Master Industry Reference & Installation
Standard recommended grouting procedures
Standard recommended care and maintenance
Special tips for wood installation
Additional tips for specialty tile installation
Frequently Asked Questions

MATERIAL MANUFACTURER RECOMMENDATIONS

Installation Tips:
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We provide these glass tile and mosaic installation tips as a general guideline only, and as a supplement to the installation instructions contained in the boxes of tile, the Price Binder and/or online at our websites.
Here are a few additional insights beyond the already provided common installation recommendations.
PAPER FACING
Please note that many of our glass tiles are mounted ‘PAPER FACED’ for ease of installation and for overall appearance. Paper Facing is used on our glass products that are transparent or translucent, where use of a mesh backing will not work, as the mesh would be seen through the Glass. While it should be obvious, we have learned of several instances where the installer mounted the paper against the wall, thus installing the tile backwards. Please be certain you make clear to your clients that the glass is to be mounted with the paper facing OUT, to be removed after the mosaic has been seated into the thinset. This is done by wetting the paper, lightly sponging, allow a few minutes for the water to soak, then peel it off. NOTE: The only exception to this paragraph is the Rainbow line, which is mesh-backed, NOT paper-faced. The piece of brown paper attached to the mesh is there to prevent the transfer of adhesive from the mesh to the face of the next sheet of glass in the box. This paper MUST be removed prior to installation.
‘MU’ WOOD TILES
All wood tile products should be delivered to the job site to acclimate for several days prior to installation, just like hardwood floor products. All wood tiles (with the exception of ‘Teak’ which holds its oils naturally) are pre-soaked for several hours in a penetrating sealer, and are then finished in a matt urethane finish. The wood needs no additional sealing or finishing; although, if to be used in an area exposed to dampness,such as steam in a shower area, you may wish to add a finish coat of urethane to the front and edges of the wood. Remember, ‘MU’ is NOT to be used in a ‘WET’ location. With regard to installation, EPOXY thinset and grout must be used. We recommend La tic rete ‘Latapoxy 300’ Thinset and Laticrete ‘SpectraLOCK Pro’ grout. Please refer to the more detailed instructions found in the Price Binder ‘MU’ section.
ADHESIVES – MASTICS
Organic adhesives (mastic) are considered unacceptable, due to yellowing, lower bond strengths,and the fact that they set or dry by air exposure. With larger format vitrified or glass tiles the adhesive (mastic) is sealed off at the edges, which is like putting a lid on the can of adhesive. On the backside center portion of tiles, the adhesive remains wet and bond is not properly achieved. Some Epoxies may also be unacceptable due to low flexibility, chemical staining, and degradation under UV sunlight exposure.
MORTAR CHOICES
Choosing the best mortar for the job is important to assure a long-lasting installation. With larger format glass tile units, once the tile has set firmly, the longer you can leave the surface ungrouted the better - we recommend 48 hours. The following (white) Thin–Set Mortars are recommended (ALWAYS consult the manufacturers product data sheets for specific installation instructions):
LATICRETE
‘254 Platinum’ Multipurpose Thin-Set Mortar - The ultimate one-step, polymer-fortified thin-set that provides unsurpassed strength, far exceeding all ANSI A118.4 and ANSI A118.11 strength requirements. Ideal for interior and exterior applications on virtually all substrates and applications, even pools, fountains and facades. Increases your productivity with long open time,allowing flexibility on the job site that results in fast, accurate installations. Easy-to-trowel mortar assures proper coverage on both the substrates and the veneer; as well as, less fatigue for the installer. The exceptional bond strength and easy workability of Laticrete ‘254 Platinum’ makes this multipurpose the ultimate mortar for difficult to bond porcelain tiles; as well as, glass mosaics and large format glass. Laticrete ‘254 Platinum’ inhibits the growth of stain-causing mold and mildew in substrates with Microban, antimicrobial protection.

CAUTION:

When mixing setting and grouting materials with electrical mixing devices DO NOT exceed 300 RPM (or the manufacturer’s recommendations).
All adhesives need to slake (sit) 10-15 minutes after mixing, and remixed before using.
Wear appropriate gloves and mask when working with dry and wet installation products.
 
All methods and material choices should be reviewed with the setting-material supplier or manufacturer. Trowel sizes are always intended as a guideline only and results should be checked during installation to make sure that proper coverage is achieved. With transparent or translucent glass, trowel lines can and will be seen through the glass, and for this reason, small tooth trowels should be used and the glass shimmied into place to create a smooth backing of thins et (see below). The practice of “back-buttering” is always recommended to help achieve maximum coverage. When setting glass tile 100% mortar coverage is to be obtained. The only sure way is to include back-buttering in your methods. We recommend the application of a straight combed troweled mortar, followed with a skim coat on the back of each tile. The most satisfactory results have been achieved in straight-combing the mortar to the wall,placing the tiles and then “seating” them, by pushing the tiles perpendicular to the combed mortar, forward then back, rolling the combed mortar into itself and coating the back of each tile, thus eliminating trowel lines.
SLIP-RESISTANCE
When considering floor placement of larger glass tile units, conditions of slip-resistance requirements should be addressed. If glossy glass is placed into floors, when exposed to wet area conditions it will act like slippery ice. These decorative elements should be mixed with other units providing greater slip-resistance or placed at perimeters, away from primary foot traffic.
EXPANSION JOINTS (Joint Placement)
It is vitally important that proper allowance be made for movement in glass installations, just like ALL ceramic tile installations. Allowance for movement should be made around the perimeter of the room and any hard abutments within the tiled area / cold joints. All installations require these perimeter expansion joints. It is essential that vertical and horizontal planes be caulked, NOT grouted. The minimum width for the perimeter joints is _” (6mm). If the perimeter will be covered with a base molding, then the joint can be left open to allow for the movement. If the joint will be exposed, then it should be treated with a suitable flexible sealant. In addition, if the size of the installation is large enough to warrant field movement joints, then they should be placed as directed as outlined by the construction documents or the North American Tile Council’s Handbook for Ceramic Tile Installations - detail EJ171-[Current Year].Exterior applications will require more frequent and wider expansion joint placement and widths. It is also NOT advisable to cut in expansion joints after the tile or stone installation has been placed and grouted. The damage that can occur before the saw cutting takes may be irreversible. Therefore, following industry requirements to construct the joints as the work progresses is the best course of action. In addition, the space left for the movement joint should be clear of anything that can potentially restrict movement, including thin-set mortar, spacers, dirt and debris.
SUMMARY - All tile and stone installations require expansion joints.
All buildings will move. Therefore, accommodation for this movement is necessary. To properly review and place expansion joints, the best time to discuss and deal with the issue is before the installation takes place. This will help to avoid problems and finger pointing after the installation is completed. For additional information, consult the Tile Council of North America's Handbook -- Section ‘Movement Joint Design Essentials EJ 171-2006’.
Last but not least...
Many of our glass lines are made up of transparent or semi-transparent glass with color contained within the glass. As such, the color of the thinset will affect the appearance of the glass color, and trowel lines CAN show through the glass. We recommend the use of a bright white thinset, which will allow the true color of the glass to come through. Again, the most satisfactory results have been achieved in straight-combing the mortar to the wall, placing the tiles and then “seating” them, by pushing the tiles perpendicular to the combed mortar, forward then back, rolling the combed mortar into itself and coating the back of each tile, thus eliminating trowel lines. When first set in place, every effort should be made to smooth the thinset both vertically and horizontally to minimize trowel lines.
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