The Ultimate Mosaic Tile Buying Guide

The Ultimate Mosaic Tile Buying Guide

Are you looking for the perfect splashback tile for your kitchen or laundry, or perhaps a feature wall tile for your bathroom? Have you considered mosaic tiles?

Whether you’re looking for tiles for your kitchen, laundry, or bathroom, or another area in your home, mosaic tiles can provide an added level of flair unmatched by ceramic or porcelain tiles. Mosaic tiles have come a long way over the last 20-years. Previously, they offered little variety in terms of shapes and material; how things have changed! Today, there’s a smorgasbord of offerings available in a magnitude of shapes, materials, colours, sizes; the list goes on.

If you have the misconception of mosaic tiles as being tacky or outdated, think again! Even if you’re not a fan of mosaic tiles, I urge you to read this article and reconsider. Mosaic tiles offer some of the hottest tile trends, and you may just find the perfect tile for your needs.

Table of Contents

Mosaic Tile Materials

Mosaic tiles are made from a wide variety of materials. And while the material is often not a critical decision-making factor, it is good to know the materials used to create them. Common mosaic materials include stone, glass, ceramic, porcelain, and mixed materials.

Stone Mosaics

stone mosaics

Stone mosaics have been around for decades, but it’s only the last 5-10 years where they’ve really made a fashionable statement. Common stones include natural stone, marble and travertine.

In the past, the design of stone mosaics was limited to traditional mosaic designs, that being small uniform squares and linear mosaics. Today, there’s no limit to design options. The incredible popularity of marble mosaics stands out, offering a range of contemporary shapes, including herringbone, hexagon, penny round, and fish scale designs.

Such mosaics have propelled mosaic tiles back into the spotlight as serious contenders amongst subway tiles and the trendiest feature wall tiles.

Stone mosaics are best used on kitchen and laundry splashbacks but will need the right finish to ensure cooking oils and fats are not absorbed.

Ross’s Discount Home Centre offers a range of stone mosaics to meet your design and practical needs. Below is just a sample of our range:

Glass Mosaics

Glass Mosaics

Glass has to be the most traditional mosaic material. Glass mosaics have been around for decades, and their existence is why some people consider mosaic tiles to be ‘tacky’. While this may be true, there is still a place for glass mosaics, particularly in swimming pools and bathrooms. This is because they reflect light, creating a glowing effect.

Glass mosaics are available in opaque, mirrored and transparent glass and can really make an impact on a space.  They are available in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and patterns, including square, hexagon, brickwork, linear, checkered, and non-uniform shapes. Glass mosaics are also available in the widest range of colours for all tiles. You’ll find glass mosaics in every spectrum of the rainbow, which can be an advantage over other tile options.

Ross’s Discount Home Centre offers a range of stone mosaics to meet your design and practical needs. Below is just a sample of our range:

Mixed Mosaics

Mixed Mosaics

For something a little different, more eclectic, consider mixed material mosaics. Glass and stone mosaics are the most common mixed mosaic, combining stone with glass to produce a unique and attention-grabbing effect. It’s also not uncommon to see glass, stone and steel combined in a mosaic.

Mixed mosaics are very visually appealing and are the perfect choice for a feature wall or splashback. They come in various shapes, colours, and patterns, including hexagon, chevron, interlock, stacked, square, and linear.

Ross’s Discount Home Centre offers a range of mixed stone and glass mosaics to meet your design and practical needs. Below is just a sample of our range:

Ceramic Mosaics

Ceramic Mosaics

Ceramic mosaic tiles are less popular but offer a robust, great ‘all-rounder’ in terms of mosaic tiles. Glazed ceramic mosaics are hard-wearing, durable, and have a protective coating making them ideal for splashbacks and wet areas such as showers and bathrooms. Most ceramic mosaics feature cushioned edges rather than rectified edges.

As ceramic mosaics aren’t very popular, you will likely have a hard time finding a wide range. However, if you do, they will be affordable!

Porcelain Mosaics

Porcelain Mosaics

Like ceramic mosaics, porcelain mosaics are less popular than glass, stone, and mixed mosaics, but they are slowly growing in popularity. This popularity surge is significantly due to the rise of ‘finger’ or ‘KitKat’ tiles, most commonly made from porcelain.

Porcelain is much harder and more water-resistant than ceramic, making it the preferred choice for upcoming tile trends. While there isn’t a large variety at present, expect porcelain mosaics to grow in variety and popularity as tile designs continue to diversify.

Ross’s Discount Home Centre offers a range of porcelain finger mosaics that are very much in line with the latest tile trends. Below is just a sample of our range:

Mosaic Tile Finishes

Mosaic tiles come in a range of finishes, which often correlate to the material they are made from. Common finishes include natural, polished, glazed, and glossy. Other finishes include crackle, frosted, honed, iridescent, matte, metallic, resin, translucent, and wood grain.

The mosaic’s application will impact which finish is the best choice. For example, in wet areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and swimming pools, you will need a water-resistant finish such as glazed. Mosaics made from ceramic, stone, porcelain, and glass are best suited for such an application.

If you’re unsure which finish you need, give Ross’s Discount Home Centre a call. Our friendly salespersons will be only too happy to provide free advice.

Mosaic Tile Designs

As demonstrated above, mosaic tiles come in a vast range of designs and styles. However, when talking about mosaic tile designs, they can be separated into two separate categories; traditional mosaics and modern mosaics.

Traditional Mosaics

Traditional mosaics are those from two or more decades ago before mosaics become trendy and stylish. I’m referring to the small uniform squares and linear mosaics we all know and (some) love – those predominantly made from glass or glass and stone.

Traditional mosaics aren’t limited to small uniform squares and linear mosaics. Other traditional patterns include arabesque, brick pattern, deco, French, interlocking, modular, rectangular, and square.

These mosaics are still available and still preferred by many and are still the preferred choice for various applications, including swimming pools and other exterior applications. As mentioned above, glass mosaics come in a massive range of colours, including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.

The simplicity and minimalism of traditional mosaic design make them very versatile in application. Traditional mosaics mostly follow a grid pattern that focuses on simplicity. This grid pattern also makes them incredibly easy to lay.

Ross’s Discount Home Centre offers a range of traditional mosaics in our clearance range. Pick up a bargain for $5 per sheet by visiting our store at 57 James Street, Guildford Perth.

Modern Mosaics

Generally speaking, if you’re interested in mosaic tiles, you’ll want to focus on modern mosaic tiles. Modern mosaics are those from the past two decades, which are much more modern and varied in design than traditional mosaics.

Unlike traditional mosaics, which are characterised as being simple and minimalistic, modern mosaics offer design flair. They are made from a wide range of materials, including stone, marble, steel, glass, mixed materials, and porcelain, and come in various shapes and patterns.

Modern mosaics set trends. Modern mosaics are the most popular indoor feature wall tile choice next to subway tiles (which will never fall in popularity). Especially popular are marble mosaics with contemporary shapes – herringbone, hexagon, penny round, and fish scale. Other modern mosaic tile patterns include basketweave, bevelled, brick pattern, chevron, diamond, French, handpainted, modular, pillowed, puzzle, rectangular, Spanish tile, square, subway, slate, teardrop, and trapezoid. As you can see, mosaic tiles’ range of variety has grown expeditiously over the past 20 years.

Many of the latest mosaics are top choices for kitchen and bathroom splashbacks. Finger or KitKat mosaics are another prevalent modern form of mosaic currently setting trends. Along with our Tuscany (marble) range, finger mosaics are some of the highest-selling mosaic tiles at Ross’s Discount Home Centre.

Mosaic Tile Uses

Due to the vast range of styles, shapes, sizes, patterns, colours, and finishes, mosaic tiles are suitable for many internal and external applications.

Splashbacks

Mosaic tiles are most commonly used in kitchen and laundry splashback applications. They are perfectly suited for such an application. They make for a stunning feature tile but can be as loud or as subtle in the overall design as you like.

As a splashback, mosaic tiles offer many advantages. They’re waterproof or highly water-resistant, so they will repel any water splashed from the kitchen sink or fats and oils from the cooktop – just make sure the mosaic you choose is glazed. Modern mosaics are also incredibly stylish and are active in many current kitchen design trends. You will have no trouble creating your dream Hamptons, contemporary, traditional, or modern kitchen with a mosaic splashback.

Bathroom & Shower Tiles

Another excellent use for mosaic tiles is in bathrooms and showers. We all love to show design creativity through our bathroom tile choice, and mosaic tiles make this very easy. With such a wide range of shapes, sizes, colours, and patterns available, the sky’s the limit in terms of design outcomes. Moreover, the light reflecting nature of glass mosaics can magnify light, making a bathroom appear lighter and larger than it actually is.

Mosaics can be used to cover a feature wall in the bathroom or on shower walls or floors. The only thing to be mindful of if using mosaics in the shower is the added grout to keep clean. Otherwise, they’re a fantastic tile choice.

Feature Walls

Whether you’re looking to jazz up an entrance, foyer, office, or wall of a commercial establishment, mosaic tiles will yield the result you’re after. From shinny in-your-face reflective glass tiles to subtle marble tiles, there really is something for everyone and every design style in mosaic tiles.

The only downside to choosing mosaic tiles to cover a wall area is the cost. Mosaic tiles aren’t the cheapest option. However, they are comparable with feature tiles and do have a more significant impact. Be bold! Choose mosaics for your feature wall, I dare you!

Swimming Pools

For tiled swimming pools, there is no better (or other) tile option than mosaics. Swimming pools are known for featuring traditional mosaics; small uniform squares. This mosaic choice is because their small size moulds nicely to rounded and curved surfaces. It is also because these traditional mosaics are usually glass mosaics, which are light-reflecting. When used in swimming pools, they create a lovely reflection that lightens the pool and makes the water more attractive.

Conclusion

Whether you love or loath mosaic tiles, they’ve made a comeback, and in a big way! Today, the variety of mosaic tiles will rival any other tile, if not surpass them. There’s an enormous range to choose from in many shapes, sizes, patterns and colours.

Mosaic tiles are made from various materials, including stone, glass, mixed materials (stone and glass or stone, glass and steel), ceramic, and porcelain. They also come in two distinct design styles, traditional and modern, and they are suitable for many applications. The most common applications include kitchen and laundry splashbacks, bathroom walls and showers, feature walls and swimming pools.

If you’re looking to make a statement inside or outside your home, consider using mosaic tiles. And, if you’re looking for the best range of mosaic tiles in Perth, look no further than Ross’s Discount Home Centre. We have hundreds of mosaics in stock, from as little as $5 per sheet.