Step 15: Install Each Tile

man installing individual tiles to fit around obstructions in a glass mosaic backsplash
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Back-butter a tile with a layer of thinset, and press it into place. Make sure your hands are wet while you work so that the adhesive residue on the tile doesn't stick to your fingers. Repeat for all tiles. Let the thinset cure for 48 hours before moving to the final step.
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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