Step 6: Coat the Wall with Thinset

man coating a wall with thinset while preparing to install a glass mosaic backsplash
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Mix thinset in a bucket. Divide your work area into a few sections. Starting in the focal-point area, use the flat edge of a trowel with a 3/16-by- ¼ inch V-notch to cover the wall with thinset. Use a fanning motion to achieve a relatively even thickness of about ¼ inch.

Tip: Work in small sections so that the thinset doesn't begin to cure, or "skin over." If this happens, simply scrape it off, discard, and apply a fresh coat.
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    Tools List

    • drill
      drill/driver
    • notched trowel
      trowel with 3/16-by-¼-inch V-notch
    • utility knife
      utility knife
    • hammer
      hammer
    • Glass Nippers
      two-wheeled glass nippers
    • rubber float
      epoxy grout float
    • drywall bucket
      5-gallon flat-bottomed mud bucket
    • bucket with sponge
      small bucket
    • grout sponge
      grout sponge
    • scrub brush
      nylon scrub brush
    • caulk gun
      caulk gun

    Shopping List

    Paper-faced translucent glass mosaic sheet tile. The facing is peeled off once the tiles are set on the wall

    Kraft paper to protect your counters

    Painter's tape

    Scrap 1x lumber for a temporary ledger

    1½-inch drywall screws

    80-grit sanding sponge for roughing painted drywallSealer-primer paint

    Thinset mortar. Choose a quality white latex-fortified portland cement thinset.

    Scrap cardboard to use as a spacer

    Grout Make sure it's a flexible grout approved by the tile maker. We chose a colorized, premixed urethane water-based grout that "gives" when the glass expands and requires no sealant

    Acrylic caulk that matches the grout