if you go read the mosaic commission work page.

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Hi, my daughter and I have attempted to make a mosaic stepping stone for her dad and we are at the stage of removing it from the mold and we are scared of breaking it. What's the best way to remove it?

There should be no danger in removing your stepping stone from its mold, providing you let it dry for about 2 days.
One thing I do when making stepping stones is to grease the mold with petroleum jelly. If you did not do this don't worry, they usually come out fine anyways.
Just flip it upside down and gently tap on it all around, eventually you should be able to remove the mold from the stepping stone. It is important here that you lay it down flat. A good place to do this is on your lawn, this way the stone is supported evenly while you are tapping on it.
I can understand that you are scared, especially if it is your first one!
It can happen that it is stuck inside the mold and if this happens try cutting the mold off. Use a utility knife and cut the plastic of the mold, then try peeling it off.
This does not usually happen but sometimes it does, better trash your mold then your mosaic stepping stone!

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What is the best grout for a mosaic, sanded or un-sanded grout?

This rule applies to all ceramic not just for mosaics.
Un-sanded grout should be used when your grout lines are smaller than 1/8 of an inch, for anything larger than that sanded grout should be used.

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When it is time for grouting mosaics what color of grout should I use?

Grout color is very much a personal choice but I can tell you what I prefer.
I prefer a grout color that will contrast your tiles, the visual purpose of grout is to make a break between your tessarae, give each piece of tile its purpose or chance to stand out.
That being said, bring a few of each piece of tile to your local building material store, they usually have samples of the grout colors they carry, for you to choose from.

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Can I mix glass tiles with ceramic tiles in my mosaic?

You can mix and match any material you want, however if your mosaic is for floors or tables then you should try and use tiles that are of the same thickness. For any other mosaic project the thickness of your tiles is no issue!

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Hi, Can you resize your patterns?

Just let me know what pattern you would like and the exact size and I will resize it for you. I can also make your own pattern for a small fee.

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I would like to glue glass tiles on a mirror. What can I use as glue?

The best glue for gluing glass on glass is Weldbond glue.

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