A How To Guide To Beginner Metal Mosaic Art

Mosaic artwork is more popular now than just about any time in its history. Mosaic works have been around since the Roman empire, and at that time, to be cast in a mosaic piece meant that you were a person of distinction and honor. Today, you might be more likely to see a mosaic piece on a stepping stone in a garden or adorning the walls of a home as an accent piece, but that doesn’t take anything away from the beauty and craftsmanship associated with the art-form. You can often find mosaic backsplashes in some of Cleveland’s most beautiful homes, and copper tile backsplashes are becoming more and more prominent in Ohio home décor.

Metal mosaics are increasing in popularity as well. Metals like aluminum and copper have become some of the most widely used materials in the world of mosaics, and they produce some of the most beautiful pieces imaginable. They can be brushed, polished, weathered and manipulated to have many different finishes and appearances, giving each piece of metal-based mosaic artwork its own unique feel.

So how do you begin the process of getting into metal mosaics? Here are some tips on how to start creating your own mosaics:

Once you decide what material you are working with, it’s time to choose your surface. If you’ve ever seen a mosaic tabletop, you are aware of the unique beauty they possess. But if you want to start out with a less ambitious project, you can use a basic piece of wood or even a cement stepping stone to begin.

Find a pattern you want to create and transfer the image to your surface. On wood, you can draw it out with a pencil. Some other surfaces might require a permanent marker to be seen.

Plot out your mosaic cuts against the pattern. You’ll need to use a blade meant for metal to cut your tiles. It might mean a carbide or diamond blade. You’ll want to use either a hacksaw or band saw to cut your tiles. Always wear eye protection and gloves to protect against splinters of metal.

Set the tiles in place and adhere. Silicone or urethane based adhesives work best for metal tiles. If you are adhering to concrete, you’ll want to use a latex additive, thin set mortar. Make sure the mortar is flush and uniform before affixing the tiles. Tap the tiles with a rubber hammer once in place to ensure uniformity.

Leave room for growth if you are using as a backsplash or affixing tiles to walls. One of the most common uses for metal mosaic pieces is crafting a stainless-steel, aluminum or copper tile backsplash. A mosaic backsplash can be a beautiful addition to your home, but there are some important considerations to keep in mind. Metal doesn’t flex, so you’ll need an expansion joint around the perimeter to leave room for the house to settle without popping off the tiles. Leave 1/16-1/8 inch between the tiles and the next surface, and fill the gap in with grout. Again, you’ll want to use a latex additive, thin set grout for this application.

Mosaic art can go as far as your imagination will allow, and Vortex Metals is proud to have the aluminum and copper mosaic tiles that artisans need to create their masterpiece. Call us today and we can help you get started on the art project or accent piece your home has been missing.