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

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.

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



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


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

Tiles and colors
Mozaico color chart 30 marble, 10 quartz