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Re: [teacherartexchange] mosaics


From: Maggie White (mwhiteaz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Jun 11 2006 - 12:14:21 PDT

Hi, Linda,

I think I understand what you're asking. A few months ago I made a
mosaic tile tabletop for my hibachi grill to sit on. I used broken
Mexican tiles and arranged them randomly. To make a smooth outer edge,
I used the same grout I'd used on top. It's quite easy to do. Mix the
grout according to instructions; it will have to slake for about 15-20
minutes. You could use a trowel if you don't have a rubber grouter to
apply it, but the grouter works great. If the new grout will be in
contact with the old grout, I think I would lightly spray it first. Do
one side at a time, but do the entire piece in one session. Scoop up a
glop of grout and apply it to the edge of the surface, pushing it into
all the nooks and crannies. Don't worry about it getting on the tile;
you'll clean it later. Turn the grouter at a 45 degree angle to make a
nice sloping edge and smooth it down the length of each side. Remove
the excess with the grouter, then smooth the slanted edges once more,
but don't keep messing with it by continously smoothing it with the
grouter or your finger. Wipe the remaining excess with a damp cloth.
Wait another hour or so and remove the last hazy film. Follow the
directions for curing the grout completely; it'll take 2-3 days. When
it's done, the grout can be sealed with grout sealer so water, grease,
etc. doesn't sink in. Applying the sealer is a pain but my grill table
still looks great even with having lain greasy utensils on it, as well
as grease spatters. It cleans easily with household cleaner. I agree,
the Plexiglas would not be a good idea. Besides the mold problem, it'll
yellow and get scratched eventually.

If you have to buy grout, make sure it's suitable for outdoor
applications. The grout sealer's expensive but a little goes a long
way. I can't believe the artist didn't finish the edges before ending
his/her gig! To me, the finish work is part of good craftsmanship.

Good luck,


Linda White wrote:

>Wondering if anyone has some words of advice for me. My elementary school
>had an artist in residence create tile mosaics as a legacy project by our
>graduating class. The mosaics were put onto a concrete table top and three
>concrete benches (seat part. The edges are not smooth and I am afraid that
>the individual grouted tile pieces might be picked or just come away from
>the surfaces.

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