When I began this mosaic project, it was suggested, because the tiles and stone chips were different thicknesses, I lightly glue the tiles, upside down, to brown craft paper. the mosaic is complete, upside down and reversed. I was told that at this point, I should grout from behind and attach stucco mesh to the back of the mosaic. When this is dry, I can use the thin set and attach to the wall. I am nervous about this and wonder if this is the correct way to proceed. Help?

  • Where is the mosaic going? Will it see water regularly?
    – HerrBag
    Mar 4, 2013 at 21:34

1 Answer 1


I've never done or heard of this, but most of my small tile work has been with presheeted tiles

I did read about a mosaic system where the layout was done face up and a mesh was attached, and the tile was thin-setted and afterwards grouted.

I've also seen a TOH segment where the mosaic was attached to a thin cement board (1/4"), grouted and then the whole assembly thinsetted in place.

For me, grouting from the back would mean that you couldn't know or change the amount of grout that was pushing around the mosaic. Normally, cleaning the tile of extra grout would be done in 20 to 30 minutes, before it is set solidly.

This method would let the front face be flat and the variations hidden in the back.

What would you glue the tiles with? I assume some type of water soluble glue...

Found a tutorial here this is similar to your method, called the indirect method. Do the reverse attachment to paper, install the tile on the wall (floor?), let dry and THEN grout. This makes more sense to me and overcomes what I see as a potential problem area, not being able to control the grout removal.

  • 1
    I also don't see the grout remaining uncracked if it is grouted first and then applied to the wall.
    – auujay
    Mar 4, 2013 at 22:59

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