The Mini Spatula Set is 4 steel tools used for positioning mosaic tile and for detailed work with glue, thinset mortar, and grout. The set includes 4 different shaped heads. We use them in a similar manner to how palette knives are used in painting: scooping, transferring and manipulating viscous materials on a flat surface, only the medium is glue or mortar instead of paint. Also, small metal tools like the spatulas are more useful than fingertips when it comes to making slight adjustments to tile positions. Fingers tend to get contaminated with drying glue and stick to tiles or bump other tiles unexpectedly, but a thin metal spatula is more precise and less frustrating and more easily cleaned by wiping.
When To Use This Tool
The spatulas are not a required tool for most people because you can use your tweezers in a similar way, but it is always better to have more than one small metal positioning tool available by your side. Glues and thinset are sticky, and your hand tools are continually getting contaminated as you work. Sometimes you can’t stop to wipe them off. Sometimes you have to just grab the one that is clean and fix whatever is going wrong like a surgeon tying off a bleeding artery. This is especially true when you are working with porous stone or unglazed ceramics or artifacts that can be stained. You have to grab something immediately and scoop up the spill or straighten out the mess before the glue or thinset soaks in. Note that small metal tools such as the spatulas are better than rags for this purpose because the rag is much more likely to smear the mortar into the porous surface. Instead of doing that, we recommend scraping or scooping the spill off with a metal tool such as a spatula and follow up with a wipe with the corner of a wet rag.
How to Reduce Frustration
Small metal tools such as spatulas, dental picks and tweezers reduce the frustration of positioning small tiles and enable you to attempt more detailed designs than you would consider if using only your fingertips.
How To Make Mosaics
For more advice on designing your mosaic project or mounting, cutting, and grouting tile, please see our page of Mosaic Frequently Asked Questions or our Mosaic Information Guide, which lists instructional pages described by topic. We also post new articles about making mosaics at our How to Mosaic Blog.