Smalti Outdoor Mosaic for a newbie!

doonieSeptember 17, 2010

Hi all! I am new to this forum, but thought I'd try it to see if I can get any more information to help me with a smalti tile installation.

I have never mosiaced before, but I love the look of smalti tile. I have an arched inset area above my covered grill that currently has a plywood base and one sheet of cement board screwed and "glued" in place with mastic. I have a second piece of cement board that I will start working on transfering my design too, which was laid out on a piece of posterboard.

So what's the best way to transfer this smalti to the cement board. I think I am supposed to use thinset to self grout them? I bought some mosaic contact paper to aid me, but I am nervous about starting and how in the heck am I supposed to keep the thinset moist? Can I do this in a single day?

The surround stones in the mosiac are travertine and slate, which I will seal first. My thought was to set them first and then transfer the smalti. I think I need will need to grout the surround stones, right?

Anyway, any and all help is so much appreciated.

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Phew! This is interesting. Never have done an indirect method before, but I'm thinking that if your contact paper is a very strong adhesive, you can put it down over your BEAUTIFUL mosaic, lift it and place it into the thinset in your little niche. Then you can tape off the smalti and carefully grout the stones around it. The thinset stays moist for enough time for you to put this in place, and this project can be done within an hr or two IMO.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 8:56AM
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This looks really cool! Love that you bordered the piece with mosaic tile that will blend with your bricks and that you used rocks in your piece. You are going to be so proud to have guests over when you get that up!

I'm afraid I'm not experienced enough to give advice.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 9:08AM
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So am I correct in thinking I should set the borders into place first and have them grouted before trying to transfer the smalti?

Thanks Jenel!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 9:54AM
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Good idea, but you could place the whole thing in, tape off the smalti and then grout the stones. If your contact paper is really a good adhesive, the whole thing should move right into place. Your idea w/work also - border first, then the center focal. Wonderful ideas on over your appliance. I just love arched niches.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 4:19PM
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slowmedown, I am loving what you are saying about moving the whole thing at once with the contact paper. I sure hope it works as advertised. This is the part that makes me nervous! I like your method of transferring best, so tomorrow I will attempt it.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 5:35PM
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