There are many kinds of adhesives available for mosaic work. Here's a list some of our favorites with a bit about when it's appropriate to use them.
Weldbond: Our favorite of all the adhesives because it cleans up easily and has no toxic smell. Weldbond is best used on indoor projects and can be used with any of the tiles we sell. You can also dilute it with 4 parts water to 1 part Weldbond to use as a sealer for plywood bases.
527 Cement: This is what we recommend for transparent tiles when you are working with glass on glass. This is a clear cement so doesn't show through when the project dries. This adhesive can be used for indoor or outdoor projects.
GE Silicone II This is what we use with our Mirror Tiles because it is a neutral cure silicone adhesive which means it will not react with the backing on the mirror tiles. It is great for indoor or outdoor use.
Liquid Nails Clear: An all around adhesive great for indoor or outdoors, a bit easier to work with than silicone.
Thinset: This is the same thinset mortar you find in the hardware store to lay tile. It is a great outdoor adhesive and will hold up well to the elements. Not recommended for Mirror tiles although we've used it in the studio with no problems (our mirror tiles have very thick backing so tend to hold up to caustic adhesives better than mirror tiles with a thinner backing!) We like to use thinset when doing stepping stones or fountains because the color matches the base.
Mirror tiles have silvering on the back which requires special adhesive. We recomment GE Silicon II adhesive. It is a neutral cure silicone which means it won't react with the backing of the mirror tiles. It also comes in a convenient 2.8 ounce tube with a screw top and is resealable. Great for outdoor or indoor projects.
MOSAIC TIPS & TRICKS
We have lots of customers ask us if they should use sanded or unsanded grout. Either may be used depending on the type of finish you desire. In our studio we prefer to use Sanded. There is no problem using Sanded grout with stained glass tiles as long as you are careful to wipe all grout residue off the tiles before it dries. If you allow it to get too dry before wiping it is possible for the tiles to scratch.
Call us: 828-312-0291
Lots of folks ask us about the Van Gogh Tiles. They are painted on the back with a special paint and then a backing is applied. They do not require a special adhesive , any may be used, and the paint is designed to NOT FADE in the sun so they are perfect for indoor or outdoor use.
Tip: One of our customers wrote to us that when they use Van Gogh tiles sometimes there will be a part of the back that has been cut on an angle and the clear glass shows through....she'll take a black sharpie and "color" the back and it looks good as new!
We recommend the book Mosaic Techniques and Traditions by Sonia King for all of our customers whether beginner or advanced. This book will answer many of your questions and provide lots of inspiration. It's available at Amazon.com.
TILES FOR MOSAIC ARTISTS