How to Install a Mosaic?
At first, installing your mosaic may seem like a difficult task that's only for expert-level DIY enthusiasts. Fear not! Installing one of our handcrafted mosaics is not only possible, but you'll find it to be rewarding as well. Follow our installation guide to learn our step-by-step processes.
Our mosaics can be embedded in your wall or floor. If you wish to display your mosaic as wall art, you can mount it on a wooden background and frame it. A carpenter or similarly-skilled contractor can assist in installation.
Installing your mosaic is similar to installing any other tile. Most mosaics can be installed by you or someone else in your home. However, we recommend you enlist a professional to help you install large mosaics.
- Notched Trowel
- Tile Adhesive
- Heavy Block or Tamping Tool
- Bucket of Water
- Marble or Tile Sealant
- Tile Polish or Wax
- Utility Brush
- Spreading Tool
- Tile Grout
- Nails (if installing mosaic upon a wall.)
1. Prepare Your Surface
No matter where you will install your mosaic, the surface should be clean and free of debris.
If you are installing a mosaic upon a wall, outline where the piece will be installed. Be sure to use a straight edge to ensure a level application.
Marking your application site is recommended for a clean and aesthetically pleasing display. Use the marks as guidelines, but be sure to clean or cover them up once you are finished.
Consider covering the floor or other areas to protect them from dripping adhesive or grout.
2. Prepare Your Mosaic for Application
You will receive your mosaic rolled like a rug. Most mosaics will come as one piece, but large mosaics will be cut into pieces and rolled separately. Having multiple pieces allows for easier shipping and handling. It will also assist in assembly during installation.
Carefully unroll your mosaic and lie it flat, design side down.
If you are missing tiles, do not worry, Mosaic Natural always includes extra pieces. Locate the long tiles and cut pieces to the needed size. You will add these when you install the mosaic.
For large mosaics, consider separating them into pieces to make installation easier. You can do this by cutting the fiber backing.
Next, remove the plastic on the back of the mosaic. You will need to brush off any remaining plastic or glue from the backside. This is crucial to the installation process.
Once the back is clean, carefully flip the mosaic over and clean the tile surfaces.
3. Add Tile Adhesive
Using your notched trowel, spread tile adhesive across the surface on which you will place the mosaic. Make sure to apply an even layer of adhesive. The layer should be thick enough to adhere to the tiles.
4. Install Your Mosaic
Begin lying or placing your mosaic onto the tile adhesive. If you separated your mosaic into pieces, start with the outside pieces just as you would a puzzle.
Press each piece firmly into the adhesive. You can keep tiles closer together or allow the adhesive to surround the tiles for a grout-like appearance.
If your mosaic is missing pieces, refer to step 2 and cut the required tiles. Next, glue the back of the replacement and press the tile down into its respective area. If you need more tiles, please reach out to us so that we may assist you.
5. Level and Flatten Your Mosaic
Once the mosaic piece is on top of the adhesive, you will need to lock it in place. You will find applying pressure is much more effective with a tamping tool or heavy block. Tamp the pieces into the adhesive so that they are level.
For wall pieces, add nails in between tiles for added support. These pieces can be heavy, so we strongly suggest that you use nails as a way to help your piece adhere to the wall while drying. Once the adhesive is dry, you may remove the nails.
6. Optional: Prepare the Grout
You may find that the adhesive is all you need to install your mosaic. It will likely surround smaller tiles in an eye-pleasing way. However, when it comes to many designs, we recommend that you finish your mosaics with grout.
The grout color is entirely up to you. Consider the colors in your mosaic to choose a fitting grout shade.
Prepare your grout according to the brand's instructions.
7. Optional: Apply the Grout to the Mosaic
After you've mixed the grout to the appropriate consistency, scoop a large portion onto your mosaic. Don't worry about using too much; you'll remove the excess in the end.
Using your spreader tool, spread the grout over the entire mosaic. Be sure to work the grout into the spaces between the tiles. You should also grout visible edges.
Once the grout is evenly spread, use your finger to push the mixture firmly into the gaps. For a visibly pleasing finish, pop any bubbles, and fill in all air pockets that appear within the mixture.
Lastly, use the spreading tool to remove excessive grout.
8. Clean Your Mosaic
Before the grout dries, it is important to clean the tiles so that they retain their vibrancy.
Dip your sponge into the bucket of water. Wring out the sponge and touch it to the mosaic. In soft circular motions, remove the remaining grout from the tile surfaces. If the sponge begins to spread the grout without picking it up, you'll need to rinse the sponge out in your bucket.
9. Let Everything Dry
Once your mosaic is clean, you can let everything dry. As the grout is drying, be sure to keep the piece protected from interference. Any debris may stick in the grout.
10. Optional: Clean the Mosaic with a Brush
Using the utility brush, brush away any remaining dried grout or adhesive. You may need to scrub a bit to loosen some leftover grout.
Cleanse the mosaic once again to ensure that you have removed all excess and debris.
11. Apply Sealant to Finish
To further protect your mosaic from moisture, we recommend that you seal it.
Choosing the right sealant may be determined by the location of your mosaic. For a mosaic that will come into contact with water, use acrylic and waterproof sealant. Use waterproof sealant for tabletops, outdoor pieces, kitchen backsplashes, and bathroom features.
Apply a layer of sealant to your mosaic. Spread evenly over the tiles and grout. Allow the sealant to absorb, then wipe off any excess with a towel. Do this before the layer dries. Pay attention to your sealant's instructions as more layers may be required. Drying may be required between layers, so be sure to consult the product directions.
12. Optional: Polish or Wax to Finish
To get the most out of your mosaic, we strongly suggest that you polish or wax the finished product.
Your tile varnish or wax may come with instructions. If they do, please consult them when finishing your mosaic.
If they do not, pour some of your varnish or polishing solution onto a cloth and gently buff the polish onto the tiles. Use circular patterns from edge to edge. Be sure to cover each tile, but do not allow the solution to pool in any one area.
Let the mosaic dry, and admire your handiwork.
Should you have questions about this process, please contact us. We want your mosaic to bring joy to your home for years to come. Do not hesitate to reach out to us before, during, or after the installation process.