Mosaic, Glass Mosaic, and Ceramic Tile  

by Pool Builders on 09-30-2010 in Articles

The art of mosaic dates back over 2000 years. Typically used as wall decorations, ancient mosaics depicted mythical creatures, religious scenes, scenes of everyday life, and geometric designs. Then, as now, creating a mosaic involved assembling small pieces of glass or stone (and later tile) to make decorative or religious works of art. Just a decade ago archeologists discovered colorful mosaics that date back to the 1st or 2nd century A.D. These five mosaic panels, which decorated the walls of an ancient plunge pool, are considered among the finest examples of mosaic art ever seen.

The mosaic tradition continues to this today as mosaics serve functional and decorative purposes. Popular materials for mosaics include glass, ceramic, porcelain, clay, and artificial stone. Mosaics have many uses in contemporary building and design, including in swimming pools, as floors, for kitchen backsplashes, in bathrooms, for paving, and as roof tiles.

Mosaic tiles come in a nearly endless assortment of colors and patterns. Small tiles typically come in sheets, which are organized in color systems. A color system may focus on variations of one color, mixed colors, mixed finishes, gradients of colors, or entirely one color. A color system may mix glass and marble or other combinations of materials.

Mosaic floor tiles come in porcelain, ceramic, polished tile, wood grain, and clay brick. Most are available in sizes ranging from 150x150 mm up to 800x800 mm. Some are also suitable for walls. Kitchen and bathroom tiles often serve multiple purposes-for floors, walls, and shower and tub liners.

Tiles specifically designed for walls include ceramic tiles and glass tiles. Hollow brick glass block tiles let light in while ensuring privacy. Some are purely transparent while others have a design etched into the glass. Artificial cultural stone is another choice for walls; it creates the appearance of a brick or stone faade.

Wall tiles are not just for inside the house. Exterior artificial cultural stone tiles come in a wide range of sizes and make a house like as if it were made of brick, aged brick, cobblestones, or reef rock. They are typically handcrafted from clay and cement with colorfast pigments. Roof tiles offer another option for exterior use of mosaics. Available styles include interlocking roof tiles, clay Japanese roof tiles, spool roof tiles, Spanish clay roof tiles, and flat roof tiles.

Mosaic tiles for swimming pools can be glazed porcelain, crystal glass, or normal glass. Crystal glass is transparent and reflective, while normal glass has dense color and is economical. Aquatic scenes made from mosaic tiles are especially popular for children's pools. Blue and light green, which evoke the waters of the ocean, are the primary colors selected for pools.

China was an early user of ceramics and now is one of the foremost manufacturers and exporters of ceramic tiles. Chinese suppliers are prominent among the online ceramic tile marketplaces. Anyone who decides to use tile for interior or exterior decoration and functionality will find many colors, styles, and designs to choose from.

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