From an interior design standpoint, it’s hard to argue that there’s a more enticing material for your home than mosaic tile. Whether you’re looking for a style that will help bring the room together, or want to make an area of your home stand out above the rest, installing mosaics can help put an exclamation point on your décor plans. Now let’s start learning all about mosaic tile!

WHAT ARE MOSAIC TILES?

Mosaics have long been used as a creative way to piece together an elaborate work of art or pattern. The term mosaic essentially means a design that’s compromised of many smaller pieces of tile. They can come in a variety of patterns and colors, which makes mosaic tiles one of the more accessible materials on the market for drawing more attention to a wall or countertop.

mosaic tile

Mosaic tiles have a long history. Originally, they were assembled from small, hand-cut pieces of stone, glass or ceramic set in mortar to create a pattern or picture. Glass mosaics first appeared in Egypt 3,500 years ago, traveled to Greece and India, then onto the Byzantine Empire and the West. Their lustrous beauty was also prized for its decorative impact in St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF MOSAIC TILE

mosaic tile

With so many different types of mosaic tiles to choose from, you could replicate any design already out there and still make it original by using different types of tiles. So, let’s get into each type that you can choose from.

Natural Stone Mosaic

Being the original mosaic surface, natural stone mosaics have been used for interior decorating for thousands of years in cultures all around the world. This type creates a more down-to-earth feel in your home, whether it be through adding some multi-colored pebbles in your bathroom or a polished marble surface on your living room wall. Choosing a particular design or pattern with natural stone mosaics is so easy with all the incredible options available.

Metal Mosaic

If you’re looking for a slightly more industrial and sophisticated appearance for your home, you should consider metal mosaic tile. The sheen you’ll have from a countertop or wall crafted out of this tile is elegant, as the reflective surface gives off natural light throughout the room. Metal mosaics have a more modern feel to them, and also can be purchased in a variety of patterns, like checkerboard or honeycomb, that create an enticing design to look at. Metal mosaics are also considered one of the more low-maintenance mosaic surface options, as it’s moisture and stain-resistant which makes it work perfectly in heavy traffic areas such as the kitchen or bathroom.

Glass Mosaic

It says a lot about a material when it’s still one of the more popular decorative surfaces in the world after thousands of years of use–even the ancient Romans took advantage of the beauty of this material! There are many options when it comes to selecting a glass mosaic pattern, and the range of colors and styles continue to make the material an excellent choice for a backsplash surface. As with metal mosaics, glass mosaics are known for their stain and moisture resistance. And, because the material is so durable, you can rest assured it will last after installation for many years ahead.

Ceramic & Porcelain Mosaic

A must-have for any home, ceramic and porcelain mosaic tiles provide the interior of your house with its own unique personality. With a wide variety of colors and finishes, ceramic mosaic tiles can help achieve any look, whether it’s a retro feel or a more updated, professional style. Because they’re extremely water-resistant, ceramic and porcelain mosaic tiles have been commonly used in bathroom renovations, adding more culture to a room through their radiance. These tiles are also ideal for kitchen countertops, because of their proven resistance to moisture and stains.

PROS

The greatest benefit of mosaic tile is the design possibilities it offers. You can find many pre-set mosaic patterns, or really get creative and make your own.  Another great benefit is that mosaic tiles are durable and waterproof which is why they’re common in bathrooms, and are also often used in kitchens, laundry rooms, mudrooms and sunrooms.

CONS

One of the major disadvantages of mosaic tiles is the installation process. It can be tricky to lay mosaic tile evenly and get the grout lines clean. It’s always advisable to have a experienced flooring professionals, like our Avalon installers, who specialize in installing mosaic tile to work for you.

You also have to be careful about walking on the surface, which can become slippery when wet. So, in rooms where there will be a lot of moisture, you may want to consider textured tiles to give a more slip resistant surface or area rugs in high traffic spaces.

BEST PLACES TO USE MOSAIC TILE

Mosaic tiles can really make a room. Yes, the process can be a significant investment, but the unique look and textured feel of mosaic tile will be more than worth it. Here are a few great places to consider putting your first set of mosaic tile.

Shower

mosaic tile

Photo courtesy of interiordesign.com

The shower is a natural place for tile. This makes it a great place to try a first mosaic in your home. They provide an extra level of relaxation that’s more welcome during a calming morning shower.

Backsplash

mosaic tile

Photo courtesy of ideasbacksplash.com

The kitchen backsplash is the perfect place to play around with color and pattern. You can use it to bring colors in your kitchen together, or to brighten it up. Backsplashes can surround your entire countertop or only cover the wall behind the sink, so you have a lot of options in how much mosaic you want to use. You could even start with a smaller amount, see how you like it then add on later!

Floor to Wall

mosaic tile

Photo courtesy of contemporist.com

Create a cohesive look in the bathroom by using mosaic on the floor that extends up to the wall. This is a great way to bring a room together and to create a unique feel in the space.

CARE AND MAINTENANCE

Treating your mosaic tiles kindly will reduce the cleaning work you have to do, keep it looking brand new, and prevent damage. Fortunately, maintenance is pretty easy if you just follow these simple tips:

Post-Installation

The period after installation is the most important time for cleaning. Your space may have extra grout, dust and debris that can scratch your tiles. Avoid acidic cleaners since they can discolor your grout color. To clean properly, make sure you read the instructions that come with the grout you pick out.

Clean Spills Immediately

Depending on the mosaic tile material, spills can be a nuisance. Glass tiles can resist moisture, but stone is a little more susceptible. Either way, prevent stains by cleaning spills (both food and liquid) immediately after they occur.

Mopping

If you have mosaic tile floors, mopping can help keep them looking beautiful. Sweep the floors first, using a broom with soft bristles. Then use a pH neutral cleaner (following the same concentration instructions as with wiping) and water to mop the floors. You should let the cleaning agent sit on the floors for about 5-10 minutes before scrubbing with a mop. When you’re done, rinse thoroughly and remove excess liquid.

Vacuuming

You can vacuum your mosaic tile floors to keep them clean if you prefer that over sweeping.

Don’t Drag Furniture

Lift furniture when moving it on your mosaic tile floor. That way, the pieces won’t scratch or mark your tiles. The same goes for moving items on mosaic tile counters. Making your mosaic tiles last a long time is easy when you care for them correctly. No matter what type of mosaic tiles you have, clean them regularly and they’ll shine for years to come.

Now the question is, with all this helpful information and wonderful design inspiration, is this the right tile style for you? To continue to help this decision, visit one of our 14 locations and our design experts will show you the beauty in person—that always helps!


At Avalon Flooring, we want to make sure you’re happy from your first step in our showroom to your first step on your new flooring—and as your partner in home design, we’ll be there every step along the way. Consider us your “One-Stop Shopping” destination for all things flooring…(and window treatments)!

Our design consultants are equipped with the knowledge to guide you through the wide selection of products we offer, and our expert installation team is professionally trained to make sure everything gets installed the way you envision. We know your home is an expression of your sense of style, and we’re here to make sure you’ll be proud of it for years to come.

If you have any questions, please email us.