Monday, April 2, 2012

Broken China Mosaics (Part 3)

This post is part 3 and the final post on Broken China Mosaics. If you haven't read them yet, go here Broken China Mosaics (Part 1) and here Broken China Mosaics (Part 2).

Now I'm going to show how I use thinset (also called Mastic) to make the cut china tiles level.

First I use a wood craft stick to scoop out some thinset into a clean plastic container. Then seal up tightly the bucket of thinset so it won't try out. I buy the very large size but many sizes are available on Amazon and/or home improvement stores.

Notice how much thicker the center piece is to the surrounding tiles.

Here is another example with a thick center next to stained glass. Stained glass works great along side broken china and is great for filler. But it is way thinner.

Here is a good example for placement of the tiles. For the most part I lay out my entire (or most) of my design before gluing down. That way I can work with the varying thickness better. But if glued down and I find one misplaced, it's easy enough to pull it up and replace it.

Now apply the thinset using a wood craft stick.

Place the tile with the thinset up close, about the width of the craft stick and work it down to be level with the center tile. If you don't have enough, add more. If you have to much, clean the acess with a toothpick. You don't want to push it down to hard but hard enough that it is set on your surface. Continue this way through the rest of the project!

See how the tile is pretty flush with the center?

And that's how it is done! Pretty easy once you get the hang of it!

Once the tiles are completely glued on, I wait at least 3 days before grouting. Thinset is thick and may take awhile to dry. Test a few pieces to make sure they are on totally dry.

Next is a step that many skip but I recommend:  Use a Dremel with a sanding drum or a diamond bit to smooth the edges of the china pieces. I do this before I grout although sometimes I get so excited to grout that I forget and do it after. Works either way but if it's grouted you just have to be extra careful not to nick the grout.

Time to grout! For the most part I use Sanded grout that I mix myself. But you can also buy Premixed Grout. My color choice is white but that decision is based on the fact my projects are mostly "shabby" and white looks the best.

Okay, I'm going to cheat a bit here and direct you to another site for the grouting directions.

I hope the information here was helpful. Please add any comments and feel free to ask any questions!

And if you haven't already done so, take a look at some of my Mosaics!

1 comment:

Cap Creations said...

Very interesting the process on how to break the pieces. I wrap them in a towel and break them with a hammer. I like how you can make your break where you want though.

Thanks for linking up at Cap Creations.