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Thread: Tile mural inlay in concrete - how do I proceed?

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    Tile mural inlay in concrete - how do I proceed?

    Had to cut out a section of concrete in my pool deck to fix a return line leak. Finally getting around to permanently closing the hole. Partly for the fun of it and partly to "cover up" what would just be an ugly square of different concrete, we are planning to put a nice, big, tile sea-turtle into the concrete patch.

    It is porcelain tile, multiple pieces on a backing. My initial plan was to just use plain concrete with no aggregate so it would fill in all of the space between the individual tiles. But I'm worried that the concrete (after setting) might expand in the heat and crack the tiles, which led me to think that maybe I should use grout.

    Any advice from concrete/tile folks here?
    20 x 40 vinyl IG. SWG. Solar. Ikeric VS pump.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Tile mural inlay in concrete - how do I proceed?

    No experience, but I am wondering how well the concrete would be able to fill in around the tile.

    I think it would better to pour the concrete 1/4" low and then set the tiles with mortar and grout around them. Just can not picture how that would look depending on the surroundings on the deck.
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    Re: Tile mural inlay in concrete - how do I proceed?

    Set them like you would in a shower and I would use a urethane grout.
    Paul
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    Re: Tile mural inlay in concrete - how do I proceed?

    Confirming what ps0303 said, they need to be installed like regular tile.

    Recess the hole so the top of the concrete around it will be even with the top of the tile.

    Set the tile as you would any tile job. Be sure to leave a 1/4 inch border around the edges for a nice, grouted look.

    You will have the option of standard. fortified (with latex), or epoxy grout. I suggest the fortified.

    Proceed carefully if you have not laid tile before. You can end up with a nasty looking job that will disappoint you.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Tile mural inlay in concrete - how do I proceed?

    Thanks for the feedback. I haven't done much tile, I'll need to watch some how to videos!

    Since the cutout is basically square, there is going to be quite a bit of area to fill in. Should that just be grout or should I try to get as close as possible to the outline of my turtle with mortar?
    20 x 40 vinyl IG. SWG. Solar. Ikeric VS pump.

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    Re: Tile mural inlay in concrete - how do I proceed?

    Confused now as to what your inlay looks like. got a pic or a link?
    Dave S.
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    Re: Tile mural inlay in concrete - how do I proceed?

    I'll get a picture up today
    20 x 40 vinyl IG. SWG. Solar. Ikeric VS pump.

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    Re: Tile mural inlay in concrete - how do I proceed?

    OK, here is the picture of the turtle and the hole. The turtle is a porcelain mural (it is on a white cardboard backing). The hole is a cutout in my concrete deck, about 3 to 4 inches thick. The red stuff in the hole is rubber mulch (in case I had to reopen the hole to fix the leak again). There is a fool long ruler in the middle of the hole for scale.

    My initial thought was to just use concrete, so it would look like the turtle was "in" the concrete. Everyone seems to think that is a bad idea, so I'm thinking about mortar and grout. However, I have a concern about filling in all of the space outside of the turtle mural with grout (to fill out the square hole). So, any ideas or thoughts?
    turtle.jpg
    20 x 40 vinyl IG. SWG. Solar. Ikeric VS pump.

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    Re: Tile mural inlay in concrete - how do I proceed?

    My first thought was do the easy route. Put down something like these glass pebbles they sell in bags for landscaping and set the turtle in the middle flush like a stepping stone. Then you can just scoop all out if need to access the area again.

    http://www.cascadestoneworks.com/ind...ategory_id=270

    But not if it would get a lot of pool splash running into it would cause a problem of excess water getting under that concrete area.
    Lizzieann,

    27x54 AGP with Waterfall, 18,500 gallons, Waterway Sand filter- Waterway 1.5 hp -1 speed pump , TF-100 test kit, BBB method.

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    Re: Tile mural inlay in concrete - how do I proceed?

    TP
    Years ago, my dad did stained glass stepping stones for gardens walkways etc. They were glass murals similar to the turtle you are using. They were placed, face down in a mold, covered with grout and then concrete mix. When cured they were taken out of the mold. After the first year of doing these he found out that they can not be left outside in the winter as the glass and concrete expanded differently and all of the glass popped out of the grout layer. We suspect that some of the problem also came from the water that was present in the stone as it got rained on during the year. The freezing temps we get in WNY probably caused the water to freeze and expand as well.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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