Mosaic Tiles to Inspire a Summer Project

The Bisazza Alcove designed by M.W. Harris

If you make your own mosaic, you get a weekend of arts and crafts and an increase on your house’s value. Mosaic art dates back to ancient civilization. The Romans decorated their extravagant public bathhouses with mosaics. In these times, few people could afford to bathe at home, and going to the bathhouse was a  daily social practice.

The Bisazza Alcove designed by M.W. Harris
The Bisazza Alcove designed by M.W. Harris

Nowadays, we turn our spas, our kitchens, and our entryways into a sanctuary by embellishing them with mosaic tiles.

Interior Design by Lisa Higgason
Interior Design by Lisa Higgason

Whether simple or intricate, a tile addition brings exotic beauty to any room.

Entrance at  Barneys in San Francisco

To get started on a mosaic masterpiece, first decide where you plan to build it. Tile can be applied to wood, stone and concrete. This offers possibilities of building a mosaic on the floor around a Jacuzzi tub, on the wall behind the kitchen sink, or even on a table.

Marble Tile Chess Table circa 1890
Marble Tile Chess Table circa 1890

A dusty old antique could become the new chess table in the study. The next step is to browse mosaic tiles to get an idea of what palette of color will flatter the room where your mosaic will live. The color scheme can drastically effect the look of a mural. The floor mosaic in Walt Disney World’s Cinderella Castle Suite uses hints of 14k gold  with colorful tiles. The entire castle is filled with mural mosaics, but this particular piece has only been seen in person by a select few, as the suite is only available to winners of a sweepstakes.

Cinderella's Pumpkin Coach Mosaic
Cinderella's Pumpkin Coach Mosaic

This kind of project would be a lot of fun for a family to do together, perhaps in a little girl’s bathroom. It looks complicated, but all you need to do is sketch your design on a piece of paper, measure your workspace and draw your pattern on the surface with the pencil. You don’t always have the make sure each tile fits the space perfect to scale from the drawing because you can stretch tiles to fit by making the gaps of grout bigger or smaller.

A Sketch of a Mosaic Pattern by Owen Jones
A Sketch of a Mosaic Pattern by Owen Jones

With a sketch, you will find where you might want Martini Mosaic’s blocco red tiles or piazza gray tiles to appear. Many shapes are possible with a wet saw. This tile cutter can be rented or bought at most hardware stores. Its blade picks up water and spins diamond dust to make a crisp cut on tile. When you’ve cut your tiles, you can place them together in the pattern you’ve drawn with a pencil to see how it looks. When you’re satisfied with a layout, it’s time to use tile adhesive to stick each piece down. Make sure the tiles are level. If one bulges up from the mosaic, it will need to be chipped out and replaced, which can be a real pain.

Piazza Tiles by Martini Mosaic
Piazza Tiles by Martini Mosaic

Use a trowel to spread grout into the cracks and crevices, scraping away any excess. With a wet sponge, polish the tiles clean. Grout can leave ugly stains. If you’re working with glass mosaic tiles, you will need to seal the grout and allow the sealant to dry overnight. If sealant gets on the glass, wash it away with warm water. Martini Mosaic produces eye-catching tile blends of glass and stone that make the extra step well worth the trouble.

Mosaic Tiles from Martini Mosaic
Mosaic Tiles from Martini Mosaic

The work area will need to have a lot of ventilation. You may even want to grab a work mask as the fumes will be quite strong. Making your own mosaic could occupy an entire weekend, but the addition raises the value of a home and is a great outlet for creativity.

Whimsical Kitchen Mosaic
Whimsical Kitchen Mosaic by Lori Desormeaux

Tile makes a room feel more luxurious for a number of reasons. It is visually appealing to a huge degree. Also, tile causes reverberation which makes a space feel bigger. The art of mosaic has been in style for thousands of years, and it’s not going out any time soon.

11 thoughts on “Mosaic Tiles to Inspire a Summer Project

  1. Pingback: Bathroom Tile - Choosing Tile For Every Part Of Your Bathroom

  2. John Wingate says:

    The Bisazza Alcove designed by M.W. Harris is a stunning bathroom!!!! I love simple Mosaic Tile designs and all of the designs are great example of what Mosaic Tile designs should be.

  3. Pingback: Details of a French Country Kitchen Design

  4. crystaldrapery hardware says:

    . Thank you for constantly posting so many useful tips. They are such a great help to me. Thank you very much! I’ll bookmark your web site and take the feeds also… I’m happy to find numerous useful info here in the post.

  5. Pingback: Soup’s On: How A Pot Filler Faucet Can Save Your Back And Put The Joy Back In Cooking For A Crowd - homethangs.com

  6. sports hall maintenance says:

    What wood flooring should I use for my table tennis room? Some recommended floating interlocking laminate flooring with good underlays is good but I don’t know what the hell are they talking about. I was wondering if some could suggest and explain some wood that can be used to play Table Tennis. To help Table Tennis requires good shock absorption and cushion from underlays. Those expert wood people out there please help..

    • Megan Wahlberg says:

      Thanks, Gail! I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels passionately about mosaics.

Comments are closed.