Introduction and a Kitchen Backsplash Ambition

modthyrthMarch 27, 2012

Oh my goodness, how long have I spent lurking various forums here on gardenweb, and never realized this one was here?

I've only done one mosaic project before, a door for the wood-fired oven I built in my backyard:

But I've always been a sucker for all types of art glass. Fast forward a few years, one broken oven just days before Christmas, and we've found ourselves in the midst of a complete kitchen renovation. I kept coming back to the idea of doing a glass mosaic backsplash, and I'm so delighted to have found such wonderful information and examples already here!

One of these days, I want to do a large scale mosaic mural on the cinderblock wall near the outdoor kitchen. I tried a search for information on outdoor installations on concrete walls, but didn't have any luck. Anyone with any insight on a project like that? Specifically, do I need to do anything to prep the surface (stucco first, or paint, for example?) Thinset for the adhesive, or is there a construction adhesive that would be easier to use?

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Welcome to the forum. You did a fabulous job on your first mosaic. Re your potential mosaic on a cinderblock wall, IMO it's just waiting for you to plop the first piece on it. Of course, after cleaning it and getting it dirt and dust free. Ever since I started mosaicing outside projects - probably seven yrs., I've used Mapei brand UltraFlex II. It's a wonderful professional-grade cement-based mortar modified w/polymer - found at Lowes. Mapei's Keracolor grout is also cement-based and goes well for your project. If you've seen my Photobucket albums, you know I do lots of outside projects, and the above-mentioned products are what I always use. Good luck on such a wonderful potential project. Be sure and give us WIP pictures.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 9:27AM
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Welcome ! I'm glad you found us - but watch out - we're a bunch of enablers ! We constantly fuel each others addiction ~~ LOL

PS - Love your piece !

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 12:43PM
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Just do it!!! Here's a link to my backsplash and counter tops.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 2:05PM
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Thanks, all! I'm delighted to find a community of creative enablers. :-) Beautiful projects like the ones I've already seen here gave me just the push I needed. Now it's time to start acquiring more glass!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 3:34PM
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I'm drooling over your backsplashes - they look so professional !

PS --- the pic of Sam with cereal on her nose cracked me up :)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 3:56PM
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Modthyrth>Welcome! What part of the country are you in would be important to give any suggestions about materials to use, if you have no trouble with that gorgeous doo you made, then by all means use the same stuff Slow mentioned. I would also look into an outdoor grout, but I live in a rainy/freeze zone. YOU have already inspired me, as I have always wanted to build an outdoor over and always wondered how I would do the door!!! I bet a Glass oven door would look sooooo cool!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 10:58AM
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Yes, welcome. Careful, mosaics are addictive; if I don't do something every day that has to do with mosaics, I get cranky! I haven't done much outdoor work yet, but I want to do more, would like to do some huge things, like walls inspired by Gaudi. I just finished an outdoor sign. About 3 years ago, I made a totem, glass on glass, that is holding up perfectly. I used GE II silicone for the adhesive on that since I wanted the light to shine through. I live in Texas, not too many freezes but we do have 2 or 3 every winter.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:28PM
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We're in Phoenix, so we don't need to worry about freezing very often!

Calamity--Do it!! (I clearly have the right enabling spirit ;-) ). I'd never done any masonry before I made my oven, but it turned out beautifully. Well, some of my brickwork on the dome is more...ahem...rustic, but it works beautifully, and I saw ovens in Pompeii that have been standing for thousands of years and look worse than mine. Check out the free plans and very helpful forum over at for all you need to know about wood fired ovens.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:58PM
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Glad I found this forum!!
We are at the beginning stages of a complete kitchen reno, and I have convinced my wonderful hubby that I am going to put glass on the backsplash. I have been working with glass (both stained and mosaic) for a few years, but have never done a backsplash.
I like the idea of attaching the glass to a thin board first.. how thin? and what material?
I was thinking of attaching the glass to mesh first, but the board has me thinking.
any and all suggestions welcome! thank you!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 11:16PM
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Working on mesh would work just fine. A board w/be easy too, but w/make the project thicker. If I were doing the project, I'd use mesh (I use fiberglass screening), but if you choose a board, my suggestion w/be to use hardibacker. It's about 1/4" thick.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 10:56AM
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Thank you Slowmedown!!!
I was hoping someone would say mesh :) I plan on starting it this week!!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 12:06AM
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