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Mosaic Tile Border Issues

 
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:35 PM   #1
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Mosaic Tile Border Issues


I have been running into issues with mosaic bands in showers. As you know often the tile on the walls is thick and the mosaic that is chosen as an accent band is usually thinner. To take care of the thickness issues I have shimmed the space out with ditra but that doesn't do a lot to help with variation in the wall. By the time you install 12x24 tile horizontally and level it out the space between the face of the tile and the wall can vary from 1/2" to 3/4" to 1" depending on how wavy the wall is.

Any tricks to get your mosaic to set smooth and flush without spending hours trying to get it to lay perfectly flat and flush?
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:05 PM   #2
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Re: Mosaic Tile Border Issues


If the walls are that bad, what the heck are you doing setting tile on them?
Fix the wavy wall before a tile is set and you wouldnt have this question.
1/2"? 3/4"? 1"?....those are out of whack walls.

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Old 06-15-2015, 08:12 PM   #3
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Re: Mosaic Tile Border Issues


Sometimes I make a screed out of 1x scrap.

Ears that ride on the field tiles.....cut to perfect depth.
It works great.

Some guys here mount the mosaics on Kerdi fabric in a full run, then set them.
I haven't tried it yet, but I really like the idea.

If the screed is cut to a real tight tolerance, it is so easy it doesn't even seem right.
Regardless of the substrate, you are indexing off of the field tiles......so it's always dead nuts.
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:16 PM   #4
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Re: Mosaic Tile Border Issues


Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan1968 View Post
If the walls are that bad, what the heck are you doing setting tile on them?
Fix the wavy wall before a tile is set and you wouldnt have this question.
1/2"? 3/4"? 1"?....those are out of whack walls.
You have never set over walls that were "less than perfect"?

C'mon Ev....

I've peed in a lot of "commercial" bathrooms...........
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:49 PM   #5
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Re: Mosaic Tile Border Issues


Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueRidgeGreen View Post
Sometimes I make a screed out of 1x scrap.

Ears that ride on the field tiles.....cut to perfect depth.
It works great.

Some guys here mount the mosaics on Kerdi fabric in a full run, then set them.
I haven't tried it yet, but I really like the idea.

If the screed is cut to a real tight tolerance, it is so easy it doesn't even seem right.
Regardless of the substrate, you are indexing off of the field tiles......so it's always dead nuts.

I actually thought of both of these solutions but haven't tried them yet. I didn't think of Kerdi I was actually thinking about strips of aluminum haha I was racking my brain for ideas. The screed approach was my next plan but I hadn't known of anyone else using it so I didn't know how well it would work.
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:50 PM   #6
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Re: Mosaic Tile Border Issues


Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan1968 View Post
If the walls are that bad, what the heck are you doing setting tile on them?

Fix the wavy wall before a tile is set and you wouldnt have this question.

1/2"? 3/4"? 1"?....those are out of whack walls.

This is happening on jobs for a builder where I show up with drywall already on. It's pretty disappointing when I can do a remodel in an old home with a better result than a framer and drywaller can do on a brand new house.
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Old 06-16-2015, 04:41 AM   #7
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Re: Mosaic Tile Border Issues


Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueRidgeGreen
You have never set over walls that were "less than perfect"?
No i haven't. Not as bad as 1/2-1" out. They don't get accepted in that condition in my world let alone in resi work.
The minute you set tile on walls in that condition you own them. No going back crying that it took you too long to set because a framer cant frame or a drywall guy sucks.

I can deal with 1/8"- 1/4" depending on the size of the tile.

Using the thinset to fix the problem? Read the label,its not made to go on that thick at one time.But being "Contractor of the Quarter" im sure you already knew that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Contractor of the Quarter
I've peed in a lot of "commercial" bathrooms
Good for you,lots of people do. And i have peed in lots of custom homes and restored homes.
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Old 06-16-2015, 06:29 AM   #8
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Re: Mosaic Tile Border Issues


Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan1968 View Post
No i haven't. Not as bad as 1/2-1" out. They don't get accepted in that condition in my world let alone in resi work.
The minute you set tile on walls in that condition you own them. No going back crying that it took you too long to set because a framer cant frame or a drywall guy sucks.

I can deal with 1/8"- 1/4" depending on the size of the tile.

Using the thinset to fix the problem? Read the label,its not made to go on that thick at one time.But being "Contractor of the Quarter" im sure you already knew that.


Good for you,lots of people do. And i have peed in lots of custom homes and restored homes.

I was under the impression he was talking about a QUARTER or so variation.

"wall can vary from 1/2" to 3/4" to 1" depending on how wavy the wall is."


Regardless......
He didn't ask, "How do I feed my family by refusing to set tile on anything but perfectly flat walls?"

He asked how to deal with a situation.
A situation that all of us mortals have found ourselves in at one time or another.
(Not you Ev......apparently you have "standards". Way to go ace. )

And.......
As the reigning COTQ
(hold on.....twice for emphasis ),
it is my responsibility, nay, my duty, to......I don't know.....attempt to offer helpful advice to my fellow tradesman......
not to take advantage of any opportunity to display my unbearably uncompromising level of perfecticationess.

I remember seeing some of Stevarino's work.
(Yours......? Can't recall any)
I'm convinced he is worthy of being graced with the benefit of my unbridled and titled genius.


Personally, I follow all manufacturers recommendations.
I only apply thin-set to 28.5793 mils.....not a thousandth of a mil more.....ever.

(BTW....did I mention...... ? )
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Old 06-16-2015, 12:18 PM   #9
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Re: Mosaic Tile Border Issues


Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueRidgeGreen View Post
I was under the impression he was talking about a QUARTER or so variation.



"wall can vary from 1/2" to 3/4" to 1" depending on how wavy the wall is."





Regardless......

He didn't ask, "How do I feed my family by refusing to set tile on anything but perfectly flat walls?"



He asked how to deal with a situation.

A situation that all of us mortals have found ourselves in at one time or another.

(Not you Ev......apparently you have "standards". Way to go ace. )



And.......

As the reigning COTQ

(hold on.....twice for emphasis ),

it is my responsibility, nay, my duty, to......I don't know.....attempt to offer helpful advice to my fellow tradesman......

not to take advantage of any opportunity to display my unbearably uncompromising level of perfecticationess.



I remember seeing some of Stevarino's work.

(Yours......? Can't recall any)

I'm convinced he is worthy of being graced with the benefit of my unbridled and titled genius.





Personally, I follow all manufacturers recommendations.

I only apply thin-set to 28.5793 mils.....not a thousandth of a mil more.....ever.



(BTW....did I mention...... ? )

I guess you guys go way back huh?
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Old 06-17-2015, 05:16 PM   #10
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Re: Mosaic Tile Border Issues


When I build a shower I fix studs... That being said, a screed is the way to go. Couple that with mounting the mosaic to kerdi and its stupid easy to get it to flush out perfectly. You could also use kerdi board ripped down to the width of the mosaic as well. Screed is probably faster though.
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Old 06-17-2015, 06:14 PM   #11
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Re: Mosaic Tile Border Issues


I'm still trying to get over the drywall part in a shower.

With that said I check the wall and screed as needed before tiling. If it's that bad I too would have issue with installing before it was fixed.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:35 PM   #12
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Re: Mosaic Tile Border Issues


Thanks for the input. I used the screed method the other day and it worked pretty well. I will definitely try mounting the mosaic to Kerdi first on my next shower. As for the drywall issues at these houses I have a meeting with the builder next week to go over some things and I'm going to bring it up that the walls in the shower need to be flatter and more level.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:44 PM   #13
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Re: Mosaic Tile Border Issues


I've had to cut a jig out of plywood before. Screed one day and set the next. The jig followed the tile above and below the border. Worked great.
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:09 PM   #14
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Re: Mosaic Tile Border Issues


I used a wooden float and hot glued a piece of tile to it for just the right thickness then popped the glue when I was done and had my float back for later. Worked pretty good.
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Old 06-18-2015, 09:55 PM   #15
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Re: Mosaic Tile Border Issues


Wedi makes thickness from 1/8" and up. (Back in the day we used solid vinyl tile.)

Plastic drywall knife can be cut to make screed. Dang near anything can be cut to screed across the tiles. Just make the thinset a little stiffer so it doesn't sag.

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