Tag: troubleshooting

  • How To Pry Up Tiles To Modify A Mosaic

    Prying Tile From Finished Mosaic

    I have often used a small screwdriver to pry up tiles when I wanted to change some detail in a mosaic, but in all of those cases, the mosaic had a grout gap, and it was possible to knock an individual tile out or shatter it without damaging its neighbors, at least most of the […]

  • The Importance of Contrast: Mosaic Sign Case Study

    Mosaic Sign by Ann Mitchell

    Contrast is critical for creating images that catch the eye and text that is readable. A mosaic sign recently completed by Ann Mitchell is a great example of the importance of contrast and the rewards of looking at your work in an objective way and reworking problem areas.

  • Staining Grout With Acrylic Paint

    Staining Grout with Acrylic Paint

    Mosaicists sometimes mix in artist acrylic paint to create custom colors from white grout, but you can also use acrylic paint to “stain” grout after it has hardened (for dry indoor mosaics). Like the process of staining wood, “staining” grout with paint is a process of wiping on and wiping off. The paint sticks to […]

  • Grouting Case Study (Plus Mosaic Art Worth Seeing)

    Mosaic Guatemalan Women Grouted

    Artist Sherri Grasmuck created a mosaic facade of Guatemalan women on her house in Philadelphia that is the perfect case study for choosing a grout color.

  • Why Did My Tiles Come Loose From Thinset?

    Missing Tiles Detail View Mosaic Art

    Recently, artist Jackye Mills emailed me about a problem she was having with her first mosaic project, and it really caused me a lot of angst because the artwork was a strong design that was otherwise well executed. I hated the thought that a first-time mosaicist could do such a good job on something so ambitious only to […]

  • How to Cut Diagonal Triangles from Vitreous Glass Tile

    Cutting Vitreous Glass Mosaic Tile diagonally to make triangles.

    Many people report having trouble cutting vitreous glass mosaic tile reliably because of the embossed patterns on the back sides, which can interfere with the blades of the mosaic glass cutter, but if you take simple steps to minimize interference and rotation, it can be done. What I mean by interference is when the blade slips […]

  • How to Build Up Areas and Fill Holes in Mosaic Backers

    simple gauge made from straight-edged board

    For dry indoor mosaics, areas can be built up to support thinner tile next to thicker tile by mixing sand or sawdust to Weldbond adhesive to create a heavy paste. You can also fill holes in mosaic backers using this method. Sand is best for minimizing the contraction that happens as the glue dries, but sawdust […]

  • Matching Grout to a Room’s Color Scheme?

    matching grout colors

    Choosing a grout color is more of a situation where you want to avoid making a mistake that causes the tile to look wrong than it is an opportunity to tie in the room’s color scheme by selecting some optimal color. A Case Study Recently a customer emailed us the photo above and asked for […]

  • Gaudi Mosaic Bench Freeze Damage

    Mosaic Bench after Antoni Gaudi

    A few years ago, Karen J created a mosaic bench in her backyard using mining debris (large stones), cement, and chicken wire to form the base, which is similar the methods we recommend in our instructions for creating bases for outdoor mosaic sculptures. Karen modeled her bench after those made by the great mosaic architect […]

  • Shrinking Grout: Fixing Holes In Groutlines

    Shrinking Grout Detail

    Grout does not shrink, but it is prone to forming voids and bubbles if it is not rubbed thoroughly into the grout gaps. These holes are easily repaired. My friend Fredrik reported a problem while grouting his mosaic portraits of famous rock icons. He described the grout as having shrank in the grout gap. Real Grout Doesn’t […]