How Do You Do Mosaic Tile Art?
Mosaic tile art has a long and interesting history, which we’ll come to later. But it’s also highly contemporary, adding visual dynamism and advanced aesthetic impact to kitchens and bathrooms. But mosaic tile art doesn’t stop there.
You can have it decorating the floors of hallways and other rooms, or as decorative features in key parts of a home, highlighting certain areas. Basically, mosaic tile art marks the overlap between art as something aesthetic and something that’s also practical. How you apply mosaic tile art is about developing an eye for what works, and what doesn’t.
Why is Mosaic Tiling a Trend?
The short answer is that Mosaic tiling isn’t just a trend. It’s got far more impact than that. Really, it’s a cultural phenomenon, and it’s not just tied to one culture. If mosaic tiling is a trend, it’s a permanent one.
You’ll find mosaic tiles have a global reach. They’re something that resonates with people across the world. This is a testament to the durability, versatility and sheer beauty of mosaic tiles. But what would make you choose mosaic tiles for your home?
Firstly, consider the durability of mosaic tiles. They look good and they feel good. They’re available in a variety of materials, such as:
You can even get them in Metal.
Secondly, mosaic tiles are extremely versatile. You can use them to decorate walls and floors, create borders and zones. They come in a huge range of patterns and styles, from classic and vintage to cutting-edge contemporary.
For adaptability and convenience, there are also self-adhesive mosaic tiles. You can use these to decorate specific items, such as pieces of furniture. We’ll look at this type of mosaic tile art later on.
Finally, there’s the one factor that really elevates mosaic tiles, how good looking they are. Mosaic tile art is seriously attractive, and it can transform the places you apply it to. Really, there are no limits when it comes to applying mosaic tiles, experimenting with dazzling and intriguing pattern combinations and discovering new ways of highlighting and enhancing your home.
What to Look for When Selecting Mosaic Tiles
Obviously, to do mosaic art, and do it well, you need to select the right kind of tiles for the job. This comes back to the many different options you have in terms of colours, pattern combinations and materials. Oh, and there are different shapes to consider too. Mosaic tiles can be:
So yes, there are plenty of tiles to choose from. The best starting point is to look at where you want to fit your tiles and what sort of effect you want them to have.
Think about the overall impression you wish to create. This should go beyond the actual tiles and take in the entire space and how they can transform it. Then there are fundamentals like whether the tiles are for the wall, the floor or both.
Will they have a practical as well as decorative application, such as kitchen splashbacks or bathroom walls? Think also about the scale of what you can accomplish with tiles. Will you use them to accent other features, or will they become the main feature in their own right?
You could, for example, use mosaic tiles to create a distinctive feature wall in your home, using them as, effectively, a form of decorative art. It’s always worth doing your research and checking for sources of inspiration.
Working with Tile Patterns
Throughout history, mosaics have had a highly decorative function. They can be used to create abstract patterns, but also to illustrate scenes or present portraits. Ancient Roman and Byzantine artefacts have given us plenty of visually stunning examples of this. And of course, craftsmen working with tiles back then had to painstakingly construct patterns from individual tiles.
Another aspect of decorative tiling is represented in the intricate designs of the Art Nouveau era. These tiles present plenty of curved lines and dynamic shapes, with lots of design inspiration taken from nature. And again, they are both decorative and functional. Art Nouveau tiles weren’t just applied to grand places either. They could be used to elevate the everyday, appearing as decorative panels in pubs and shops.
Modern mosaic tiling is different. For one, it’s far more accessible, so you don’t have to be a trained artisan to apply it. Another feature is that most modern mosaic tiles come in sheets of designs, so you’re not having to piece together patterns of your own with tiny pieces of tile. But just because you’re getting tiles in this form, doesn’t limit your inventiveness in what you can do with them.
These patterns are highly evocative and varied. The impression you can create with them can be spectacular or subtle, depending on what you want to achieve. Mosaic tile patterns include more traditional decorative motifs, such as Moroccan Designs, but also glamourous geometric shapes, and bold and multi-coloured modern design
How to Do Mosaic Art with Tiles
Broadly, you can use mosaic tiles as either:
- An accent, or
- A feature.
An accent is used in design for emphasis. If you’re doing this with tiles, then you’ve got plenty of options.
- You can cut the tiles down to create slim borders, achieving an eye-catching zoning effect in bathrooms. Apply these borders either horizontally or vertically to achieve this effect.
- This zoning effect, using tiles, also works on bathroom floors, especially if you contrast vibrant mosaic tiles with large format, plain floor tiles.
- You can apply tiles to accent areas of the kitchen too. Use them to zone specific areas, such as the oven hob.
If you’re going to turn tiles into a feature, you can be more generous in how you apply them.
- In the bathroom, you can tile an entire shower area with mosaic tiles, to create a stunning design feature that’s fully functional.
- Alternatively, you could apply mosaic tiles to your bath panels. Here, you could team your feature with your accent, complimenting the tiled bath panels with a slim border above the bath.
- You might also consider coordinating different features and accents, such as matching up your shower enclosure with your bath zone.
- Where you’ve got recessed bathroom shelving, apply tiles here to create another mosaic feature.
- No area is out of bounds really. Apply mosaic tiles behind the sink, as a splashback, or even around the toilet cistern.
- Mosaic tiles are ideal as kitchen features. Expand your splashback design to cover the entire length of your recessed kitchen area, between your worktops and cupboards.
Taking Your Tiling Further
The convention with tiling is to keep it in the bathroom or kitchen, but the potential for mosaic tile art throughout the home is much broader than this. Let’s look at examples of applying mosaic tiles in other areas of the home to create practical pieces of artwork.
- If you’ve got a fireplace, this can become the perfect focal point for your mosaic tile art. You could use glass or stone tiles, for example, to create a vibrant and distinctive fireplace surround. Or you could apply tiles above the mantelpiece to create a panelled feature there.
- Chimney breasts, alcoves and recesses create the blank canvases you need to apply mosaic tile art features throughout your home. Imagine the impression you can create with an entire tiled panel, from floor to ceiling.
- Tiled mirror surrounds work outside the bathroom as well as in it, such as in the bedroom. Staying in the bedroom, you could also create a tiled headboard feature.
- Hallways are ideal places for experimenting with tiles. You can use mosaics down one side, to create a feature wall, and contrast these with floor tile patterns.
Small is Beautiful Too
Using self-adhesive tiles, you can create mini-features and accents for a broad range of items.
- Apply mosaic tiles to old pieces of furniture to breathe new life into them. This works well with things like cupboard doors or panels.
- Where you’ve got plain plant pots, use tiles to add patterns and borders to them to brighten up windowsills and conservatories.
- Create an entire mosaic tabletop, using a tile pattern of your choice. The results are both decorative and practical.
You can apply self-adhesive tiles to lampstands, bookcases, shelving and picture frames
Create Original Mosaic Tile Art
Tiling can work purely as art, rather than serve a functional purpose. With the right tools and materials, you can use mosaic tiles to create works of art that you can display in your home. These can be abstract, representations of scenes or even portraits. It all comes down to how confident you are in your skills.
To create mosaic tile art in this way you’ll first need to select a suitable surface, such as:
- Plywood, or
- Concrete backer board.
Your choice of working surface will depend on how you’re going to display your finished piece of mosaic art. Plywood is suitable for a small plaque or picture, but not for larger wall art. The ideal material is a concrete backer board. This is what decorators and builders use for the basis of floor tiles in bathrooms.
The key qualities you want from your backing material are that they’re:
Mosaic tiles are heavy, so the material must be able to bear the weight. The surface should be clean to ensure they adhere to it properly. And the finished work must be inflexible. Grout and tiles are both inflexible, so if the backing moves at all, they will crack and eventually fall off.
We recommend you laminate your concrete backer board to plywood, providing a firm, rigid base for your mosaic artwork. The plywood behind the board will anchor screws for when you mount the finished piece.
How you apply your mosaic tiles will depend on the type of artwork you're creating. One option is to use specialist mosaic glue. The Backer board may bond to this glue more quickly than other surfaces, so you need to make sure you place your pieces exactly where you want them to sit. Grouting your art involves using the same type of grout as for installing tiles in any other situation.
Where to Buy Mosaic Tiles for Crafts
Buying mosaic tiles for crafts, or for art, isn’t different to buying them for other applications. However, you should consider tile size as a major element in your specification. For example, smaller tiles may be more suited for use on smaller items or pieces of furniture.
Where to Buy Mosaic Tiles for Art
House of Mosaics has a huge range of mosaic and self-adhesive tiles (see above), but your choice of tiles may also depend on how adventurous you want to be with your artwork. If, for example, you’re aiming for a specific style, then you may wish to focus on particular patterns, such as vintage or Moroccan styles.
And, of course, you can always break down tiles into smaller pieces for your mosaic artwork. Really, the limitations are only down to where you want to take things. Whether you want to create and apply mosaic tile art purely for decoration, to add an extra interior design element to your home, or to refresh your bathroom or kitchen, there’s a huge range of tiles to choose from.
We’ve also got a handy tile calculator to help you work out how many tiles you’ll need. But if you want to talk to us about your project first, then please call us on 01727 839920 or email email@example.com