If you’re thinking of getting mosaic tiles for your house, you’re going to have no trouble finding a plethora of reasons why that’s a good idea. They’re durable, aesthetic, and they’ve got an important place in the history of interior design.
Mosaics are a beautiful and unique art form that have dazzled mankind for centuries with their versatility of design and bright colors. They are essentially patterns made out of many small pieces put together. Kind of like an artistic puzzle piece, but what you end up with is totally up to the artists' imagination.
The earliest mosaics were made of pebbles and then later carved pieces of stone or glass. The individual pieces that make up a mosaic are called tesserae. These days mosaics can be made from anything, from glass to ceramics to even bottle caps.
While tiles themselves are an excellent choice to install in your home – something we’ll expand on below – mosaics have the added benefit of versatility in design.
Unlike other forms of art, mosaics are often built to be walked on or used as interior décor. This is why they tend to be easy to clean and maintain and are also durable. They were very popular in the Greco-Roman world as floor decoration.
A Bit of Mosaic Tile History
If you decide to install mosaic tiles to decorate any part of your house and aid functionality, you would be taking part in an artistic tradition that is centuries old. The earliest known mosaics date all the way back to the 3 rd millennium BC in Mesopotamia. Mosaics being formed into patterns and pictures came about later, around 1500 BC. The development of this art form – because it is an art form primarily rather than just a tiling technique – came from the Greeks.
The early Greek mosaics showed figural designs that depicted mythological subjects and the wealthy indulging in their various pastimes. Their designs would have strong borders and would often be inspired by paintings, a more superior art form of that time. The Romans very enthusiastically adopted this art form eventually. Hellenistic villas were often adorned with mosaic floors. This Greco-Roman form of mosaics had two main techniques: one was known as opus vermiculatum that used such tiny and delicate tesserae (think four millimeters) that it would give off the illusion of a painting and allowed for really fine detail. The second, more common technique was opus tessellatum that used larger tesserae.
Mosaics became an important art form in the Christian world, with Ravenna, the capital of the Western Roman Empire, becoming the center for mosaic art. It went on to become common to adorn churches and chapels with mosaic art depicting scenes and figures. Mosaics have a very extensive and rich history in Christian art. Many churches were built with their interiors covered in mosaic art, using glass, precious stones and gold to create a pleasing effect.
The popularity of mosaics spread throughout the world eventually. Many styles and techniques were developed, including the complex geometric patterns and designs from the Byzantine era when figural depictions were deemed a form of idol worship. Most of the Byzantine era's mosaics have been destroyed over time due to conquests and wars, but the ones that are left still form an impressive collection. These geometric patterns are very popular in Islamic designs, which were applied to mosques worldwide. Mosaic tiles became the primary form of wall decoration in Islamic tradition. They were used in one of the first religious buildings, the Dome of The Rock in Jerusalem. This art style is continued in many parts of the Arab world today, although, after the eighth century, it hasn’t remained as popular as it used to be.
Many synagogues have also been discovered containing mosaic art. The Byzantine Jews did not take the ban on figural representations seriously, and many of their mosaics contain depictions of humans and animals.
Reasons to Get Mosaic Tiles
If you opt for having mosaic tiles on your floor over wooden flooring or carpeting, you'll be getting the numerous benefits that come along with tiled flooring while also being able to enjoy the unique aesthetics of mosaic art:
The many materials that tiles come in have environment-friendly characteristics. New technologies have allowed for quarries to be reclaimed quicker, which reduces damage to the environment. Tiles that are made of clay are a sustainable resource. Even limestone can be environment friendly if harvested carefully.
Tiles don't wear away with water exposure, which can happen to wood flooring and definitely happen to carpeting.
Better Air Quality
Carpets are a great hiding place for dust and pollen. Even wooden floors tend to off-gas Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) because they're made of synthetic materials. Overall, the air quality of your home will be better with tiled flooring. For people with asthma, tiled flooring is the best choice.
Tiled floors can greatly increase the resale value of your house, especially due to their relative durability. You can cover the installation cost when you resell your house later. Since carpets wear out relatively faster, they don’t add much to the resale value. Even laminate doesn’t add as much as tile. Especially if you use mosaic tile, the design and aesthetic will take it up further.
Easy to Maintain
Carpets don't tend to age well. Even laminate gives way after a while. Tiled flooring is easy to keep clean, saving you a lot of hassle. Tiled flooring does not require to be refinished, resurfaced, or reglazed.
Tiles are incredibly durable. Ceramic tiles are said to last an average of seventy-five to a hundred years, and tiles made of natural stone such as granite or marble can last more than a hundred years.
In the hot months, you'll be glad for your tiled floor because they help keep the temperature of the house cooler while carpets give a warm and stuffy effect—additionally, tiled flooring pairs excellently with radiant floor heating that will be useful in winter.
Ceramic tiles are made out of relatively cheap material. Especially since they don’t need to be reinstalled any time soon. Even if the tiles and initial installation prove costly, the fact that they’re incredibly durable and long-lasting makes them cost-effective in the long run.
Incorporating Art Seamlessly into Your Home:
If you consider yourself a lover of art, then it's only appropriate to adorn your house with mosaic tiles. Think of a backsplash mosaic for your kitchen or bathrooms. That isn't a spot you could put a painting or a picture unless you want it to get ruined, but in the form of a mosaic, the art would be the tile itself, blending into the bathroom or kitchen design seamlessly. An important feature of mosaic tiles is that you can progress from design to actual art laid into your home's foundation. It wouldn’t be an extra object placed anywhere; it would blend into the house's overall aesthetic.
The space for creativity is huge when it comes to mosaics, and it has been made easier with computer-aided design (CAD) that can help make mosaic tiles. With this technology's help, you could choose pictures and make them out onto the tiles to form the mosaic. A picture can be broken down into pixels, which are then applied to individual tiles. This helps in having more precise designs. Additionally, you wouldn't have to rely on a craftsman's expertise to replicate what you're looking for. The computer can give you an exact copy of what you want. You can use any kind of image you want in your mosaic tiles. It could be more modern, abstract designs. Or you could take inspiration from the rich history of mosaics and choose more traditional designs that depict religious motifs or symbols. It can even be a replica of your own art.
Rather than just straightforward designs or images, you could consider getting a photomosaic if you have a significant amount of space. This is a mosaic made up of many images, with an image on each tile. A family portrait on the wall, made up of the many pictures of your family you have, would be stunning.
There Are So Many Ways You Can Use Them:
Let's forget design for a moment and think about where to put these mosaic tiles in your house. One unique feature of mosaics is that you can put them just about anywhere. The whole house becomes your canvas to let out your creativity. And it's not just about where you can apply them but how.
The Mosaic Tile Kitchen
You can add some color and depth to your kitchen design with an artistic mosaic serving as your backsplash kitchen tile. The backsplash in the kitchen is a major functional element. Mosaic tiles would help incorporate some color and design into the kitchen's overall aesthetic, especially if you choose to have the tiles cover the entire surface between the countertop and the bottom of the cabinets. You can even choose the cover the countertop with the tiles to give a look of continuity. Due to the tiles' durability, they would be easier to clean and maintain. Plus, you can opt for either a matte or glossy look.
The same goes for your bathroom as it does with the kitchen. There is a lot of space for decoration in bathrooms, and you can start with a cool backsplash mosaic. The shower is also a very good option for mosaic art. It can give the shower experience an immersive feel, especially with deep colors and complex designs. You can additionally choose to have the bathroom's entire walls covered in mosaic tiles too. Just covering the bathroom walls halfway up with mosaic tiles is also an option. You would have the freedom to choose between images and pictures, patterns, or abstract designs too.
The Bottom of Your Pool
Many people choose to incorporate mosaic tiles at the bottom of their pools. Often these tiles just have the pool's depth written on them, but there is no stopping you from incorporating images or designs into this. Abstract designs work best for this function, especially since the water tends to bend light and create a mesmerizing effect. You can choose to have the design continue from the bottom and all the way up the walls of the pool too.
Rather than have a grassy garden, you can design your house's backyard using mosaic tiles. Ceramic or stone tiles would be best for this. You can even mix up the grass with mosaic pathways and borders around trees, plants, etc. Additionally, the patio and verandah floors can be decorated with mosaic tiles as well.
Whether it's the living room or your bedroom, mosaic floors can look very chic. According to your house's overall design and aesthetic, you can incorporate any color and design you want. Plus, keeping a tiled floor clean and shiny is far simpler than maintaining a carpet. Carpets wouldn't allow for the customized designs that mosaic tiles offer anyway.
All of this factored in with the fact that mosaic tiles give you a lot of creative space and customizability, must make it clear why we think mosaics are the way to go. You get to take part in a historical tradition that's been coming down from centuries in the past and add your own personal twist to it. There is a huge amount of space for customizability and creativity. Of course, if you're new to this idea, you'll want a place to start, since the number of options out there can be quite baffling. You can reach out to us on our website and see the collection that we have for you. If you're a homeowner looking to improve your home's overall look and feel, please reach out to us to help you make the perfect choice. We'll assist you in choosing tiles that are perfect for your home and for you.
Author : Mike Belk
Designation: Founder & CEO
Bio: A graduate of Ohio State University with an MBA in Business, Mike Belk has been in the tile and stone industry for over 20 years. Mike is the owner and founder of Belk Tile. He has become one of premier tile experts in the nation. Not only does Mike love every aspect of his job, he strives ensure your experience is the very best. He runs a successful blog and, when not immersed in the world of tile, is an avid golfer and wine maker. Mike enjoys interacting with customers and wants to hear from you today. Make sure to check out his podcast of Tile Talk by Mike Belk.