How to Eliminate Tile From Mesh
Mesh-mounted mosaic tiles also make installation a snap if you’re covering large spaces like a backsplash. However, mosaic artists and crafters who want to utilize individual tiles need to separate the tiles from the mesh to cut and work with them. Removing tile from mesh takes time but is not hard.
Cut the tiles apart using sharp scissors. This method works well for opaque tiles, since you won’t have the ability to observe the mesh via the tile . But as the remaining mesh on the back of the tile provides a tiny amount of height, don’t forget to take that into account when forming your mosaic design. If your tiles are translucent, use another method so the mesh won’t show through.
Soak the tile sheets — most come in 1-foot squares — in a bowl of warm water to which you’ve added a drop of dishwashing liquid. Usually 15 to 30 minutes is sufficient to soften the adhesive holding the tiles to the mesh. This way is not ideal, because the adhesive is strong enough that the tiles won’t simply drop off the mesh; you’ll have to manually scrape them, and frequently bits of adhesive residue will adhere to the tiles, and that you’ll have to eliminate so they don’t interfere with your own design. Spread the wet tiles in a single layer on a drop cloth to let them dry completely.
Pry off the tiles one by one with your fingers. Based on the manufacturer, this method may be easier or harder than soaking. Start at one corner of this sheet and then carefully pry off the first tile, holding on to the mesh with your other hand to prevent leaving bits of mesh relegated into the back of the tile. If you do this carefully enough with the first row, then the upcoming rows will be much easier to eliminate. It requires time, but using this method, you wind up with clean tiles without a glue or mesh residue clinging to them.