How to Install Mesh Mounted Slate Mosaic Wall Tiles

Slate mosaic tiles can add texture, color and interest to any wall tile design. Slate tiles measuring 2 inches and smaller are frequently mounted onto mesh sheets for easier installation. Although larger slate tiles often vary dramatically in thickness from piece to piece, mosaics can be installed without this issue; any size variation between the pieces adds to the texture of the wall. Mesh-mounted slate tiles install similarly to other mosaic tiles, with minor differences for the stone.
1,Measure the wall where you want to install the slate mosaics. Locate any wall outlets and their location. Remove the outlet covers.
2,Measure off an area on the ground nearby that matches the size and shape of the wall you will be tiling. Mark location of any wall outlets in this area with chalk.
3,Lay out the sheets of slate in the chalked off area on the ground. Cut the mesh between the mosaics with a pair of scissors to fit the sheets around the outlets and to fit the perimeter of the installation. If you need to cut the individual slate pieces, use a pair of stone tile nippers.
4,Examine the sheets of mosaic as they are laid out flat on the ground. Sometimes slate mosaic sheets are not all the same thickness; some sheets may lay significantly lower than the sheets around them. If this is the case, mark these sheets with chalk so you can recognize them easily during installation.
5,Spread a small amount of mortar onto the wall where you want to install the tiles. Use the notches on the trowel to comb the mortar to an even depth, then smooth out the ridges with the side of the trowel. This helps keep the mortar from seeping up between the slate pieces.
6,Install the sheets of mosaic on the wall in the same positions you had them on the floor. Smooth the sheets onto the wall from bottom to top with the flat of your hand. Every few sheets, set a piece of wood over the slate and beat it with a mallet to drive the tiles in.
7,Build up the thin sheets of mosaic before you place them on the wall by spreading a layer of mortar directly onto the backs of the sheets, called buttering. This extra mortar makes up any size differences between the sheets. Install the sheets like the others once you have buttered the backs.
8,Let the mortar dry for 24 hours, then seal the slate. Paint the sealer onto the slate with a foam paintbrush, taking care to get any ridges or grooves in the slate fully covered. Let the sealer penetrate for 10 minutes, then wipe away the excess with a lint-free cloth.
9,Spread grout over the entire installation with an epoxy grout float. Hold the float at a 45-degree angle to the slate to spread the grout, then scrape off any excess with the float held at 90 degrees. Let the grout set up for 10 minutes, then clean the surface of the slate with a grout sponge. Wipe the sponge in circles over the slate, rinsing it as needed to clean the mosaics. Let the grout dry for 24 hours.

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