In part one of our mosaic project we gathered all of the needed materials. Then sorted, cleaned, hammered and generally prepared the tiles for gluing. I decided to do a simple design on my table, so I needed to plan it out before I began gluing. If you don’t care to do a design you can skip that part and make a beautiful random mosaic.
Now comes the fun part. I began gluing my tiles using the smooth edges (the edges I didn’t create by breaking with the hammer) all around the edges of my table. I did this to help avoid snagging anyone’s skin or clothing who might later sit at the table. I glued down my solid tiles and designs that I had previously positioned. My design consisted of very simple flower shapes. I used solid color tiles for these to help them be more visible. Try to fill in any areas greater than 1/4 inch with small bits of tile. I found that even when I didn’t think I was leaving much room for grout, it turned out to be more than enough. Your grouting step will go much easier and faster when you are filling in minimal spaces. This step took me several days to complete. It’s not difficult, but it does take time. It will feel as though you are building your own jigsaw puzzle.
Above you can see the table before any grout is applied. I checked each tile to make sure it was glued properly. It’s good that I did that, because I found several that I missed! Then I let the glue cure for 24 hours.
Since we were using an epoxy grout we needed to follow some specific prep directions. Mainly, we had to clean all of the tiles with a solution of cool water and Dawn dish soap. I enlisted the help of my long suffering husband for the actual grouting because I knew we would need to work much more quickly than I could on my own. Even working together as quickly as we could the second batch of grout began to set up in the bucket long before we were done. Also, for our project we needed 3 buckets of grout. It is very important to apply the grout in very small areas at a time. There were a few areas where my grout spaces were greater the 1/4 inch. In those places the grout seemed to settle leaving a divot. We will correct this problem with a second layer of grout. The divots are a problem because it leaves jagged edges of exposed tiles. People might complain if they cut themselves on my table and we don’t want that. After the grout is dry the tiles must be cleaned with the Dawn solution again to clear up any left over haze. Finally we will allow the grout to cure for a week before christen it. Doesn’t it just make you yearn for paella! Ole’!
In the close up you can see that my table has two leaves in the center. I kept this in mind when planning my design so that it would look good with or without the leaves.
Now it’s your turn! Choose an object to tile, acquire and prepare the tiles, glue and grout! That’s it! Let me know how your project turns out. I’m betting it will be gorgeous.