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Attaching Mosaic Tile to Mirror

Posted by gam51 (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 11, 12 at 13:06

I want to frame my mirror with mosaic tile. Can I use thin set on mirror to attach glass mosaic tile or is there something better? I want to use existing mirror and don't have room to do a border (like on a board) surrounding the mirror. Any one have experience with this?


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RE: Attaching Mosaic Tile to Mirror

First, a warning. Take a tile and hold it up where you want it to be. While the effect can depend on the thickness of the mirror glass, you might be able to see the reflection of the back of the tile in the mirror.

If that is a negative, then you could paint the backs of the tiles a flat black, or mask the area of glass that will not be tiled and use a flat black paint to paint the part of the mirror that will be covered with tile. I prefer to paint the glass black.

On to tiling.

You can use either 100% silicon, or a knife edge grade epoxy for your adhesive. I'm sure there are other things too, but those are tow that I'll recommend.

Here you'd mask off the area that will not be tiled to prevent adhesive from getting where you don't want it. Clean the glass with alcohol. You can squirt silicone from a caulking tube, or mix and spread your epoxy, then comb it out with a notched trowel and set your tile.

Silicone may be more forgiving in terms of open time, plus there are fewer negative consequences if things go wonky.

For clarification, a "knife-grade epoxy" is simply a high viscosity epoxy. Its higher viscosity prevents it from running everywhere. It's helpful on horizontal surfaces, and can be absolutely crucial is you are tiling a vertical surface, like a mirror already on a wall.

Best, Mongo


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RE: Attaching Mosaic Tile to Mirror

Thank you mongoct. That was a wealth of helpful information. One question, does silicon come in white or just clear? The tiles I am using said to use a white thinset so the glass tiles didn't show as a different color. Of course, clear wouldn't create a different color, but it might make the web backing more visible in the mirror. I do plan to grout so maybe the webbing isn't an issue. Thoughts?


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RE: Attaching Mosaic Tile to Mirror

100% white silicon is available.

I found this photo online, it shows an example of how you can see the back of the tile in the mirror reflection. The thicker the mirror glass, the more of the mesh will be visible.

The color of the adhesive used to adhere the glass tile is more important the more translucent your glass tiles are. If your glass is pretty much opaque, then the adhesive color doesn't matter as much. The more translucent the glass is, the more important it becomes.

If seeing a little bit of the adhesive through the reflection in the mirror doesn't bother you, no worries. If it does, then to eliminate the reflection and without muddling the color of the glass tile, a better bet might be to paint the portion of the mirror that will be tiled black. Then adhere the tiles with a white silicon.

If your glass tiles are translucent enough to spec out using a white adhesive, then I also recommend back-buttering the tiles with white silicone before setting them.

That will ensure you get a full coverage of silicon between the tile and the glass. No entrapped air bubbles, no uncompressed ridges. Any bubbles or uncompressed ridges on the back of the tile can show through as shadowing when looking at the front of the tile.


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RE: Attaching Mosaic Tile to Mirror

I just did this in a bathroom I updated on the cheap because the mirror had black spots and was hard to replace without taking half the wall down with it. I got glass tiles from Home Depot, took them of the backing and cleaned off the glue that was left from the webbing. Then I used some Epoxy glue to glue the tiles directly on the mirror. The only problem was the area where the clips held the mirror in place. I removed them, except for one, which I couldn't get out (top left). Before:
Photobucket

After:
Photobucket

Photobucket

I was actually prepared to paint the back, but honestly, the reflection of the back was not a big deal since it was dark gray. So far, the tiles are still holding up.


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RE: Attaching Mosaic Tile to Mirror

The only problem was the area where the clips held the mirror in place. I removed them, except for one, which I couldn't get out (top left).

So what is holding the mirror up? Did it have glue in addition to the clips? I am used to the clips being the only thing that holds the mirror in place.


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RE: Attaching Mosaic Tile to Mirror

Yes, the mirror is firmly glued to the wall, which is why plan A, to replace it, didn't work without taking half the wall with it. Plan B was therefore, to glue the mosaic over the blackened edges. Also, I didn't have a tile saw to cut a small piece that would have fit where the last clip is.
However, others have removed the clips and used washers to hold the mirror up. Then you can glue the tiles over the flat washers.


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RE: Attaching Mosaic Tile to Mirror

Okay, I need a visual. How does a washer hold up a mirror?


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RE: Attaching Mosaic Tile to Mirror

http://www.sandandsisal.com/2011/01/how-to-frame-mirror.html
scroll down to the last picture

You can also google "washer holding mirror in place" or something like that.


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RE: Attaching Mosaic Tile to Mirror

Thanks for the visual. Not sure I get the point though, they make metal mirror clips that aren't any bigger than the washers.


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RE: Attaching Mosaic Tile to Mirror

These clips? I'd be interested in finding flat mirror clips that could be used to replace the current plastic clips on my mirrors.

Here is a link that might be useful: mirror clips


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