Learn how to install 12-by-12-inch sheet mosaics on a bathroom floor.
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Male: Mosaic tiles are two inches square or smaller. They can be installed individually or pre-mounted on mesh back sheets. In this demonstration, we will be installing 12 x 12 inch mesh sheets in a bathroom. Before you start laying the tile, make sure the floor is smooth and leveled. Clean and vacuum the area to remove any dust, dirt and debris. Snap layout lines to divide the floor to quadrants and sections. Square the lines and then adjust them so the edges will be of equal width or if you are tiling a small floor, you can layout the tiles without layout lines. Testing for color and pattern and measuring end tiles for cuts. If you are using porous natural slate tiles like we are, they must be sealed before grouting.
Female: Make sure Latex modified then set mortar as an instructed in the technique section of tiling one, two, and three. Since this excess cannot be cleaned out, use a mortar color that matches the grout you will be using. Starting at the center of the room and using a square notch trowel, apply the mortar to one of the marked grids and comb it into straight vertical bridges as described in the technique section of tiling one, two, three. Set the first sheet of tile into one of the corners formed by the center layout lines. Press it into place by placing the small beater block on it and topping lightly with the rubber mallet.
Lift the sheet and check the bottom. The mortar should cover the entire surface. If parts of the back are bare, re-comb mortar with a trowel with a larger notch before resetting the sheet. Reset the first sheet and install the second sheet. Press both sheets into place with a beater block. Make sure both sheets are flat and at the same level. Also check that they are properly aligned with each other. If one sheet is a little crooked, all the sheets you put down after it would be crooked too.
Keep laying sheets the same way. Make sure each is flat, level with the other sheets around it and properly aligned. When you are finished with one section, lay down mortar for the next. As you work, use a damp sponge to wipe off any mortar that gets on the surface of the tiles. Continue tiling until the floor is complete. Once all the tiles are in place, let the mortar dry completely. Each type of mortar has a different curing time. Be sure to follow the manufacture's instructions.
Male: Grouting is the next step in the tiling process. Grout feels the space between the tiles. Grouting is messy, so be sure to properly cover any areas that you do not want to get dirt. Using a margin trowel, mix the powdered grout with liquid and apply it. Skim the excess grout off with the edge of the float. To avoid digging into the joints, move the float diagonally across the tiles. The grout will set up in about five to 15 minutes and have a paddy like consistency. When a thumbnail pressed against it does not leave an impression, the grout is hard enough for the final clean up.
With a damp sponge, wipe the tiles diagonally to clean them. Rinse the sponge frequently in clean water. The sponging process will leave haze on the tile. To remove it, wipe the surface with a damp rug then with clean dry rug. Cure the grout and let it set thoroughly before applying a sealer. The curing process is very important. Do not disturb.
Once the grout is cured, apply sealer with the sponge. Sealing tile grout gives it greater water and mildew resistance and helps keep it from getting dirty. Make sure to wipe off any drips before the sealer dries.
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