Easy Instructions for Installing Mosaic Tiles

If you are doing home renovation and have an irregular sized space to fill, or are putting in bathroom flooring, consider using mosaic tiles. These smaller-sized tiles are easier to cut than a traditional size, so that makes them very conducive to use in small or hard to shape places. It may seem that mosaics would be harder to apply because of their size, but not so, considering they are mounted onto a backing sheet so that working with them and putting them into place is comparable to any other tile job, as far as length of time to do the job goes. Another great attribute of mosaic tiles is that they are great for use in places where moisture may be regularly present because they help reduce the risk of slipping.

If you have decided to lay a mosaic tile floor you will need the following tools:

Mosaic tile

Tile cutter

Safety Glasses

Notched trowel

Chalk Line

Tape Measure

2 x 4 piece of wood

Rubber mallet


Grout Float

Grout SElaer

Large, porous sponge

Clean Cloth


You will also need, if your underlayment is not in proper condition:
backer board




Mesh seam tape

The first thing you need to do is determine what type of condition your backer board is in (the surface that will be under your flooring). If it is in good condition, proceed to the tile laying instructions. If it is in need of replacement, you will need to do that prior to beginning your tile work. You can put the backer board on top of the existing sub floor if you choose. Simply place the boards on the floor, ensuring a snug fit. Drill a screw into the boards in a grid pattern, putting one in place every six to eight inches. Apply mesh tape over the seams. Mix a small batch of mortar (thin-set) and put it over each strip of tape. Feather out with the mortar with the edge of the trowel or a putty knife. Allow to dry completely. You are now ready to proceed to laying the tile.

Tile Laying Instructions:

First you want to dry-fit your tile into place. Start with a whole piece of tile directly in the center of the room and work your way out from there. Use your chalk line to establish a clear and even starting position. Use your tape measure to cut edge pieces that will not be whole. Be sure to wear your safety glasses when cutting your tile.

Remove your dry-fit tiles and begin the fastening process. First you want to mix your thin-set (mortar) according to the instructions and use your trowel to spread it out, working in small areas at a time (six to eight feet).

Use your spacers as you go to ensure an even look once the job is complete. After each square section of tile is put into the thin-set, put your 2×4 and hit it with sharp, steady, and quick hits to set it. Move the 2×4 and repeat over each section of the square. This is helping you to make sure the thin-set is holding the complete piece of tile in place. Continue until all tile is in place.

Allow floor to dry for twelve hours.

Now it is time to grout. The first thing you want to do is carefully remove the spacers. Now you want to mix your grout according to manufacturer’s directions and again, work in small sections. Use your grout float to push the grout between the spaces in your tiles. Be careful to get the grout thoroughly in between every space. Wipe the floor with a clean rag. Wipe down with a wet sponge and allow to cure. If the manufacturer’s directions say to keep wet, be sure to do as instructed. Otherwise, allow to dry for the recommended amount of time (can be up to two weeks) and then apply your grout sealer to keep dirt out, and grout in.

You now have a finished floor that should bring you beauty and durability for many years to come.

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