Stainless-Steel Notched Trowel for Thinset is has a spreading area of 11 inches x 4.5 inches and notches sized 3/16 inch wide x 5/32 inch deep. The notched edge is used to spread the thinset in rows, which is how you make sure thinset is applied in the right quantity. It is how you measure the thinset. The smooth edge of the trowel is used to smooth out the rows and make it a flat bed of thinset so you can press in the tile, either sheets of tile or individual tiles one at a time. The smooth side is also used to “back-butter” the bottom of the sheet of tile with a thin layer of thinset. This ensures thorough bonding. To prevent thinset from filling the grout gaps during the back buttering process, you can lay the sheet upside down on a flat surface and fill the gaps with sand before buttering.
Here are some important pointers for using the Notched Trowel to spread thinset for glass mosaic tile:
- Don’t spread more thinset than you can tile in less than 15 minutes. Use a humidifier if you are working in a sunny or intense heat or AC.
- Sometimes thinset squeezes up between the tiles. For this reason, installers sometimes use the same color grout as thinset or use thinset for the grout. It depends on the manufacturer recommendations. Although Versabond does not recommend their product for grouting, we frequently use it for that purpose on found-object mosaics which are difficult to grout, and have not noticed a problem with weathering on outdoor mosaics. That being said, stick to grout for grouting when making architectural mosaics.
- Make sure that sheets of tile are aligned and square with each other.
- Make sure that the grout gap between sheets of tile is the same with as the grout gap used in the sheets.
- Use a block of wood to press and pound gently on the sheet of tile. This process is called “leveling” and ensure that each tile is pressed to the backer and that no bubbles or voids are underneath any tiles.
- We wait 24 to 48 hours to soak off mounting paper because we want to avoid disturbing the thinset as it hardens. Professional installers remove mounting paper in about 20 minutes because they want to see and fix any mistakes as soon as possible. If you remove the paper that soon, you must do it carefully and gently. Pat the paper with a damp sponge gently. Avoid causing drips of water to run down the mosaic. Make sure that the sponge isn’t fully saturated with water. You want to get the paper wet without getting any water on the thinset. After 2 or 3 minutes, the paper should turn dark brown as it absorbs the water, and you can peel it off.
Stainless-Steel Notched Trowel for Thinset
- material: stainless steel.
- spreading area: 11 inches x 4.5 inches.
- notch size: 3/16 inch wide x 5/32 inch deep.
- polymer comfort-grip handle.
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.