Mosaic with Paper

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Old 02-16-16, 12:13 PM
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Mosaic with Paper

I went to check on a job today. The full tile (kitchen) splash was about 3/4 done and the tile guy wasn't there to ask.

The Dal Tile mosaic had a paper "front". I found this odd. The homeowner said the guy spent many hours just removing the paper, it's stuck on really good.

Anyone seen this? It makes no sense to me. Please don't tell me the tile guy has no clue and the paper is the backing of the sheets.
 
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Old 02-16-16, 12:17 PM
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That would have been my first thought to.
 
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Old 02-16-16, 12:37 PM
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I've installed glass tile mosaic that had a mesh backing and paper on the front. The tiles were so small that many of them only contacted the mesh in a few spots so the paper was necessary to keep it all together...even then I had more than a few pieces come off the backing.

After the thinset or mastic is set you just take hot water and a sponge and dampen the paper. It takes several dampenings over maybe 10 minutes to soak the paper through and soften the adhesive. Just takes a little patience to let the water penetrate the paper. Kind of like removing wallpaper. A little more work with a damp sponge gets the remaining adhesive and paper bits off.
 
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Old 02-16-16, 12:54 PM
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Any more of the tile lying around so that you could look to see whether it has a back and a front layer?
 
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Old 02-16-16, 12:58 PM
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There's no mesh backing, only the paper front. I figured the guy knew what he was doing, but wanted to check.
Maybe he just needs tips on how to remove the paper and I'll pass that along.
 
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Old 02-16-16, 01:03 PM
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How does the unapplied tile look? You know how it is that often one face is clearly meant to be the front and one the back - can you tell such a thing with this tile?
 
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Old 02-16-16, 01:05 PM
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Actually, I went down and looked at some leftovers and it didn't have a mesh backing either and I remember why. Because it's glass tile, you can see through it and the mesh would show.

I had to use ultra white glass tile thinset as well. And, after getting the thinset combed out with notched trowel, you have to hit it with the plain side and flatten the mud so the lines don't show through. I remember now being glad I only had a fairly small area to do cause it was kind of a pain.
 
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Old 02-16-16, 01:10 PM
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One more thing (sorry, bad memory day) You remove the paper after the thinset has set about 15 minutes so if you have to adjust the position of any of the pieces, you still can. That makes it tricky to remove the paper because you can't be rough at all since the mud is only sort of set.
 
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Old 02-16-16, 01:11 PM
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I think that's the answer Paul, thanks.
The tile is glass so it looks like everything is good. I saw some tile with the paper removed and it looks fine.
 
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Old 02-16-16, 02:19 PM
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You install it with the paper still intact - it is acting as a stabilizer and protector. After the tile is installed, you wet the paper with a sponge/water and it just peels off. Been a while since I installed it, but I believe is was with a custom color pallet that the customer picked out. She chose the colors that she wanted to match and coordinate with everything and this is how it was manufactured. Real simple to install and your tile guy will do a face palm once your demonstrate it.
 
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Old 02-16-16, 02:24 PM
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Here is a video of the installation I found. Important, if the glass does not have a painted surface on the back side, you must use a white grout and knock down all the trowel marks before you install the sheet. This is so the trowel marks will not be visible through the glass.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spJpqFNG7xc
 
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Old 02-16-16, 03:03 PM
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After the tile is installed, you wet the paper with a sponge/water and it just peels off
Thanks Z,
It looks like tile was installed properly. Seems the issue is the guy doesn't know how to release the paper, I'll fill him in.
I just took a pretty quick look and couldn't believe how well the paper was adhered.
 
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