Thursday, October 8, 2015

How to Use Mosaic Tiles in the Bathroom

A mosaic tile is a popular choice for a kitchen backsplash, yet many homeowners hesitate to use mosaic for other rooms in the house. Recently, however, MKBD has noticed a remodeling trend: mosaic tiles in new bathroom remodels. We've even installed some beautiful mosaics in a few recent remodeling projects. We have to say: we're quite proud of the results.

Mosaic refers to a design made of many smaller pieces of material--like porcelain or glass. The process can be time-consuming and tedious, yet the results are often sublime. Just take a look at the mosaics from the San Vitale Basilica in Ravenna, Italy. This work dates back to the 6th century, to the Byzantine period.

The extraordinary ceiling mosaic of the San Vitale Basilica 

Traditionally, mosaics were illustrious and bright, yet today's mosaic is often muted--colorful, yet subdued. Even so, we love mosaic for the color and texture. If you're looking for a unique visual contrast to your everyday paint, you can't beat mosaic. For some mosaic inspiration, take a look at our recent projects below.

A Bathroom Backsplash

In the kitchen, mosaic tile is often limited to the kitchen backsplash. In the bathroom, mosaic tile is now being used on walls, floors, and the shower. That said, the "bathroom backsplash" is a perfect place for mosaic. If you're considering mosaic for your bathroom, look to the kitchen for inspiration: start with the backsplash.

A mosaic bathroom backsplash

Just like a kitchen backsplash, the bathroom backsplash helps protect the wall from damage. Generally placed above the sink, the bathroom backsplash shields the wall from the effects of excessive moisture (or toothpaste).

We love the warm color of this mosaic bathroom backsplash
Of course, too, the bathroom backsplash creates an interesting visual contrast to the vanity countertop. In both of the projects above, the appeal of the mosaic tile is how it contrasts with the granite countertops.

Mosaics in the Shower

Traditionally, of course, mosaic tiles were made piece-by-piece (just imagine the construction of the ceiling mosaic above!) Although this method is still used, many of today's mosaics are mounted on sheets. Mosaics can be "face-mounted" (with paper, usually) or clear-film faced (with plastic adhesive) or back-and-edge mounted (with any number of materials).

In the shower, paper-face-mounted or clear-film-faced mosaics are the easiest to align. Installation can be a challenge, but the result is always dramatic.

A stunning shower mosaic

Part of the appeal of mosaics is their flexibility: they can be made to fit nooks and crannies as well as curved or uneven surfaces. Beyond their beauty, mosaics present a practical solution to installing tile on walls and floors.

Shower mosaics on the wall and floor

Visual Contrast

As noted above, a prime value of mosaics is visual contrast. Mosaics add unique color and texture to a bathroom's visual landscape. The intricacy of mosaic design draws the eye. They're a perfect counterpoint to an otherwise simple color palette.

The mosaic tiles here add visual contrast to a simple landscape,
highlighting the elegant bath.

Free In-Home Remodeling Estimate

If you have any questions about your next remodeling project, please feel free to call MKBD for an individualized consultation. Let's talk bathroom design and more! Call now! 215-355-4747. Better yet, check out our Free In-Home Remodeling Estimate on this very blog!

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