Step 12: Saturate the Paper

man applying water from a sponge to the paper-covered tile sheets of a glass mosaic backsplash
Photo: Kolin Smith
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About 20 to 30 minutes after you've installed the first sheets, the thinset will begin to cure, but it will still be pliable enough to adjust tiles if necessary. This is the right time to remove the paper facing. To loosen the adhesive, moisten a sponge until it's wetter than damp but not sopping (it shouldn't release water when flicked). Blot it onto the facing several times over a period of 5 to 10 minutes.
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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