Liquid Nails on a tile mosaic?

I'm in the process of cutting and laying a 3' x 2' tile mosaic for a sunken shelf in my shower. Since the piece is vertical, I'm laying the cut tiles on a 1/4" backer board mount, then using thinset to attach the mount to the wall.
Many of the pieces are an square inch or less in size, and I would rather not try to use thinset to attach them to the board. Does anyone see a problem if I just laid them down with liquid nails, then grouted once on the wall? The stuff seems pretty strong and waterproof. The mosaic will never be exposed to a direct stream. It will just be exposed to steam from the shower.
If not liquid nails, what else might work well for this? Or, should I just stick with thinset?
Thanks in advance. -Tim
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It seems to me that any deviation from thinset would be an invitation for trouble.. not sure what the problem with using thinset would be.. if you find it hard to apply maybe you could try a "mortar bag", basically like a chef's pastry tube.. you load it in then squeeze it out in small amounts.. they are on the shelf at Home Depot ect.
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Jack wrote:

Interesting, I hadn't thought to try that. My concern with thinset is that I have a hard time spreading it without stepping all over my lines, and I need to ensure my spacing doesn't drift as I move out to the edges. Traditional laying methods involve spreading it out and portioning it off with a notch trowel. Doing this would leave me completely unable to see the underlying design.
My other worry is that it's easy to accidentally squeeze thinset up between the pieces. There are enough small pieces that I wouldn't want to try to chase all the grout lines out with a q-tip before it sets. I had hoped liquid nails would be more forgiving in these respects. I know it's not uncommon to use mastic in tile applications and thought that liquid nails would also do the job.
I suppose with a pastry bag, I can just back butter the pieces and carefully press them into place like I would have with glue. Thanks for the tip.
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My wife has been doing tile mosiacs for the past 4 years and has tiled anything that didn't move. Her pieces include picture frames, creamic planters, oranmental fountains, patio table tops ( plastic and wood), cement stepping stones, 300 lb. cement cylinders used as public trash cans, wall plaques as well as designs on cementacious backerboard. After trying lots of adhesives including thinset and epoxy, her overwhelming favorite is Liquid Nails. She finishes her work with colored grout applied in the traditional way. On the cement cylinders which were too heavy to turn horizontal, she had to work her way up from the bottom one row at a time shimming each piece against the one below it to mantain the gap until the Liquid Nails set.
This has sood the test of time and weather.
Good luck.
John trbo20 wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

That's EXACTLY what I was hoping someone would say. Thanks so much, John. One quick question, which type does she prefer? I'd think general construction grade, but I don't know if one exists for masionary applications.
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Hello,
She uses the cheap grade of Liquid Nails and buys it by the case from Home Depot.
John trbo20 wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Do you know if she's dont interior bathroom jobs exposed to high levels of moisture? One fear I have is that Liquid Nails might contain some organic compounds in its formula and could be a fertile bed for mildew growth behind the grout.
Thin set is completely inorganic.
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Jack wrote:

Interesting, I hadn't thought to try that. My concern with thinset is that I have a hard time spreading it without stepping all over my lines, and I need to ensure my spacing doesn't drift as I move out to the edges. Traditional laying methods involve spreading it out and portioning it off with a notch trowel. Doing this would leave me completely unable to see the underlying design.
My other worry is that it's easy to accidentally squeeze thinset up between the pieces. There are enough small pieces that I wouldn't want to try to chase all the grout lines out with a q-tip before it sets. I had hoped liquid nails would be more forgiving in these respects. I know it's not uncommon to use mastic in tile applications and thought that liquid nails would also do the job.
I suppose with a pastry bag, I can just back butter the pieces and carefully press them into place like I would have with glue. Thanks for the tip.
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I haven't used this, but I've seen the commercial where the guy sticks a hammer to the ceiling and goes back to bed.
"Power Grab Construction Adhesive"
Site link:
http://www.loctiteproducts.com/questions.asp?answerme80#cat380 -- Oren
"Well, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it happens, it happens constantly."
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