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Mosaic Tiles

Mosaic tiles are separate and distinct tile shapes – sometimes multiple shapes – that have been arranged together as a single tile. Each clear cut shape is often quite small in size, which results in an ornate appearance on the wall or floor, as multiple tiles are laid side by side. There’s a large amount of variety in mosaic tiles: some are identical for a continuous, flowing look, while others contain a range of tones and sizes to produce an effect that’s much more offbeat and eccentric.

The mosaic tiles that we use to decorate our homes today have a long and fascinating history. Originating in Ancient Greece and Rome, with materials such as shells and ivory primarily being used to make artwork, the mosaic technique spread rapidly throughout the world, particularly across Western and Central Europe. It also became a very popular style in Islamic architecture, which is why mosaic tiles are said to evoke feelings of Moroccan exoticism, and Mediterranean romance and grandeur.

Although shell and ivory are no longer used in large scale production of mosaic tiles, many manufacturers do still use one of the original mosaic materials: glass. Glass is often a preferred material due to its natural, light reflecting properties, which can help to add airiness and openness to a room, but there are plenty of other tile materials to choose from. Porcelain and natural stone are popular choices due to their hardwearing nature, but it’s also possible to find slate, limestone, ceramic, and terracotta mosaics.

Mosaic tiles look very delicate and intricate, and it often seems as though a lot of careful work and planning has gone into creating a complex and elaborate design. However, believe it or not, mosaic tiles are actually very quick and simple to install in your home, even for a complete DIY novice. Sections of the mosaic pattern are grouped together on a flexible mesh backing, and each piece is treated in much the same way as a standard tile. This makes quick work of what would otherwise be a very time consuming job.

Although mosaic tiles can be used to cover an entire floor or wall area in the home – which is actually a very common use for some of the more simple, square mosaics – one of the biggest benefits of this sort of tile is that it can be used in a lot of different ways. Many people enjoy choosing very bold patterns or vivid colours (glitters, for example), and using the tiles to create a contrasting border or frame. Mosaic tiles can even be used to create decorative and ornamental accents and features within a room.

Available as both floor tiles and wall tiles, mosaic tiles can add a splash of colour and character to a room without feeling overwhelming or invasive, particularly if you pair a mosaic floor tile with a plain white wall tile (or vice versa) to create balance. This is a great way to inject a touch of vibrancy, especially into kitchens and bathrooms, and provides a happy medium between that classic, crisp and clean look that tiles are renowned for, and the more modern, daring feel that’s becoming so popular today.

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