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Sunday, April 21, 2024

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Mosaic tile mishap


I am in need of your expertise! We received photos of an installation of glass mosaic tile that did not exactly go smoothly. A client wanted someone to come check it on site to see if it is an installation issue, so I am in need of some industry advice. Could you speak to the photos below?


It appears from these photos that this installation suffers from a lack of proper grout joint / sheet alignment and possibly inadequate substrate flatness, (but that could be an optical illusion).

Was this tile manufactured to meet the standards and tolerances of ANSI A137.2? This is the American standard specification for the manufacture of glass tile. It and ANSI A137.1 (for the manufacture of ceramic tile) include the manufacturer quality control and test requirements for sheet-mounted mosaic tiles. If these mosaics were not mounted to meet the specifications found in these standards, it may not have been possible for the installer to correct for any potential gross manufacturing deviations during the installation process. However, it is the responsibility of the installation contractor to notice such deviations and bring them to the attention of the owner or the owner’s representative before the installation begins.

If the mosaics were within standard tolerance for mounted sheets, the installation is likely out of tolerance for grout joint alignment (ANSI A108).

Or, the problem could be a combination of out-of-tolerance deviations from standard in both manufacture and installation of the mosaics.

From this distance, I can only speculate as to the cause(s) of the issue. Your client is thinking in the right direction for determining the precise cause(s). I recommend that an Industry-Recognized Consultant be contacted to conduct a review of all aspects of the installation. A list of Industry-Recognized Consultants can be found on the NTCA’s website at this link: https://www.tile-assn.com/page/recconsultants.

Depending on the client’s location, you may want to begin by contacting Donato Pompo and Kent Klaser of Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants. CTaSC has nation-wide consulting services. They can be reached at: www.CTaSC.com, 866-669-1550, [email protected], [email protected].

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