Fitting And Sealing Pebble And Stone Mosaic Tiles

Red, black, honey and white river peggle mosaics
For stone tiles like pebble mosaics, marble and travertine

  1. The stone pieces are glued to a flexible backing so you can glue them in place using tile adhesive like you do with other tiles.
  2. Seal the stone tile after the adhesive has completely dried. This action will prevent the pebbles and stone tiles from absorbing the grout color. Allow the sealer to dry.
  3. Apply grout to the pebble tiles by pushing it into the spaces between the pebbles. Work slowly when doing this to fill in all gaps. When you have finished the entire area will be properly covered with grout.
  4. Allow the grout to set up and dry for around 20 minutes.
  5.  Sponge away the grout from the surface of the stones. The sponge should be damp, not dripping wet and dont push too hard, you dont want to remove the grout from between the stones. Rinse the sponge regularly.
  6. Leave the grout to dry for 24 hours.
  7. Apply sealer to the grout and stones.

Mosaic tiles that feature natural stone


Kitchen Sink Stainless Steel Grade 304 18/8

Stainless steel grades used for kitchen sinks explained
OK so you want to buy a kitchen sink and all the sinks have these numbers but what do the numbers mean? Could they mean the weight in kgs that you can pile the dishes up before washing them divide by the maximum number days you can leave dirty dishes…. are you also confused? Never fear, here is a very simple explanation.

There are many grades of stainless steel but since we are takling about kitchen sinks here we will deal just with 18/8 and 18/10 which are the two most common grades of stainless steel used for food preparation and dining. They are also known as Type 304 or grade 304 and are part of the 300 series. 18 refers to the amount of chromium present and the 8 or 10 represents the amount of nickel. For example, 18/8 stainless steel is comprised of 18% chromium and 8% nickel.

304 grade stainless steel is also comprised of no more than 0.8% carbon and at least 50% iron. The chromium binds oxygen to the surface of the product to protect the iron from rust. Nickel also enhances the corrosion resistance of stainless steel.  Therefore, the higher the nickel content, the more resistant the stainless steel is to corrosion.

How To Install Metal And Glass Mosaic Tiles


This is a step by step process for installing our stainless steel and glass mosaic wall tiles.

Please note that this is a “how to” guide and should only be considered as an informational resource.

Required tools and materials. All tile stores and most big diy hardware stores will have the items available:

  • 5/32 inch or similar V-notch trowel to apply adhesive .
  • A rubber grout float.
  • Sufficient stainless steel or glass mosaic tiles to cover the area.
  • Enough tile adhesive to cover the area you are going to be tiling.
  • Adhesive for standard ceramic porcelain tiles is compatible with our products.
  • Enough un-sanded grout to cover the area you are going to be tiling. Use non-sanded or un-sanded or sandless grout because sanded grout may scratch the finish during installation.
  • A clean sponge or cheesecloth.
  • Two buckets, one for water and one for mixing the adhesive and grout.
  • A tile cutter if there are any cuts to be made around certain obstacles that can’t be properly fitted by simply removing individual tiles from the mosaic mesh sheets.
  • A pair of scisors or craft knife to cut the mesh backing if necessary
  • A flat wood block or plank about 7cm wide and 20cm long and a hammer for making the tiles all level. This prevents any tiles or parts of tiles standing proud of the rest

Step 1: Mix your adhesive as shown on the product package. Apply the adhesive firmly onto the wall with the flat side of the V-notch trowel. Make uniform depth grooves in the adhesive with the V-notched side of the trowel.

Top tip: If you have a large area to do then only do a few square feet at a time so you dont end up with hard adhesive with tiling still to do

Step 2: Lightly apply the mosaic tile sheets onto the adhesive using even pressure. Lay subsequent sheets lining up the tile pieces from one sheet to the next.

Top tip: Tap a wood block lightly with the hammer on top of the sheets of tiles to ensure each tile piece is at the same level as the one next to it.

Step 3: Once the adhesive has set sufficiently you need to remove and protective covering on the surface of the tiles. If your tiles are covered in a protective paper wet them a few times and gently peel the paper off. If your tiles are covered in protective plastic, simply peel it off.

Step 4: Gently wipe the excess adhehive off the surface of the tiles with a wet cloth or sponge once the adhesive has set. Check the instructions on the adhesive bag for the time it takes to set.

Step 5: Mix your grout and apply with the rubber grout float forcing grout into the joints until they are full. Always use fine non sanded grout for glass, metal and mirror tiles.

Step 6: Wait 2 hours and then gently wipe off the excess grout from the tile surfaces using the damp cloth or sponge. Don’t use too much pressure as that may wash out the grout from the joints.

Please note: We will not be responsible for any mis-installation, misuse, errors or damaged caused by the direct or indirect use of the content in this article.

Make Your Very Own Step Ladder Shelving Bookcase

DIY Ladder Book Shelf

Instead of buying a flimsy, boring, regular bookcase why not make your own interesting, sturdy, fun one…. using a step ladder.
What you will need:What You Will Need To Make A Ladder BookCase

  •  Wooden step ladder, I used a new 3 step one but you can use one that has seen a bit of diy action, gives it character
  • Random left over pieces of wood lying about the shed
  • Tape measure
  • Pen
  • Wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • Jig saw
  • Sander

Open the ladder fully and measure the size for a shelf to fit snugly under the first rung and lowest rear support. These 2 should be the same height so you will get a level shelf. If they are not the same height don’t worry, you can always use cabinet shelf supports, these are cheap and easy to work with.
Then measure the space to put a shelf on top of the middle step. On top so that the bottom book shelf is the biggest it can be for those large books.
Use the sander to tidy up your edging and maybe also to clean up the surface of the wood. You can even paint or varnish it if you want but I left mine as is.
Make another smaller shelf to put on the top step, you can put a lamp up there, or even a small bus.

A Ladder Bookcase Looks Great In A Boys Room
Cost: 20 for the ladder because I didn’t have a spare old one lying about
I used screws, glue and pieces of wood left over from previous diy projects so I didn’t have to buy anything else
Time taken: 3 hours

The Cost And Return Of Home Improvements

Where To Improve Your Home To Make The Most Return On Investment
With the housing market stagnant in many areas and buyers harder to come by, it is important to improve your home to make it more sellable. This could mean little projects such as laying new carpets and redecorating or undertaking bigger improvements such as kitchen extensions and adding a conservatory.   Such improvements can increase the value of a property and make for a quicker sale should you decide to sell or re-mortgage.

However, whatever home improvements cost money. So is it best to use your savings, tap into the equity you have by re-mortgaging, take out a home improvement loan or use a 0% credit card?

For instance, a big improvement such as a conservatory can be quite expensive, so it might be best to save up for it or get a low-cost loan.

A smaller improvement such as replacing the kitchen tap could be done using a 0% credit card, but make sure you pay it off during the interest-free period if you can.   Here are some home improvement suggestions with guide prices…

Home improvement return on investment 2

Home improvement return on investment 3

Home improvement return on investment 4

Home improvement return on investment 5

Home improvement return on investment 6


Make Your Own Mosaic Tile Splashback

Seriously if I can do it then anyone can. It is my first mosaic tiling job and… well see for yourself.

Cloakroom basin splashback before and after photos:

splashback MT0006 before  

I made a photo diary of the job so you can see just how simple it is:

Tools and materials I used are:
Tape measure
craft knife
glass mosaic tiles
aluminium edging strip
sharp screwdriver
coarse sanding paper
paint scraper
tile adhesive
tile grout

Measure the outer perimeter and cut the edging strips to size, Mine are 3 sides with the basin at the bottom edge. The top corners are done by cutting 45 degree angles which I marked out using a square card board folded in half to make a triangle. Use a file to finish off the cut edges. I used 8mm edging because the tiles are 8mm thick

Cut the mosaic tile sheets to the correct size. I used glass mosaic tiles. The specs are:
MT0006 Hong Kong autumn mix glass mosaic tiles
8mm thick. 4mm to 8mm are good for wall mosaic tiles
The chip (tile piece) size is 48mm x 15mm. You need to be sure of this size to avoid having to cut a lot of tile pieces
There are 108 tile pieces glued onto a sheet. It is easily cut between the tile pieces using scissors or a craft knife
A sheet is 30cm x 30cm.
I used 2 sheets and made a rectangle 40mm wide x 45mm high to go behind a 40mm wide basin

Roughen up the wall surface to give the adhesive a better grip. I used a sharp screwdriver and coarse sanding paper. Try not to go out of the area to be tiled, then you wont need to touch-up with paint afterwards

Apply tile adhesive with a ploughed field effect. I used a paint scraping tool to apply the paste and a kitchen fork to make grooves. You could use the proper tool which is cheap from your local hardware store. The grooves aid in laying the tiles evenly

Wear your favorite super hero shirt to get you in the right frame of mind

Place the tile sheets into position with the edging strip tucked in behind. Press gently just so the tiles don’t fall off. Don’t push hard yet, we will get to that part soon.

Use tile spacers between the separate sheets to keep a uniform grid pattern. I used 2mm ones

Ok now you can press the tiles onto the wall. Use a short plank to get them all even. This is what I’ve been keeping that piece of wood for in the shed all these years

Apply fine texture grout with a firm sponge. For anyone that doesn’t know, grout is the filler between the tile spaces. You can get various colours of grout,  I chose white. In fact I used a premixed white 2 in 1 cement grout product. It is practical if you have a small area to tile

Job Done!

my wife is very happy with it too…. big points for me!!!

Total cost: £21.40

Time taken: 3 hours. This is not including adhesive and grout drying time

Calculate How Many Mosaic Tile Sheets You Need For Your Project

Mosaic Tiles Variety 4mm 23x23 with or without glitter

Calculate the number of mosaic tile sheets you will need to complete your DIY project:

First calculate the size of one mosaic tile sheet (eg 30cm x 30cm = 900cm²)

Then calculate the area to be tiled. (eg 90cm x 250cm = 22500cm²)

Then divide the total area to be tiled by the area of one sheet (eg 22500 / 900 = 25 sheets needed)

Useful conversions:

1 m = 100 cm

1 m = 1000 mm

1 m² = 10 000 cm²

2.54cm = 1 inch

1m² = 10.764ft²

Area Calculator For Mosaic Tiles

More about mosaics….
Mosaic tiles come in a variety of sheet sizes so you must make sure you have the correct info, you don’t want to come up short and find out later that the supplier no longer stocks them.

Some sheets of mosaic tiles are a mix of sizes and are not as easily cut into the right size strips as you would be able to cut a sheet of uniform tile pieces

Make sure that you will be able to do your job with the least amount of cutting, and I don’t mean cutting the gauze backing, I mean the tile pieces. For example if you need a 75mm strip it is best to use mosaics that have 23mm chip sizes. 48mm chip sizes will need to be cut and this will be a big challenge

Fitting A Bathroom Basin Waste Without Leaks

Fitting a basin waste without it leaking is not always a piece of cake unless you know a trick or 2
Sometimes no matter how hard you try you never seem able to plumb in a waste without it leaking….

This is a sprung basin waste and it works by pressing the centre of the waste fitting in the basin, when it pops up the water is released from the basin.

The kit comprises of the sprung basin waste, a sealing washer and a plastic nut.

You can see here that there are holes cut into the side of the waste, these are for the overflow water to escape into the waste pipe as most porcelain basins have a built in overflow. It is important that these holes are not blocked.

Sometimes no matter how hard you try you never seem able to plumb in a waste without it leaking. This is a common problem caused by irregularities in the basin hole preventing the waste washers from forming a proper seal

The solution I have is to leave out the thin foam washer that’s meant to go under the flange inside the basin and run a bead of white or clear silicone along the underside of the flange instead – make sure there’s enough so that it gets squeezed out all the way around with no air pockets.

Underneath, run a bead of silicone on both sides of the thicker rubber washer. Once tightened up, smooth the silicone around the nut and washer. Inside the basin, remove as much as possible, then use a rag wrapped around a finger to wipe the rest away leaving only a near-invisible ring around the flange.

Another option is to buy a basin bowl sealer kit from B&Q for around a pound. The manufacturer is Robimatic plc. Using one of these is a great way of easily sealing the basin waste without the need for tape or messy sealant. The kit comprises of a white foam washer, the basin mate tapered rubber washer and a poly washer.