How To Install Glass Mosaiscs

Prepare the Work Space :

1-  Remove all the items on the kitchen countertop. Turn off electricity to all the outlets on the wall where you are installing the backsplash. Unscrew the electrical outlets and pull them out from the receptacle. Loosening the outlets gives you room to work as you install tile around the boxes. 

2- Pull your freestanding range away from the wall where you are installing the backsplash and set it out of your way. A gas range should have enough piping so you can pull the range away from the wall. Call the gas company to disconnect it if you need to move it completely out of the way. If you have a built-in range, omit this step.

3- Cover the counters with scrap cardboard at least 1/8-inch thick to protect their surface. The depth of the cardboard also sets the depth of the expansion joint for you by serving as a spacer. Tape the cardboard in place with painter’s tape. 

4- Measure and cut a piece of scrap 1-inch lumber, using a circular saw, the length of the opening in the cabinets where the range sat. Match the top of the board with the top of the cardboard on either side of the opening. Secure the board to the wall with drywall screws. The board serves as a ledger to support the tile in this open space until the adhesive dries.

5-  Roughen the wall’s surface with 80-grit sandpaper to enable the adhesive to bond better with the wall.


Install Kitchen Backsplash:

 1- Select a center focal point for the tile installation. Mark the location on the countertop, ledger or wall cabinet with a piece of painter’s tape. Draw an arrow on the painter’s tape to indicate where you want the center to be. 

2- Dry fit the sheets of tile starting with the center piece. Align it horizontally onto the countertop. Place sheets on either side of it to see how the tiles are going to fit together. If necessary, you may put adjoining pieces closer together. Once installed, you won’t notice the narrower joint. Plan the tile placement to minimize cutting tiles to fit around electrical receptacles. Cut away rows of tiles on the outside ends that extend beyond the length of the backsplash, using a utility knife. Cut away unnecessary tile leaving a 1/8-inch expansion joint against the corners. Label the facing sheet of each tile sheet so you know where to place it. 

3- Continue laying out the next row of tiles. Cut away unnecessary tile as you leave a 1/8-inch expansion joint under the wall cabinets and against the corners. Mark the location of each sheet.

4- Stir the contents of a bucket of premixed thinset. Apply enough thinset to the center starting point on the wall with a 1/4-inch notched trowel using a fanning motion. Make a final horizontal pass with the trowel. Place excess thinset back in the bucket. 

5- Remove the notches from the thinset with the smooth side of the trowel. Leave 1/8 inch of thinset on the wall. If you leave notches in the thinset, they may be visible behind clear glass tiles.

6- Set the first sheet of tiles in place. Press them firmly against the wall with your hand. Hold a piece of scrap wood against the tile and tap it gently with a hammer to seat the tiles into the thinset.

7- Place the second sheet of tiles above the first using the same setting technique. Add more thinset to the wall and continue setting tiles on either side of the center sheets. Align joints closely so the sheets appear to be continuous.

8- Continue to seat the tiles with the block of wood and hammer. Run the wood over adjoining sheets to ensure the tiles are all set at the same depth. 

9- Wipe a damp but not dripping sponge across the paper facing on the tile sheets several times within five to 10 minutes to release the paper facing. Starting at an upper corner, pull the paper off the tiles diagonally. Tap any loosened tiles back into the thinset. 

10- Cut individual tiles to fit around receptacles and other openings with tile nippers. These devises look like pliers with cutting wheels. Insert the tile piece in the nipper. Align the cutting wheel with the cutting line on the tile. Squeeze the handle to cut and break the tile.

11- Apply a thin layer of thinset to the back of any individual tiles and place them on the wall. Allow all the thinset the dry for 48 hours before proceeding.


Grout the Backsplash: 

1- Wipe the entire backsplash area with a damp sponge to remove any traces of adhesive from the backing paper. Use a nylon scrub brush to clean the joints between the tiles. 

2- Stir premixed urethane grout well with a paddle mixer attached to a drill. The texture of the grout should be uniform and without air bubbles. If air bubbles develop, let the grout set for a few minutes to get rid of them.

3- Dampen the wall with a clean sponge. 

4- Apply grout to the wall one section at a time with an epoxy grout float. Work the grout into the joints by pushing it horizontally and vertically along the lines. Wipe the float across the tiles diagonally to wipe off excess grout without damaging the grout packed into the joints. Continue adding grout to all the joints. 

5- Create uniform joint lines by wiping a dampened sponge in a circular motion over the surface of the backsplash.

6- Clean the surface with a damp, clean sponge. Allow the grout to dry following manufacturer’s recommendations.

7- Wipe any haze that remains on the glass tiles with a clean soft cloth.

8- Run a bead of silicone caulking along the expansion joint all along the perimeter of the backsplash. Allow the caulking at least two hours to dry. 

9- Remove the ledger board you installed earlier. Remove the cardboard from the countertop. Reattach the outlets in their receptacle boxes. You may need to use longer screws to secure them.

Specs: (Important- tone or caliber variations may occur.)

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