how to make a mosaic
- Beginning your mosaic project: terminology and design
- Types of tesserae
- Tips on mosaic materials
- Step-by-step guide to techniques: direct and indirect methods
- Outdoor mosaics: How to site a mosaic in an architectural space
- List of books and references
- Making a mosaic: Health & Safety Advice
Click on Contents chapter headings for further details
The grout is as important as the rest of the decisions made in mosaic making. Aim for a grout that will contrast the colours that you have used and will recede allowing your tiles to have maximum impact.
SAND AND CEMENT GROUTING
Grouting with cement mortar is a traditional technique in mosaic making which is easy, cheap and very strong and durable. It is good for exterior floor mosaics and sculptures.
TOOL KIT AND MATERIALS
Sand, cement, waterproof unibond glue, bucket, surgical gloves, sieve, 3inch paint brush, rags, decorators sponge, rubber trowel, cement tone(optional) Patio cleaner(hydrochloric acid), beeswax polish
STEP by STEP
- Always leave mosaic for 24hrs before grouting to ensure glue or cement adhesives are bonded.
- Wearing gloves, sieve the sand if it has any lumps or stones in it.
- Mix to estimated amount ratio of 3:1 sand to cement
- Mix sand and cement together well and while dry add cement tone if required. NOTE: Only half teaspoon of mix, it will give a subtle tone to the grout.
- Mix small amount of ratio 3:1 water to glue and add to dry mix until you acquire a damp crumble consistency.
- When thoroughly mixed empty onto mosaic and gently rub into all the spaces remembering to work grout into edges. You can use the rubber trowel at this stage especially if work is large or surface is uneven.
- Brush excess cement mix off and wipe with a damp cloth, lifting and wiping and rinsing cloth regularly.
- When you have cleared all cement residue place a clean damp cloth over work for three days in order to allow grout to dry slowly to prevent cracking.
- Clean surface with a diluted solution of hydrochloric acid by brushing it on and rinsing off after 10 minutes, this should get rid of any dusting cement residue.
- Finally polish mosaic with beeswax spray or block polish.
USING COMMERCIAL GROUTS
If using commercial grouts avoid ready mixed ones as they stick into the grain of the tiles. Use sand based grout preferably: Biscem sand stone or grey floor grout or Mapei grey or coloured powdered grouts. These are available from Tower Ceramics/ Master Tiles. All types of mosaics can be grouted with these.
TOOL KIT AND MATERIALS
Grout, bucket, surgical gloves, 3ins paint brush, rags, decorators sponge, rubber trowel, beeswax polish
STEP BY STEP
- Always leave mosaic for 24 hrs before grouting to ensure glue or cement adhesives are bonded.
- Wearing gloves mix an estimated quantity of grout powder with water to get a damp crumble consistency. It needs to just hold together in your hand but not be like glue.
- Place mixture onto your mosaic and gently rub into gaps with your hands until all the mosaic is covered. If there are areas of tiles with height variation work grout in with your fingertips.
- Using a dry brush gently brush off all excess grout again being careful to clean out areas with height variations.
- Then with a damp sponge lift and wipe excess grout off mosaic three or four times, each time rinsing out the sponge.
- Then leave for 1/2 hour before buffing with a dry rag.
- After 12 hours or drying time as stated on instructions of product polish with beeswax spray or block polish.
- If the mosaic is outside ensure that it stays free from rain during drying.