Choosing the right materials and décor for your home can be a daunting process. There are so many new terms to learn and they aren’t all used consistently across different industries and businesses. At Surrey Marble and Granite, we’re happy to explain stone working terms, and we’re starting today with mosaic tiles. We’ll cover engineered and natural stone tiles, including both marble and granite mosaic.
What are Mosaic Tiles?
A mosaic is a design made from small pieces of tile or stone. The techniques has been used for thousands of years, and you’ll often find mosaics in Roman villas and ancient Greek settlements. Tiles used to create a unique mosaic effect are typically small, sometimes as little as an inch across. Naturally, this makes designing and installing a mosaic highly skilled and complex work.
Mosaic tiles provide a similar effect without the intense on-site work. Tiles are prepared to look like parts of a mosaic. As the tiles are larger, typically up to a foot across, they can be installed quickly and easily. Granite mosaic tiles are becoming increasingly popular as they are incredibly durable and there is a lot of natural variation in the colour of the stone.
Why use Mosaic Tiles?
Mosaic tiles provide an affordable way to get an expensive look. The mosaic may be a particular image, as was popular in Roman times, but is more commonly a pattern or effect. A common example is a chess board pattern, with alternating squares of a light and dark colour. Another option is to create an apparently random look with multiple shades of the same stone.
Natural or Processed Stone?
Both have their advantages. Natural stone tiles are particularly striking in a random style mosaic, as the stone’s natural beauty shines through. Both marble and granite mosaic are readily available, and some varied mosaics really show the full range of colours and patterns available.
Processed stones, on the other hand, aren’t limited by naturally occurring colours. As a result, the palette is typically more vivid and more varied. It’s ideal for situations where you want the practical, durable qualities of stone without the muted, traditional effect. The bright colours of engineered stones look great in a statement bathroom or as a backsplash in a sunny kitchen.
Issues to Consider
Mosaic tiles are typically mass produced, and as a result they may repeat exactly. This can look a little odd, if the intention is to create a random effect. It’s also critically important that they are laid and grouted properly, as variation can, again, look rather odd.
Stone tiles are relatively light, compared to stone slabs, so are normally suitable for all tiling applications. However, they are heavier than some other tiles, and care should be taken when dealing with a fragile wall or a weak upper storey.