Installation Guides

Paper Faced Mosaics

What are paper faced mosaics?

Most mosaic sheets are sold with a flexible mesh on the back side of the tiles, however some may come with a paper covering on the front side of the tiles. Paper faced mosaic sheets allow for better bonding to the adhesive in  wet areas.

The paper sheet is easily removed with water once your mosaics are installed, then peeled away to reveal the tile! When you unpack your mosaic sheets, the rippled side that does not have paper is actually the back side of the tile and it is this side that is laid face-down in the tile adhesive.

How to install paper faced mosaics

Step 1

Lay out the sheets of mosaics in an area the same size as where you intend to install the mosaic with the paper side facing up. This will help decide placement before installation. You should be able to see the edges of the tile on the sides of the paper, allowing you to see where the sheet ends and gauge how close you want the sheets to lie next to each other.

Step 2

Spread a small amount of adhesive where you will be installing your mosaics. Only use as much adhesive that you’ll need in a 5 minute time frame to ensure it hasn’t set in between mounting the tile sheets. Always consult your tile installer regarding the tile material and the area of installation to determine what kind of adhesive is best for your project!


Step 3

Use the grooved side of the trowel to even out the adhesive of the adhesive, then use the straight side of the trowel to smooth out the ridges. Use a light hand when smoothing out the adhesive. This step will prevent any adhesive from seeping in between the tile sheets.


Step 4

Press the sheets of tile into the adhesive, making sure that the paper is facing you. As you work along the area adding the sheets of mosaic, place a flat board over the tiled area and lightly tap the board with a mallet to push the sheets into place. Continue this process until you have finished tiling the area.


Step 5

Wait 15-20 minutes before removing the paper backing. Soak a sponge in water and wet down the paper backing, being careful not to saturate the adhesive. The water will dissolve the glue that holds the paper to the mosaic. Once the paper is soaked, gently peel away the paper backing. The adhesive will still be wet, allowing you to lightly tap or wiggle into place any pieces that need to be adjusted.


Step 6

Allow the adhesive to dry for 48 hours before grouting. Work in 10 minute sections, cleaning off the excess from the glass with a damp sponge as you grout. Make sure to rinse the sponge often during this process and move in a circular motion when wiping away the excess. Allow the grout to dry for 24 hours.


DONE! Once it’s installed, the paper is removed, and the grout is in place, you’re ready


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