Everything You Need to Know About Mosaic Tiles
Mosaic tiles are small ceramic squares that have been around for ages. Mosaic tile is made by binding ceramic or natural stone pieces onto a mesh backing. Due to the limitless variety of stones, the range of colors and textures available is vast.
Mosaic tiles may be applied to both walls and floors, and they are an excellent choice for areas that may get wet, such as kitchens and baths, because the surface does not become slippery. The Roman Empire is the height of the use of mosaics, particularly in the Byzantine era. It is widely used for floors and ceilings. During the Byzantine era, also the height of Christianity, mosaics were used for religion-themed art.
Mosaics are used in modern times to add jazz and excitement together with tiles. Mosaics add texture and sparkle making it a top choice for personalized décor.
Buyer Guide Considerations
One of the first considerations you should have before buying is the design. Mosaic tiles can offer a vast array of styles. Creativity is the number one tool to succeed with any mosaic project.
- A small colored glass is easier to work with than large clear glass.
This is especially true for bathroom applications. Glass tiles might show trapped moisture and will make the bathroom look dull.
- Use a second tile choice to make a feature wall.
This will work well with mosaic tiles because it adds contrast to a wall and more depth in a room.
- Use smaller tiles for better traction.
This is true for mosaic tiles used in bathroom applications. There are a lot more grout joints due to the small size of the mosaic tiles. This results in better traction.
Type of Mosaic Tile
There are a lot (and I mean a lot) of mosaic tiles on the market nowadays. It can range from solid colors, glittery, metallic to matted and glass tiles. It’s very important to find the mosaic tile that will be appropriate for your purpose whether it be for wall or floor applications.
Aside from a wide variety of mosaic styles, a wide variety of sizes are also available. It can range from tiny square tiles to big tiles.
- Pick a smaller tile for a sloped ceiling.
A smaller tile will be easier to work with when it comes to the slopes. Also, it will result in a more continuous flow of the tiles.
- Use smaller tiles on curves.
Smaller tiles are easier to work with on curves.
A vast array of styles and designs can also mean a wide range of prices. It will be more beneficial to find the store that offers the best price for a specific mosaic tile. Some stores will sell some styles at double the price than other stores. Also, remember that lower-priced tiles don’t mean lower quality. The best way to compare different tiles is to have some samples to compare their quality.
It comes in earth colors and in glazed or unglazed finish. Ceramic tiles are widely produced and sold at craft stores for simple and easy projects. It is best for decorative purposes only.
One of the easiest to cut or crack resulting in a clean cut.
This material is the weakest of mosaic materials. They don’t do well on high temperature and low temperatures.
Vitreous Glass Tile
Glass mosaics can come in transparent, opaque, and mirrored pieces. They help bounce light around in a room and have a glowing effect, in some cases. Mirrored glass mosaics have a shimmery effect that instantly revives a space. Any source of light can create shadows and light effects to make the pieces seem to dance in the light.
This is one of the most common types. It is relatively inexpensive. This material is easy to handle and work with because it is easy to cut a clean edge.
Not recommended for flooring applications at it has poor slip resistance and abrasion resistance.
Smalti Glass Tile
These tiles are made in Venice Italy. This type of mosaic tiles looks like jewels. Its depth of color and sheen resembles the beauty of a precious gem. Consequently, this is also the most expensive type.
It is beautiful and will add an instant glam to any interior. The reflective properties of this tile are unrivalled and have always been its best selling point.
It is very expensive. This type of tile is handmade in Italy. That said, applications will be limited only to high budgeted projects.
Organic mosaic tiles
These are cut from natural stone such as marble, limestone, granite and basalt. Organic mosaic tiles are widely used in Greek and Roman times to create tiny stone mosaics with bits of inlaid stones that create a bigger picture when completed.
Organic mosaic tiles give off the feel and texture of natural stone tiles. It also has varied application as it can be used for both walls and floors.
It is very limiting design-wise. Textures are very similar to natural stone tiles and are best for subdued interiors.
This type of tile is also called DIY or artistic tiles. They are made usually from China, marbles wine bottles.
This type of mosaic tiles is best for freestyle design. It has a lot of desirable properties such as iridescent, metallic and swirled. It offers the designer more freedom since there are no patterns to follow.
This is not regularly available on stores. Most creative tiles are made from scraps of glass, china and other ceramics. The design will not be uniform because of the different origin of the tiles. Also, creating a design will be time-consuming as the pieces are unique and different from each other.
To decide which mosaic tile is right for your project, you may need help from a design consultant. You can get a good idea of the colors and materials you might choose for your design by taking inspiration from design books or interior design magazines. Depending on the final look-and-feel and also the budget, you might have to consider some types over the others for practicality.