Tile murals

Tile sources:

Trapezoid Mix – 1/2 lb Assorted Colors and Sizes, $11.48, link
800PCS Mixed Color Glass Mosaic Tiles, $17.96, link
1 kg, Mixed Color Glass Mosaic Tiles, $26.86, link
Morjo Recycled Glass Mosaic Tile 12mm, 8 oz, 175 tiles, $3.01, link
Delphi glass, 3/8″ Venetian Tiles, link
Glass Mosaic Canada ,1 lb., 90 sq in., $10
Cinca Unglazed Porcelain
Mosaic Tile Supplies, $5 – $15+ / sq ft.
Smalti, $65/ sq ft.
Hakatai, glass tile, $5 / sq ft.
Copper Cat Studio, glass tile, $5 – $10 / sq ft.
Wit’s End Mosaic, $14 – $20 / sq ft.

Marble info:

Off white – Botticino, Biancone, Crema Marfil (C.M. can be a little on the dark side so check the batch)
Black – Black marble, not that often available but a lovely pure black and it cuts like a dream. Toros Black and Nero Marquina are the 2 you see most often but these both have white veins in. I do like using the Toros Black sometimes as it has a slightly ‘dusty’ look to it even when waxed so it looks worn. Don’t buy Nero Assoluto, it’s sometimes advertised as a marble but this is black granite and very hard to work.
Light red – Rojo Alicante, Rosso Asiago
Dark red – Rosso Laguna, (Turkish stone and not easy to find), Rosso Levanto (does have a lot of white in it)
Light yellow – Yellow travertine, as it’s a travertine the surface is pitted so will take up the grout in places.
Dark yellow – Giallo Reale, a good stone but can be quie dark.
Green – They come in all different names, Verde Guatamala is the most common but can be quite dark and not good next to black. I’ve seen something called Teos Green but I think that’s a made up name. The best is to look at the batch for the lighter shades.
Dark brown – dark Emperador, doesn’t cut too well so make sure you have a sharp blade so less of it crumbles.
Light brown – light Emperador! There are loads of light browns around mostly though they’re travertines.
Light grey – Bardiglio
Blue – Originally they used Lapis lazuli but it’s a bit pricey to put that on a floor so there are a number of composite stones, (bits of onyx held together by hard resin). The blue is quite nice though and once cut and with the non polished side waxed it has a nice matt shade.
Wax. Once cut the surface that has had the blade pass over it will have a ‘whitish’ look. Stone colour enhancers and standard stone wax will bring the colour back on most of the stones but not on black. The best I’ve found is Linseed Oil Wax, usually used for wood. If you can’t get a supplier there are videos on YouTube which show you how to make some up.





Tools:
Mosaic Glass Cutter (Wheeled), link
Compound Nipper Hard-Tile Cutting Tool, link

Custom tile businesses:
https://mosaicmarble.com/mosaic-art-collection
(grid) https://artaic.com/mosaic-tile-resources/faq-info/
-http://www.artofpools.com/ ($50-$100 / sq ft). Now down to $20 / sq ft.
https://www.mozaico.com/products/mosaics-designs_flowers-and-trees_mosaic-tile-patterns-wild-flowers_mf397?variant=38628815177 ($70 / sq ft)
Big Bang Mosaics custom mosaics range from $150 – $300 / sq ft.
MEC Artworks, $35 to $120 / sq ft. Has PIXL (grid) design option.
Mosaics Your Way, $60 – $110 / sq ft., discounted.
Sandra and Carl Bryant, Showcase Mosaics, $200 – $800 sq ft., custom artwork, 1,200 pieces / sq ft – 60 pieces / sq in.
Maverick Mosaics, $125 – $500 sq ft
Barbara Dybala, $120 – $500 sq ft.
Mosaic Oasis, $200 sq ft.
Blue Hyacinth Mosaics, $100 – $300 / sq ft
Milan Pilipovic

Collected info:

Due to the coefficient of friction ratings, we recommend the following tiles for flooring;
Vitreous glass tile – recommended for light residential floors.
Sintered glass tile – recommended for commercial and residential flooring.
Unglazed porcelain – recommended for commercial and residential flooring.
Stone tile – recommended for commercial and residential flooring.
Clear glass tile – not recommended for flooring.


Generally assembled and shipped on mesh backing. Small tiles may not adhere, may be uneven on mesh.

Lay up the mosaic on fiberglass mesh or laying the mosaic upside down on mounting paper or clear mounting tape.

Types of mesh:
4.3 oz fiberglass mesh with 36 holes per square inch, one side is self-adhesive. 150′ roll (37.5″ wide), $250
2.7 oz fiberglass mesh with 30 holes per square inch
150 ft x 38.5 in, 4.3 oz. / m^2, $47.43

Leveling mosaic tile with surrounding areas: link
Buildup the area with a layer of thinset, customize a plastic trowel to get the depth right.

Attach tiles to mesh with PVA glue. Put a plastic sheet under the mesh.

Tile spacing:
standard — 1/16″ (1.59 mm)
thin — 1/32″ (0.79 mm)

Actual finished grout spaces will vary from 1/8″ to 1/4″ if 3/16″ spacers are used. If smaller spacers like 1/8″ are used, it will accentuate the size difference of handmade tile. Finished grout lines will vary from 1/16″ to 3/16″.

Dry environment: Weldbond, water-based PVA adhesive, tacky in minutes, cures over days. link

Wet environment: thinset

Terms / Glossary

Floor leveling
Grinding may be done either by hand or by machine. Machine grinding should be done after 4 or 5 days of laying the floor

First Grinding
The surface should be watered and ground with machine with grit block i.e. ‘Carborundum’ stones of coarse grade No. 60 till marble chips are evenly exposed and the floor becomes smooth. After first grinding the surface is thoroughly washed to remove ground mud and grout of cement and pigment if required to be done on topping to fill in the pinholes and curing is made for 3 to 4 days.

Second Grinding
Second grinding is done with machine fitted with ‘carborundum’ stone No. 120. The surface is again washed, cleaned and repaired like before. It should be allowed to cure for 3 days.

Third Grinding
Third grinding is done with fine carborundum stone No. 320 to get even smooth surface.

Finishing and Polishing
After final grinding, the surface is washed and cleaned. Oxalic acid powder is sprinkled on the surface and is wet with water; dried and rubbed with clean cotton waste. After that, wax polish is applied with soft cloth on clean and dry surface. This should then be rubbed with clean cotton waste and wooden saw dust.


Ordinary tiling is mounted using mastic, which is water-based.

Standard tiles are typically 4 inches or larger, while the tiles used in an artistic mosaic are usually smaller than 1/2 inch. A mosaic has more grout lines, more places where water can penetrate and weaken the adhesive, so use Weldbond. The mosaic is grouted and the grout is sealed with grout sealer.

If the mosaic will be wet more often than dry, then you should use thinset mortar (sticky concrete with polymers for strength and adhesion) instead of adhesive.

For outdoor mosaics, can use 1/4″ concrete backer board as a base. If the concrete backer board is left exposed, seal the bottom and edges of the backer board to prevent water from penetrating the porous concrete.

Two types of tile and grout sealers: penetrating pore sealer and coatings that form a membrane on the surface. Penetrating sealers soak into the pores of the grout, stone and ceramic. These pore sealers are usually made of latex or silicone, and they’re invisible. Apply 2 – 3 coats.

The membrane-forming sealers are coatings that create a hard, glossy finish and may darken the grout.

For porous tiles or stones, consider sealing the top surface before mounting. Seal the top face of the tiles / stones using a brush.

Alternative mosaic backer: Foam-core + layers of mesh + thinset.

Outdoor table top backer–foam-core board (bathroom). This is hard expanded polystyrene board, can be cut. Brands include Durock and KerdiBoard. Hardware cloth (metal mesh) or fiberglass mesh, plastered with thinset over the top and wrapping the edge. Metal edge best.


For outdoor mosaics, can use 1/4″ concrete backer board as a base. If the concrete backer board is left exposed, seal the bottom and edges of the backer board to prevent water from penetrating the porous concrete.

Two types of tile and grout sealers: penetrating pore sealer and coatings that form a membrane on the surface. Penetrating sealers soak into the pores of the grout, stone and ceramic. These pore sealers are usually made of latex or silicone, and they’re invisible. Apply 2 – 3 coats.

The membrane-forming sealers are coatings that create a hard, glossy finish and may darken the grout.

For porous tiles or stones, consider sealing the top surface before mounting. Seal the top face of the tiles / stones using a brush.

Alternative mosaic backer: Foam-core + layers of mesh + thinset.

Outdoor table top backer–foam-core board (bathroom). This is hard expanded polystyrene board, can be cut. Brands include Durock and KerdiBoard. Hardware cloth (metal mesh) or fiberglass mesh, plastered with thinset over the top and wrapping the edge. Metal edge best.

Installation Guides
How To Install Your New Mosaic
Mosaic Artwork: Your Installation Guide

Links
12″ kit, $70
View of a marble mosaic process
Video of process for simple mosaics.
When were the Rules/ andamento of Roman mosaics first used?
Mosaic Art Supply, Mosaic Artists Gallery
Lots of Mosaic Resources and Supplies
Kalimera Design Company, Wild Hare Running
Mosaic Artist Dixie Friend Gay
A Work of Art – The Mosaic at Central Library, vid shows process
PFM, Mosaic Gallery
Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA), Mosaic Suppliers
Mosaic Arts Online, free and paid tutorials
Mosaic Marble, catalog of pre-made designs
LaunchPad: Making Ancient and Byzantine Mosaics, vid
Roman mosaics – different marble cuts with the hammer and hardie, vid
Glue-fixed mosaic technique, vid shows process
Mozaico workshop: Scuola di Mosaico, vid shows process
Mozaico – Living Mosaics, vid
Mozaico Art, vid shows process
Mosaic Workshop




Tiles and colors
Mozaico color chart 30 marble, 10 quartz
Stone palette, > 50 colors / types
Colour Codes, glass tile palette, 38 colors
MEC Artworks Mosaic Tile Range, 38 marble and > 150 glass
WitsEnd Mosaic, 27 marble, glass tiles
Mosaic Trader USA, 28 marble 10 mm
Mosaic Art Supply, 61 marble strips 6 mm
Glass Mosaic Canada, kits



Tiles and colors
Mozaico color chart 30 marble, 10 quartz
Stone palette, > 50 colors / types
Colour Codes, glass tile palette, 38 colors
MEC Artworks Mosaic Tile Range, 38 marble and > 150 glass
WitsEnd Mosaic, 27 marble, glass tiles

Tile cutting / splitting machines
Mosaic chopping machine–desktop size
mosaic stone splitting machine–floor size manual
Hydraulic Mosaic Stone Splitter
Mosaic portable micro chopping machine–small screw version
Mosaic portable micro chopping machine–small screw version 2
Mosaic chopper–small lever / press version, link, $490
-blades are made of high speed cobalt steel

  • The blades for smalti are shaped as a half moon: the lower one is made of hardened steel while the upper one is tungsten carbide.
  • The blades for stone are both in hardened steel and 9 cm long.


DIY Glass Cane Chopper–super basic drop hammer

Hammer and Hardie