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How do I avoid vertical, glass on glass, grouting disasters?

9 years ago

stxmona Tue, Jan 11, 05 at 7:41

Okay all you vertical glass on glass people - I need help.
Last night I decided to grout a couple of bottles that I used Weldbond to prime, Weldbond to glue the glass on and have been sitting for a month. Mix up my grout to about the consistancy of soft cookie dough. Used my hands to apply it to the bottles.
This is when the disaster starts...when I began gently rubbing the grout into the grout lines...some of my glass started coming off..okay a few pieces I can fix that. But as I went along more and more came off. Finally I gave up and put the pieces in a bucket of water.
HELP - what did I do wrong???? I have NOT grouted anything vertical before. Was my grout to wet? Am I not suppose to rub into the grout line areas?
I NEED YOUR ADVICE - I have to grout the fish vase this weekend and am now frighten that the same thing will happen!!!

Bianchi2 Tue, Jan 11, 05 at 10:05

klinger Tue, Jan 11, 05 at 11:04

I have used wellbond and silicone for glass on glass. I really prefer the silicone, I am determined to use up the large container of well bond I bought though. I find it needs to sit or a good several weeks before grouting. I have never had any pieces come off when grouting though. It makes me think it hadent cured long enough, and maybe the grout was perhaps too thick. I think soft cookie dough describes a good grout inconsistency though. Is the well bond still showing white at all? If so it isnt dry yet.On smaller pieces I have put them in the oven with just the light on over night, or even with a low temp setting to help this stuff dry. My last large glass on glass window will likely sit for a couple weks before I try to grout it, it is too large for my oven.Cindy

RE: Vertical grouting disaster!--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

misacreations Tue, Jan 11, 05 at 18:44

stxmona, I feel for you..that happened to me twice. The first time the piece wasn't glued properly, it was barely holding on. When it happened again I figured out that I was being too aggressive while grouting. I would wipe too hard to get the grout off and my sponge had too much water in it after I rinsed it out. Now, I used a plastic knife and put the grout on like I'm icing a cake. Next, I use a sponge and press the grout into the cracks, gently. I wait a few minutes and then start wiping away the grout. I grout the same or next day I finish a piece, so it doesn't have to be completely dry. I hope this helps you.

misacreations Tue, Jan 11, 05 at 19:10

I use Weldbond because I have youngens and I'm pregnant. I'm probably going to try silicone after I have this baby.

by: annsb (My Page) on Wed, Jan 12, 05 at 10:35

So from this discussion it seems that for vertical grouting then silicone is the suggested product although Misa has had no problems with weldbond so far!
I take it then that if you can lay the piece flat when glueing and grouting then weldbond isn't as much an issue. But silicone might still be a good choice.
How do you make sure that no grout gets underneath the glass tiles? And does it matter if a little of the adhesive squirts into the grout space?

stxmona Wed, Jan 12, 05 at 10:46

Please ask questions helps everyone!! Haven't had an issue with grout under glass pieces...didn't think it mattered if there is glue in the grout line as long as it is not a large I can't wait to see how everyone else answers that one!!
I have had my vase (to large for oven) on the tiled porch in the direct sun for the last couple of days. I primed with full strength Weldbond (maybe my mistake).
Will grout this Saturday so I can work calmly and wholely on it all day if need be...wish me luck!!

stxmona Fri, Jan 14, 05 at 11:32

Thought you all would like to see Dawnmarie's reply to my email.

Hi Mona,
So sorry it took me a few days to get back to you. We are really busy trying to get the SAMA Conference ready to go in D.C. in March and things have been crazy!
I am so sorry you had such a disaster with your project. If tiles were "falling off" I suspect is was a combination of two things. Not enough glue AND too much water used during grouting. It might be hard to tell from the glass diary photos on my site but I use ALOT of glue. There is that one picture where it is ooozing up to the surface of the glass tile. Back off just a bit from there and that is how much I use. The glue is usually 1/2 - 3/4 of the way up the side of the piece of glass. Waiting till it was clear was great but if there wasn't enough there to start, you can easily pop tiles off.
You also mentioned your grout was soft cookie dough consistency. When using a glass base for a mosaic, you want to back the water down a bit when mixing grout. Soft Cookie dough is great for a terra cotta base, or even sealed marine plywood or cement fiberboard, but for a glass base that will not absorb any of the grout's moisture, you want to go more for Bisquick drop biscuit dough, wet but stiff, almost crumbly. I also do not use wet sponges during the cleaning phase of these glass based pieces. After the initial rubbing of grout, I let it sit for 10 - 20 minutes depending on the temp. in my studio. Then, I mist the piece with a spray bottle and wipe with dry paper towels. Let is sit for another 10-20 minutes and repeat until it is clean. It is on this second wiping, that I dip a gloved finger in a cup of water and smooth the top and bottom edges and leave them undisturbed until the final cleaning.
With all the time we spend on a mosaic project, I completely understand how frustrating it is when things go wrong. Weldbond is certainly not the perfect product for every project or every artist. We all have several variables in our own work environments, work styles, materials, etc. that make the task of finding out what works best for the individual artist to complete their vision, the most challenging aspect of the work. For me, it is also the most fun!
Best of luck with all your future projects! Feel free to share this with the nice folks on the Gardenweb forum. They have all been very kind to me, I appreciate it!
Dawnmarie Zimmerman
What a gracious lady for helping me!!! Below is the link...I did use her method closely for the fish vase.


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