always longer than you expect

The concrete was hard enough to step and jump on three days after it was poured. What you don’t see at that stage is the process of curing it goes though that takes about a month. Within that time it’s better not to lay our mosaic tiles in their recesses. Waiting for the concrete slab to cure allows adhesion with the mortar for the mosaic tiles to build up properly.

The plywood board is easily extracted from the recess.
An unwelcome puddle of water is exposed underneath.
By the time we could start it was already the end of October. A day or two of rain, and we need to wait. A few days of sunshine and it becomes colder. Proper setting of our mortar is sensitive to moisture and low temperatures. With the first tile we had started laying we realized that the opportunity was slipping away. The rest of the job will have to wait until spring.
A peanut buttery feel to the mix feels good
and is a suitable consistency.
Each tile will have a stained concrete band that is our choice for transition between the mosaic image and its surrounding gray paving. In order to achieve a clean line we need to fine tune our method of applying the stained concrete into the gap.
We surround the mosaic tile with a strip of masking taped cardboard
to leave room for the grout between the tile and the concrete band.
When we grout this piece we will also have a chance to see what other techniques we have to implement. This is a technically easy stage but it needs the same attention to details as we’ve invested in the process up to now. Grouting can drastically alter the appearance of a mosaic tile. If that happens we’d like it to be for the better. This is why I always tell people and try to remember myself: It always takes longer than you expect.