Paper Face-Mounted vs. Mesh-Mounted Glass Mosaic Tile
Glass mosaic tile is occasionally sold loose for crafters and artists,
but it usually comes mounted to allow quick installation and even spacing
between tiles in architectural applications. Many manufacturers mount
glass mosaic tile on a fiberglass mesh the same way that ceramic tile often
comes. This fiberglass mesh is on the back
sides of the tiles and meant to be glued to the surface being covered.
The problem with mesh-mounted products is that the mesh is increasingly
more difficult to remove if you want loose tile because the technology
and adhesives have improved so much.
Glass mosaic tile often comes FACE-mounted on paper sheets. This
method is particularly popular with manufacturers of 3/4 inch glass mosaic
tile in Italy and China as it helps ensure that the tiles don't become
damaged during shipment. You can verify that the tiles are glued face
down by noticing that the back sides are exposed. These sides will
have ridges to allow adhesive to bond more securely to an otherwise slick
glass surface. The important point is how face-mounted sheets of glass
mosaic tile are installed.
Paper is much more easily removed than mesh. Generally, it only requires a
few hours soaking in water, and often the tiles fall right off.
Installing Face-Mounted Sheets of Glass Mosaic Tile
Tile mastic or another adhesive is first applied to the wall or
floor. The sheets are then pressed into the glue WITH THE PAPER SIDE
OUT. After the glue has had time to bond securely, the paper sheets
are then sprayed with a small amount of water until they slide from the face
of the tiles. Usually the installer will then go back and straighten
or replace any tiles that have fallen off the wall. With the paper
gone, the tiles can then be grouted. Artists and crafters can get
loose tile from face-mounted paper sheets simply by soaking in warm water.