ADHESIVES 1. Test First -
Unless you have used the adhesive on the same surface before, you
can always use this simple test to determine if you are using the
right one. Glue your tesserae on and wait 24 - 48 hrs. Then try
to pry it off. If it is for a wet application such as outside or
in a shower, soak in water overnight , then try to pry off again.
If the tesserae does not come off , the adhesive you chose is a
winner! Always read the label first. Not only does it usually
contain some very helpful information, it usually provides a
toll-free number should you have any questions about its use or
safety. Always check the chemicals you are working with,
especially if you are pregnant or have any respiratory ailment.
In those cases, a special mask may be called for. Talk to your
doctor. Tile Mastic Use over wood, tile (yes, you can tile over
tile), Formica, ceramic. Will not stick to metal or concrete. Not
waterproof. Mortar based Thin-set - Thin-set is a mortar based
adhesive you can mix with water OR an acrylic additive. Best
choice for concrete (stepping stones, birdbaths), terra cotta,
and backer boards. Will not stick to metal or other non-porous
surfaces without special preparation. It is the only adhesive you
can use to really 'float' tiles. This means you can build up the
adhesive under a thinner piece of tile so that it is flush with
the tile next to it. Totally waterproof. Dries white or gray
(know which color you are buying before purchase). Do not empty
into sink or drain. Seriously! You will regret it when you have
to replace your pipes. Read the bag! Everything I know about
thin-set came from the back of the bag. Mix with an acrylic
additive instead of water to increase its strength and
flexibility, and speed drying time. I prefer using the additive. Weld Bond Similar to PVA glues (below) only stronger. Waterproof
per the manufacturer's literature. Dries clear. Sticks to
anything (score smooth surfaces). Weld Bond can be purchased on
this site on our Tools page. For more info about Weld Bond, visit
the manufacturer's website at Frank T. Ross & Sons and click
on the Weld Bond button at the top left of the screen. Cleans up
with water when still white.
"Weld bond will work vertically if you do a
little trick I found. I know you have that lovely blue painter's
tape. Put it over the tesserae you want to glue to something
vertical and it will hold them in place until the Weld bond sets
up. Then just rip it off. It works really well on bowling balls
and vertical surfaces that can't be made horizontal. Plus, I've
found that if the tesserae comes off with the tape, it means it
would have come off during grouting - so I know where to add that
little bit of extra glue!" From techsupport!
PVA Glues (white glue like Elmer's and other
craft glues) Sticks very well to wood that is unfinished Must
prep painted or stained surfaces (see Surfaces). Can be used with
ceramic, porcelain and glass tiles. At least one surface needs to
be porous. Dries clear Not waterproof. Safe for children to use.
Easy clean up with water. Liquid Nails for Small Projects My
favorite for outdoors when I do not want to mix thin-set. Stick
to almost anything, including metal, terra cotta pots, concrete,
etc. Very short "bowl time" (elapsed time before
product sets up and can no longer be used) Always use gloves -
serious chemicals. Cleans up with solvent. Clear Liquid Nails or
Clear Silicone My choice for 'see-thru' projects such as candle
votives and hurricane lanterns. Most are waterproof. Read the
label or call the manufacturer. Epoxy Glue I reserve Epoxy for
very unique applications which include: gluing cup handles or
other vulnerable elements, heavy pieces that just slide off with
other glues (may also need to be held or taped in place until
glue sets), or it will be exposed to a lot of water. Completely
waterproof. Epoxy is a two-part glue that has to be mixed (resin
+ hardener). My favorite is 'Power Poxy' from Home Depot as it is
very thick. Epoxy has a short 'bowl time'. Mix only enough to use
in 7 - 10 minutes. It is almost impossible to clean off once it
has dried. It will last forever. Not recommended for everyday
use. Adhesive Tips Have you ever opened a tube of glue only to
find it has dried up and even poking a nail or paperclip didn't
loosen it up? Try this: When you are done using the glue squeeze
a small amount of glue out of tube then cap tightly. Then roll
tube up from the bottom. This will remove all the air from inside
the tube and the tip, which is what causes the glue to harden.
The next time you go to use it, it will be like a new tube!
Does your Thin-Set dry quickly, get grainy and
unusable? Try this: Mix a small amount of thin set as you normally
would, then scoop it into a small Ziploc baggie and seal it
(squeeze the excess air out of the bag first). Cut a small corner
off the baggie (one of the corners without the zipper on it) and
squeeze out your thin set! When not in use, place the baggie on
its side in a shallow saucer with a few drops of water in it.
This will keep the exposed thin set slightly damp. Squeeze the
baggie to give your thin set a "stir".
(Info from Wits End Mosaics)
Other options - For Glass on Glass mosaics, you
can use Weld bond or silicone.
Weld bond will take some time to 'cure' and clear.
Clear silicone stays clear.
I have used both. From KimmyStar
I use"E-6000" for inside use, and "UV-6000"
for outside use. Both dry clear, and don't get hard. They dry to
a rubbery consistency. They work on everything I've tried them on
so far, except Styrofoam. It melt Styrofoam.
From Yvonne Have you used clear Tub &Tile
adhesive caulk? I have a clay-pot saucer birdbath stained glass
and glass tile out in the yard. [Coming up on 3 yrs] Used
T&T, regular grout and tile sealant it’s wearing well, I
did wax it last Spring but will use a waterproof sealant next
time. [because I have it in the shed]