How to Install Glass Mosaic Tiles Outside

Lead Image for How to Install Glass Mosaic Tiles Outside
  • 1-40 hours
  • Beginner
  • 5-750
What You'll Need
Thinset mortar
Tile nippers
Glass mosaic tiles
Grout sealer
Grout float
Cotton rag

Glass mosaic tiles can add a pleasant design to any outdoor table or patio. The bright, vivid colors, coupled with an abstract design, can really bring out the best to any exterior surface. You can choose from a variety of glass tiles at your favorite hardware or online store and can integrate the different colors to any desired design theme for your home.

Porcelain or ceramic glass mosaic tiles are typically used for outdoor applications, as they are more durable and more resistant to the elements and to harsh weather. A little creativity is also a great asset when deciding to install glass mosaic tiles outside.

Step 1 – Preparation

Clean your intended canvass, to get rid of loose dirt, moisture, and grease. If you plan to set glass mosaic tiles to a wooden table, make sure that the wood surface is sanded smooth, to allow maximum adhesion for the thin-set mortar. When planning to follow a certain design pattern, it would be best to plot the template of your glass mosaic tile design before applying the mortar.

Step 2 – Apply Mortar

Use a trowel to apply a thin coat of thin-set to the center of the intended area. This will make it easy to work outward, and accurately see the design pattern as you add more tiles. Remember to work in a small area at a time. You may use tile nippers to cut specific portions of the tile, depending on your intended design.

Step 3 – Press Glass Tiles to Set

Press 1 glass tile at a time to the thin-set, leaving at least 1/8 of an inch between tiles. It is best to apply the tiles with a slight twisting motion, to ensure that the tile makes full contact with the mortar for maximum adhesion. After applying a few tiles to the intended area, pull 1 tile, to accurately determine if the back of the tile is covered with enough mortar. Apply more mortar directly on the back of the tile before setting back in place.

Step 4 – Let Dry

Leave the tiles to dry for at least 24 to 48 hours, before applying the grout. Remember to avoid any kind of foot traffic when working on a patio, to ensure a strong bond between the tiles and the mortar.

Step 5 – Add Grout

Use a grout float to thoroughly apply tile grout between cracks and crevices. Remember to use grout that is specified for outdoor or exterior use.

Step 6 – Remove Excess Grout

Use a wet sponge (preferably warm or tepid water) to remove excess grout from the surface of the glass mosaic tiles. Remember to remove excess grout before it completely dries. Failure to do so may result in a hazy, cloudy appearance. Thoroughly clean the area, until all traces of grout have been removed.

Step 7 – Apply Grout Sealer

It is best to apply 1 to 3 coats of grout sealer after the grout has completely dried. Let the sealer dry, and polish the glass tiles with a dry cotton rag.

Glass mosaic tiles add a dose of color and design to an otherwise plain surface. Remember to work between temperatures of 50 to 75 degrees, to better facilitate the bonding process between the tiles and the mortar.