Mosaic decor creates pictures or patterns using tile, glass or stones, so you can really unleash your inventive streak. They can be used to create dramatic, colourful splashes in portions of a space, or to simply give a solid-coloured wall a bit more texture and character.
But before you begin, there are a few things to consider, starting with the kinds of mosaic materials you will be using.
Do your research. There are so many potential schemes for mosaic design. Will you choose a classic Edwardian motif or a more conceptual design to really wow people with? Again, a mosaic can be achieved using a variety of materials but the easiest material to use is tile, because it is cheaper, more versatile and requires the least amount of preparation work, depending on how complex a mosaic you are going for, of course.
You should consider what you want: a classic, solid mosaic, with which you can cover an entire room if you wish? Or perhaps a bolder, more colourful mosaic motif or, even, a portrait? In this case, we usually advise only doing one wall or part of a wall, depending on the design, in order to avoid overwhelming a space. So, a great tip is, once you've decided on a pattern or picture, print it out and tape it onto the space you're thinking of before you move forward with buying your tiles.
The preparation work will be further affected by whether or not you are doing mosaic tiling inside or outside. Make sure that, inside or outside, the wall being tiled is smooth and flat. If it has paint on it, sand this off first. Inside, be sure that your tiling environment is prepped in other ways by removing electrical platings around outlets and taping plastic sheeting onto areas like carpets or precious appliances that you don't want to be damaged by the tile glue. These are good things to do even if you have hired an outside contractor to do the actual tiling, because it will take less time and money to get the job done.
If you are tiling an outdoor space, be sure you use a waterproof primer and what is called a 'substrate', which is simply a firmer surface to glue the tiles onto so that they can better withstand outside elements. We recommend a using a substrate made of backer board or sanded concrete.
After you have smoothed and sanded, measure out how much tile you'll need, fitting the tiles into the desired space, and make adjustments like cutting accordingly. You can see in this example of a bathroom back splash mosaic that the tiles on the right have had to be cut down to a slightly smaller size than on the left.
To be certain about where to tile, draw outlines of where the smaller or bigger tiles need to be placed. You can install a tile-finishing strip using flat head nails to ensure further precision, and you should use tile spacers to ensure the tiles stay evenly spaced during the tiling process. Lastly, you can choose which kind of spacing and adhesive you use to add further dimension to your design—brown adhesive, for example, adds a rustic look while no adhesive works for a cleaner, modern look.
Installing some mosaic tile designs can be simple, and, in this case, DIY is sufficient. Other, more artistic and elaborate projects may require a professional—for example, tiling your pool will probably require a bit more expertise.
Luckily, homify showcases plenty of top-quality mosaic professionals for you to get in touch with, from expert floor designers to the ultra-upscale and seriously inspired. In the end though, so long as you prepare, the choice to tile mosaic style is rarely regretted.
Are you looking for a more simple tile design? Check out these six modern tile patterns!