Mosaic term refers to a picture or design that is made up of many smaller pieces of (1-or 2-inch) vitreous tiles mounted on sheets or joined with adhesive strips.Depending on the design and color combination as well as the size of the mosaic, the components (ceramic tile pieces/vitrified tile pieces/stone or marble) are cut into the required sizes and arranged accordingly.Mosaic Designs can also be custom made.Today, mosaic tiles are popular for creating elaborate patterns like those found on backsplashes and entryways.Their small size makes them an excellent material for assembling intricate designs and combining a variety of colors.
Appearance - Mosaics can be found in just about any color imaginable. Many are iridescent or textured in an unusual way to increase their versatility and artistic interest. Materials chosen for mosaic flooring might consist of small pebbles or rocks, flagstones, or sea shells, especially in outdoor areas. Indoor flooring typically consists of ceramic tile or glass pieces. Mosaic flooring might cover an entire room or be created as a rug or border.
Suggested Uses - Kitchen or Bathroom Backsplash, flooring, refinishing old furniture, Wall as decorative, Swimming Pools.
Pros - Design: Any Designs or patterns can be customized.
Clean: They are very easy to clean, and can be wiped down with a damp cloth or mopped up with warm water. In the case of soap scum buildup in a bathroom a mild vinegar solution can be used.
Green: It takes roughly half the energy to produce a glass tile that it does to make a ceramic tile of similar size. You also have the option of using recycled glass tiles, which are made from reclaimed glass refuse.
Luminous: All but the darkest glass tiles will tend to reflect light, rather than absorb it. This can make the mosaic pieces seem to glow with a luminous radiance that you can't find in any other flooring material.
Durability: As long as your glass tiles have passed the stringent ASTM standards required to be used as flooring material, they should be durable and resistant to cracking under anything save sharp direct force applied with a hard object such as a hammer. Scratches are another matter however (see Cons).
Cons - Cost: One of the biggest drawbacks to using mosaic glass tiles is the price. Glass mosaic tile flooring is expensive to buy.
Installation: Unlike ceramic or natural stone tiles, glass mosaics are particularly difficult to install. Unless you are very experienced with laying tile, you will want to hire a professional. If possible you should find someone with experience working with glass mosaics. This may be expensive, but the cost of the material is so high that you don't want a mistake to ruin the installation.
Scratches: While glass mosaics are durable and resistant to stains, they are susceptible to scratches. Over time scratches will accumulate in a glass mosaic floor, and after several years the installation will need to be replaced. There are some colors and finishes that can be purchased which will hide damage from scratches.
Breakage: While glass flooring tiles are quite durable, there are occasions when dropping something heavy from a great height will crack or chip a tile. This can then become a hazard for anyone walking on the floor with bare feet. Unfortunately glass tile repair can be quite expensive.
Slippage: While textured finishes can be applied to the tiles, and grout lines can create some traction, glass is still a relatively smooth surface. In some environments, especially wet ones, it can pose a slipping hazard.
Care - First wash the grout with water to clean off any loose debris and dry it. With cleaner use bleach and chemicals for white tiles , apply it on to the grout, use non-metal brush to clean it. Test grout cleaner on an inconspicuous area. apply grout sealer to protect it.
Laying Instructions - Mosaic tiles come arranged on paper or mesh sheets that hold the tiles together in a properly spaced pattern. Single tiles are pulled and replaced with other colors to create random patterns. Very small pieces or odd shaped ones come in large bags of same color.
To lay mosaic tiles, the process is very similar to laying any other tile. Thinnest mortar is used as the binder between the surface and the tile when working with backsplash, floor or other home tile surface. In these situations, the tiles are grouted after they are set. For making patterns on smaller decorative objects, many choose to use a mortar and grout combination that serves both purposes and requires only one step. The tiles are pressed into the mixture until they are set within it. This is particularly helpful when dealing with odd shaped or recycled glass pieces that are very difficult to grout.