Concrete Walkway with Mosaic Inlay

willow-beeJuly 1, 2013

Hi everyone! You've got yourself a newbie here. I'm looking for some advice on an outdoor mosaic project. I have a concrete walkway that my husband and I poured last summer. It has seventeen 6-inch diameter circular indentations in the concrete, which we created with the idea of filling them with mosaic inlays. I've worked with stained glass for years, but never with mosaic.

I've made two of the mosaics, using vitreous glass tile glued with white glue upside down to a piece of heavy kraft paper in the reverse method. The pieces of glass are extremely, ridiculously small - some as small as 1/4".

My question is, what material would you use to install and grout the mosaics into the concrete depressions? I feel like I've read many different ways I could do it. I've read that sanded grout is best for outdoor applications, but wouldn't be good for the tiny grout lines I've left. I'm worried about the small pieces getting shifted around in the process.

The depressions are about 1/4" deep. I live in Maine, so there's definitely a freeze/thaw cycle!

Any advice is appreciated - thank you!

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silvamae

If it were me, I would use thinset (mortar) as an adhesive and also as grout. What a cool sidewalk you will have! I love the curves of it.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 4:10PM
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silvamae

and also meant to say, "Welcome!"

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 6:15PM
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nicethyme

cool, sanded grout fits everywhere . I would love to play with filling those depressions with stained glass and rocks... oooOOoo, the opportunity abounds

keep us posted PLEASE

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 7:13PM
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willow-bee

Thanks so much for the advice! The guy at Home Depot recommended regular old mortar, so I think I will give that a try as far as what to lay the tiles into. And unless anyone else chimes in otherwise (and please do!) I'll try sanded grout.

There's a line engraved on the walkway with an angle grinder that represents a timeline of the earth, and the mosaics will show different events/creatures that evolved along the timeline...starting out with the formation of the earth and moon, the atmosphere, dinosaurs, dragonflies, fish, etc. ...and finally people!

(Super nerdy, I know. We like science.) I'll be sure to post some photos of the mosaics when I get them in!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 8:30PM
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nicethyme

then dang! call my nerd queen! cause I love that idea!

I would go with thinset for adhesive though

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 8:38PM
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silvamae

That is going to be fabulous!! Please post pics along the way.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 9:09PM
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julie10059

Looking foward to pic's

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 1:07AM
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nanatricia

Yes sounds like it is going to be great !!! Have fun!!!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 11:10PM
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barbfrizzell1955

What a cool project! I look forward to seeing more pics of this!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 6:38PM
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Calamity_J

LOVE THIS!!! Plz keep posting work in progress pics

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 4:23PM
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willow-bee

Hello all! Looks like there's some interest in my project (which warms my little heart). Here are a couple photos of the first two insets I put in last weekend. They are in the bed of thinset, but not grouted yet. I put too much thinset into the dragonfly one so there's not much room - or any in some spots - for grout, so I'm not sure how that's going to look. The dragonfly also taught me the importance of using high-contrast colors between subject matter and background (his body is kinda lost in the background). Better to learn on #1 than #12, I guess! So 2 down, 15 more to go....

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 8:27AM
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willow-bee

...and the moon!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 8:28AM
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barbfrizzell1955

Looks good!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 5:41PM
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mfbpa

Awesome! What fun! I'm so jealous, I've been trying to get to my wall but my kids are popping out babies and getting married, which leaves no time for my mosaics. Currently I am living through other peoples work.
LOL
Thanks for sharing.....

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 9:58AM
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silvamae

Wow, looking good!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 4:24PM
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julie10059

That is going to be so nice,you are doing a great job

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 1:46AM
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oldcrafty

Looking so good!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 11:42AM
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