We are wrapping up our three part series on how to commission a custom mosaic floor. Now that we have discussed your needs and finalized the design, the third and final step is to actually create your mosaic! Read on below, and contact us if you are ready to start the process.
Step Three: Creating the Mosaic
Once we have final approval on the design, the next step is to order all the necessary materials. During the design process, we will have discussed the material list best for your project. For floors there are many options, such as marble, floor-appropriate glass, stoneware, and pebbles. The material choice depends largely on cost, colors, the design, and durability of the particular site.
For the project we will use a few different tools, depending on the final materials. Our basic tools are glass cutters and breakers, manual tile cutter, wheeled nippers, hand held marble cutters, and wet tile power saw.
While we wait for all of the materials to arrive, we enlarge the design into a full size pattern to use as a guide for piecing the floor. Once we have the pattern and all the materials, we can begin piecing your mosaic! Depending on the size of the project, we will often send progress photos so you can see how it is coming along. We always send photos of the finished piecing (before grouting) to receive your approval.
Next, the piece is covered with a heavy tile tape and the mosaic is cut into large "puzzle" pieces to make it more manageable. The pieces are coded and mapped for the installation process. Typically we pre-grout the pieces in our studio, using different colors of grout in different areas of the mosaic to match the colors of the tiles. The idea is that the grout becomes a part of the mosaic rather than distracting from the overall image.
Finally, we are ready to install! We ship the mosaic to the job site. We will have already checked in with the client to ensure the job site is ready for installation. If you are hiring someone local, we will provide any necessary installation instructions. If we are installing for you, we will ship some of our tools and purchase anything else at your local hardware store. We use thinset mortar with polymer added to attach the mosaic to the floor. We mortar a workable area and one at a time, place the "puzzle pieces" back together. Once the mortar has dried, we remove the tile tape from the face of the mosaic and apply a layer of top grout. The mosaic is thoroughly cleaned, and sealed if necessary. Congratulations! Your mosaic is now complete and ready to be enjoyed by you, your family, and friends.
We hope you have enjoyed this series and found it useful! Hopefully you feel a little more informed about the full process, and inspired to start thinking about your next custom mosaic.