If you have ever had the pleasure to catch a History or Discovery channel show about the ancient Romans, then you've seen the beauty of mosaic tile. Mosaic tiles line the walls and halls of the rich and famous, art museums, civic buildings and public spaces.
Did you know that it is possible to capture some of that ancient beauty in your own home or office?
You're in luck, because there are countless tile mosaic manufacturers and many more contractors able to install your mosaic backsplash, or you can easily do it yourself.Mosaic Backsplash Varieties
Mosaic materials are really not limited to manufactured varieties. Your mosaic backsplash is fully customizable and limited literally only by your imagination. Inspiration runs the gamut from the monochromatic to grand works of museum-worthy art.
There are generally five types of mosaic backsplash materials.
- Cultured Stone
- Found Materials
"Found materials" refers to whatever the installer wants to put into the mosaic. This can be a conglomeration of manufactured tiles, a mix-and-match approach for a custom feel, or even recycled materials. Broken plates or glass can be used effectively in mosaic backsplashes. So can certain rocks or really any material that can be effectively held in place with thinset mortar.
Mosaic Backsplash Installation
The easiest-to-install mosaic backsplash is composed of sheets of pre-cut tiles fastened onto a mesh sheet. In order to custom-fit the backsplash in place, a tile saw is needed (an electric wet saw is recommended, rather than a hand saw).
This type of mosaic tile installation comes in various styles or themes. Some backsplash tiles are 3/4" x 3/4" squares in a simple grid. For the more adventurous, there are also the strips of tile, usually running horizontally, that look almost like basket weave or the stratification of sedimentary rock layers. This tends to be more irregular, though more symmetrical versions can be found.
Then there is the free-form, usually reserved for the artist using recycled materials or if there is a particular image that is being aimed for. In free-form mosaics, just like in the catacombs of Rome, just about any design is possible. Whether the tiles are free-form and are installed one piece at a time, or installed in sheets, the tiles themselves can be as regularly or irregularly shaped as you need them to be. Such is the versatility of a mosaic backsplash. The best examples of these backsplashes run the gamut of these various styles. The only real judge of a job well done is the opinion of the homeowner.
Mosaic Borders and MoldingsYet another option with the mosaic is to install borders. These come pre-made, but again can be made on the spot with a little forethought. The borders are a great way to transition from the backsplash to the rest of the wall, or also to simply add visual interest. The moldings available range from "pencils" and "ropes" to actual chair rail types of molding, with real build-out potential.
There are literally limitless possibilities with mosaic tile. You can accent your backsplash with an accent tile, randomly placed, every so often to add visual interest. There are even 14k and 24k gold tiles you can install if you wanted to add a little more flair. Many tile companies are mixing media, so a sheet of mosaic tile can include metal tile, ceramic and glass pieces in a randomized or ordered pattern.
If you were going for a more exotic look, the metal tiles such as pewter or stainless steel produce a similar feel to the precious metal variety. Ordering from Italian or Greek distributors is also a great way to add an exotic flair to your kitchen or bath with relative ease.
With all the choices available, and the ease by which the materials can be obtained, installing your new tile mosaic backsplash should prove to be one of the most rewarding projects in the home for relatively low cost.