How To Adhere Mosaic Tiles

A tile mosaic design can be adhered to most any hard surface, from plaster to wood, concrete to glass and metal to mirrors. Mosaic tiles make a lovely backsplash for a kitchen stove or sink, a shower stall floor, a staircase, fireplace mantel or even a front step among various other projects. Tile can be adhered to movable or stationary objects and in any mosaic pattern imaginable.

Step One

Draw out a mosaic pattern on a piece of paper. Use a crayons, markers, or coloring pencils to color the mosaic pattern to help you when transferring your pattern onto the surface.

Step Two

If you want to mock a picture and turn it into a tile mosaic, try printing the photo onto a sheet of graph paper. You may need to stretch the photo out and make several small printouts of the different sections of the full photo.

Step Three

Stretch your design or graphed photo out to a size that will fit the intended surface. Use carbon paper to transfer the graph or the lines of your design onto the surface.

Step Four

Compare your paper design to the larger design on the surface. Mark each square or section of the mosaic with a letter to correspond with the color of the tile that should be placed in the section.

Step Five

Purchase square tiles or randomly cut tiles in the colors you need for your mosaic pattern or the photograph you are transforming into a mosaic.

Step Six

Clean the area you will be adhering the tile mosaic to. Sand surfaces if necessary, in order to remove bumps that will make the finished mosaic uneven and jagged.

Step Seven

Once you are ready to begin placing the tiles onto the mosaic, use a small kitchen spatula to smooth on a small amount of tile adhesive at a time. Do not apply too much adhesive, you want to avoid covering up the lines you drew onto the surface.

Step Eight

Make piles of tiles, according to the different colors and have them handy as you are adhering the tiles. Apply the adhesive and use the end of the spatula to make notches into the adhesive.

Step Nine

Press the tiles into place on top of the adhesive. Try to use tiles pieces smaller than the sections, so that you can add grout between the tiles later.

Step Ten

Place the tiles one at a time, working from one corner outward in all directions. When finished placing the tiles, go back and apply grout into the cracks between the tiles. Smooth the grout down around each tile piece. The grout will seal the tile and protect the surface underneath from water damage.


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