Glass tile with visible mesh backing

weedyacresJuly 1, 2013

Last time I remember reading something about glass tile, it was said that it's usually installed "backwards" as in "face plant in the thinset" and then you peeled off the backing, which was actually a fronting. This is because a mesh backing would be visible through the back of the glass tile.

I have some glass tile I found on ebay, and ordered samples. They look great, but the mesh looks like a "backer" mesh, not a "fronter" paper sort of thing. It doesn't appear, from the shape of the tiles, or the difficulty in peeling the mesh off the tile (I tried, and it didn't come off easily or in a single piece) that it's designed to go on face first.

Advice please?

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Is the tile opaque or transparent/translucent? If it's opaque, the mesh isn't a problem. If it's transparent, select a different tile.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 7:45PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

All the clear ones I looked at had a white mesh backing that disappears when the tile is laid on white thinset. Never saw the other kind after visiting 6 Bay Area Stores. Do you have a link or photo?


    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 8:09PM
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Here's the tile (from the ebay listing). You can see the mesh if you look closely. I can take a photo of the backside tomorrow (don't have it with me).

I hadn't thought that the mesh might disappear in the thinset. I can do a trial this weekend on a board and see what happens.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 10:51PM
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Paper-faced mesh tile goes on with the paper out. After setting the tile, the paper is wetted and peeled off.

The mesh-backed mosaics go on with the mesh embedded in thinset.

Try laying the tile over a sheet of white paper to "sort of" simulate white thinset. The mesh will probably never completely disappear in mock-ups like this, not until it's embedded in thinset.

If you use it, do use white thinset. And don't leave any ridges in the thinset or they may show through as shadow lines. With some transparent clear glass, you can get good results by back-buttering the tile, but that's usually unnecessary.

The tile company should have some guidance for best methods of installation.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 10:22AM
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