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Mosaic making – grout question?

Hi I’m going a mirror and frame mosaic for my sisters’ birthday. I have got some ply and glued my mirror to it, now I want to mosaic a border around the edge. I have a 3cm border of ply to cover with tiles. I have lots of 1cm x 1cm vitreous glass tiles to use.

I was going to ‘butt’ them up against each other so I have no gap (using no-nails glue so it’s a strong fix as doesn’t need to be weather proof should be ok) but I was told I have to grout them, if I do I’ll only have 2 tiles and a lot of grout between as I cant fit all 3 and the grout on the border I have. Do I have to grout them or can I just grout around the edge of the frame to make it tidier?

Thanks. I’ve primed the ply first (scored and covered with a PVA&water mix) the no nails works really well. It’s going on a living room wall so should be ok, well away from damp air.

Is there anything i can coat it with to protect it from dirt etc other than grout?

1 Comment

  1. First, you don’t *have* to grout anything you don’t want to grout as long as you’ve adhered the "tiles" on well. It will look different than if you’ve grouted though, and dirt/etc will probably be able to get down around each tile over time.
    Also, the plywood will eventually absorb water because of the gaps and could swell unless you sealed the plywood very well before using the tiles and adhesives on it…. if the mosaic will never be outdoors or in a heavily steamy bathroom or in an area where the weather is always quite humid, that may not be necessary though.

    Most "tiles" used for mosaic etc, are rounded or beveled on their edges though, so even if you do butt them together as tightly as you can, there will still be a narrow "trough" of area between each tile that’s depressed so grout will accumulate and stick in those troughs.

    Otherwise, you’d need to trim the tiles in one row to make them all fit, Or you’d need to create a narrow "border" of plywood, etc., for the added width of the tiles… or use some other kind of decoration or decorative material under the small "lip" created by the outermost tiles which extends out and provides a small border effect.


    Diane B.

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