Well, as I predicted in my last post, fun times were indeed ahead of me.
I knew that gluing the mosaic tiles to the floor would have challenges — mostly getting them lined up. But the cool part about this tile set is that they are small squares with straight lines. Once you get position the first one correctly, the rest fall into place. Literally!
That said, I ran into a ton of other challenges along the way, many of which were caused by the wood floors. I knew that going in, but those floors ended up creating way more barriers than I anticipated!
As I said last time, I needed more tiles. Well, I needed specific tile colors. I looked, and I couldn’t buy this size tile in only one color, so I bought another container full. Then, for fun, I threw some Weldbond in the cart, too. I wasn’t planning on buying yet another glue, but I’m a crafter, and sometimes this is what we do.
I did a quick bit of research into the Weldbond and decided it was a good idea.
You’ll notice that it’s a “Universal Space Age Adhesive.” I did not realize that we were living in the Space Age, but, honestly, it bets living in the Corona Age, so sure.
Also, you’ll notice that it’s good for, well, everything. I didn’t take a picture of the back of the package, but there’s a bunch of instructions about gluing porous to porous material and non-porous to porous materials. Since I’m gluing glass mosaic tile (non-porous) to wood (porous), I figured, why not?
The other reason I grabbed the Weldbond was to experiment. I did some research and learned that Weldbond tacks fast. Like, within an hour. That’s waaaay faster than tacky glue. And for a mistake-prone Newbie like myself, I figure that’s a good thing.
I know from experience (and experimenting) that if I accidentally shift one of the mosaic tiles while I’m laying the other ones down, I’m screwed (watch. This happens later!). The whole line will shift, and I’ll end up with a crooked floor. Not what I’m going for. So, I need something that tacks quickly so I can move on to the next tile and next tile and next tile with relative speed.
I’m positive I can’t accomplish that with tacky glue (as much as I love it). So, Weldbond it is.
As much as I trust the internet (because it’s always right!) I wanted to give Weldbond vs. tacky glue a test run. So, I grabbed the test wood scrap, two green test tiles, and the glues.
I could go in-depth into this whole thing, but honestly, that would be super boring.
The short version is: they both work, and the Weldbond dries pretty clear. Here’s a before and after. Yes, I used too much glue, but not on purpose.
It also tacked pretty quickly. I don’t have pictures, but I poked at the tiles and also held the board upside down. Nothing moved. So, I’m sold on Weldbond for this part of the project.
Lining It Up
Before I can actually glue the whole border in place, I have to decide on the exact placement of the far wall. Thanks to my not so awesome job on the wood floor, this means two things: lining it up from left to right and lining it up from front to back.
I don’t want to rehash the whole thing (you can read about it here if you want), but I know that getting the rear line of mosaic tiles placed just right is a critical part of this project.
I won’t bore you with the details of I lined this up, and I lined that up. I ended up with this:
That tells me the border needs to be that wide. Then I test the placement of the wall:
which tells me that’s where the wall needs to go.
Overall, I think that’s a good place. It covers up most of the board edges and (I’m hoping) won’t make it too difficult to attach the wall when it’s (finally) time for that.
In the meantime, though, I’ve got a few pesky ends to deal with:
There’s no way to compensate for those. If I take out one of the mosaic tiles to make a shorter border, I move the wall over but end up with too many exposed edges on the wood floor side. Placing the wall here means less “re-do” I have to do.
Ungluing the Boards
I figured the best thing to do would be to pry up the too long board and recut it. If I destroyed the board while removing it, that wouldn’t be great, but I could always make new ones (since I’m going to have to anyway to fill in the remaining gaps).
I did a bunch of research and found a bunch of glue-destroying suggestions: acetone, Goo Gone, some mixture of water and laundry detergent.
Spoiler alert: I tried a bunch of things, and nothing worked. Instead, I just ended up with a stained floor:
The short version is I soaked the end of that board first in acetone, then Goo Gone. In both cases, nothing loosened the glue! I didn’t try the detergent-water combo because, after two failed experiments, I kind of gave up and wanted to move on to the tiles anyway.
Maybe I’ll come back to this later, but right now, I’m stuck with what I’ve got! Also, go tacky glue!
Since I’m stuck with what I’ve got, it’s time to move on to other matters. Specifically, specific placement of the wall (that’s a mouthful). Also, I knot that sounds dumb, but hear me out.
No matter what I do, the wall functions as, well, a wall. That means there will always be a gap one wall wide between floors. I have to decide which floor covers that gap: wood or tile.
The wall is one tile width wide. In some respects, that’s the perfect width if I decide to go with a tile border. But, does that look weird? In all my testing, I never worked on this part. I always made a perfect rectangle.
But if I choose to go with a tile transition for the wall gap, the bathroom floor won’t be a perfect rectangle. Half of the floor will be one tile width wider than the other half.
I’ll save you the suspense. I played around with a bunch and ultimately decided to go with the tile transition. If nothing else, it’s far easier to do tiles than trying to cut tiny pieces of wood to go in that spot!
That, though, leaves me with another problem: do I want a double line for that part of the tile border or not? Initially, I wanted to play around with the pattern, then realized I’d make myself nuts trying to lay it all in place without glue. So, I saved this part of the border for last!
The Keystone Tile
I decided to glue from front to back on the “solid” side wall of the dollhouse. This way, I’ve got something in place that I can’t move (much), and that should give me something solid to push against. And, working front to back in this case is easier since I can solidly line up the edge of the tile with the front of the dollhouse.
I start with a lone drop of Weldbond.
While that picture is very zoomed in, you are correct that that is waaaaay too much. I don’t think Weldbond is particularly runny, but it sure comes out fast. Or, maybe it’s thick. Oh well. It’s a good thing it dries clear.
Then, I placed the first tile down and lined it up.
I checked my work a couple of different ways to make sure I got it right. If I screw up this first tile, the rest of the floor will never work!
With the tile perfectly in place (yes, I’m bragging), I let it dry for a long while. I didn’t want to risk sliding it out of place by accident when I placed the rest of the tiles.
Once I felt confident that the Weldbond was tacked, I laid out the first line without glue. I wanted to check my measurements and make sure all the tiles were good to use. My instincts were spot on about waiting for the glue to tack. Here’s what happened when I laid the line and moved one of the end tiles:
Yeah. I’m wise to wait for the glue to dry.
But, once I fixed that, it was go time. First, a bead line of Weldbond.
Then, placing the tiles and lining them up.
Super easy this time, since I have a whole wall to push back against.
Back to the Other Wall
While line one tacked, I tackled the border for the opposite wall.
First, I placed the wall and lined up the tiles around it.
Then I made sure I had the right amount of tiles to go from the end of the wall to the edge of the floor. Then I built the front part of the border over to where it would meet up.
This is actually working!
Then I took the wall out and built out the rest of the border (sans back wall)
Now I just have to deal with this “extra” area. Do I want a double border or not?
In the Meantime
Before I made that decision, though, I decided to do the front line. Why I don’t know, but I did.
I swear I wasn’t drunk when I laid this crooked bead line.
Yeah. But I made it work. I placed the tile in the crooked line the moved the tile into place. The glue mostly moved with it, and the rest will dry clear. The rest of the line turned out like this:
Feeling bold, I did the back wall:
And with three walls complete, it was time to choose!
With the border tacked, I decided to lay in the pattern. Two reasons for this. First, I want to make sure the entire pattern lines up correctly. If it doesn’t, I can make corrections. Second, if it does work, I need to know how many tiles I need to cut to fill in the edge gaps.
So, then it was just a question of laying the pattern.
There’s a lot of these pictures. I won’t bore you with them except to say that in some cases, things didn’t work as well as I’d hoped.
Admittedly, I got a bit lazier the longer I did this, so this might not be a big deal. We’ll see. I will say that the more I pushed things into place, the better it got.
Eventually, I got to the end.
Here’s a side-by-side of the two options. And yes, the double border looks weird because I’d have to cut some tiles, and I wasn’t going to do that for this:
Yeah, a single border is much better. We have a winner.
Then I counted, and it looks like I’ll need to cut about 18 or so tiles. That will be interesting, and I’m glad I have extra!
I had the wall out for most of this. At one point, though, I needed it back in place for something. I was wiggling it into place, and I’m not sure what happened, but it slipped out of my grip, and this happened:
Yup. I knocked a glued tile right off the floor.
On the plus side, neither tile nor floor was damaged. On the minus side, I thought Weldbond was space-age! Maybe it hadn’t tacked enough, I don’t know, and it did take a fair amount of force to make this happen, but I was pretty surprised.
Chicken or Egg
So, I think I’m going to cut the tiles first, then see what fits where then glue it in. I will likely stick with the Weldbond due to the fast tack time, but we’ll see.
Wish me luck! That’s all I’ve got right now!