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What I Would Do Different Now

This is a stained glass shower mosaic I created several years ago. Since then, new and improved materials have become available that would have made this project quicker, safer and more fun. So let’s see how some things have changed.

  • Materials I Used
  • Cement board
  • Large paper pattern
  • Stained glass
  • Glass grinder
  • Ribbed dental tools
  • Fiberglass mesh
  • Thin set
  • Grout

The cement board I used for wet areas was very, very heavy. When you added your mosaic and adhesives, it really got heavy. Also, cutting it was very difficult as well. The heavy weight made it a nightmare to install. Now I would absolutely use the Skeewbacker hydroban boards because they are so lightweight, easy to cut and easy to install with the simple hanging systems that work well with them.

I used the cheap, dental tools that had the rough ridges on the handles and boy, I sure worked up sore spots and blisters on my fingers. Skeewpicks sure would have been nice as their handles are coated in a cushiony cover and there are several blade shapes to choose from for the cleaning and detailing.

The first fiberglass mesh I worked with involved having to tape down clear seran wrap over your pattern, then tape down the mesh over that. Then you used thin set on every piece you placed onto it and this meant you better be sure you like it right away. Otherwise, removing it after it dried was time consuming, messy and frustrating. Now I use QuikStik Mosaic Mesh because you don’t have to use any glue at all until you are finished with placing all your tiles. The glue only goes onto your backer and you lay the tiled mesh into it. During the tiling process, you can pick up and move around tiles easily so that you get it just the way you want it.

It’s fun to look back and appreciate the advances we have made in our mosaic processes. These are just a few and I hope they give you ideas on ways to work better, cleaner and faster. What are some of your favorite old vs new methods and materials?

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