“I’m not going to claim to have tiled thousands and thousands of metres with mosaics. Thousands of linear metres of mosaic borders and features, when they were popular, no doubt. Fully tiled mosaic rooms or good sized floors, on the other hand, probably worked out to be no more than half a dozen jobs a year. The rarity of this type of work, for me, was probably the main reason I thoroughly enjoyed doing it when it came along – especially the paper-faced mosaic jobs.
I’ve always been fascinated by the quality of some of the tiling completed years ago, despite the limited tools and materials available back then; especially the mosaic work from hundreds or even thousands of years ago.
My personal favourites are some of the fantastic pieces of art from the Roman era, but there are some stunning examples from all over the world spanning many periods.
Today, we have some extremely talented mosaic tilers and mosaic artists too, and I’ve much admiration for their skills. Although some of the materials are the same as those used in years gone by, their jobs are undoubtedly completely different, as are the requirements in terms of buildings, substrates and fixing materials.
Modern day life generally dictates that things need to be completed quicker than ever before, and technology and advancements allow this to happen. From a preparation point-of-view there are many products that will quickly provide a flat and true substrate onto which mosaic tiles can be fitted.
Advanced, modern tile adhesives, like Tilemaster Magix, are suitable for fixing most types of mosaic tiles. As well as high-yield, lightweight and slip-resistant properties, Magix also has a very high bond strength and allows time for adjustment - a must when working with intricate mosaics.
Likewise, modern grouts and the spectrum of colour options available make colour matching or contrasting easier than ever before. Our own Grout 3000 range includes 18 shades suitable for joints from 1 to 20mm; the grouts are CG2 WA classified and also efflorescence-resistant, with matching low modulus silicone helping to create a seamless finish.
Whilst these types of products help to make tiling easier and quicker, skill, knowledge and attention to detail remains as paramount today as ever before.
Hopefully, hundreds of years from now there will be some modern day examples of mosaic tiling still around, with people appreciating and acknowledging the skill involved in producing it, just like I have – and most probably commenting on how materials and tools have evolved even further.”
Craig Powell works in Technical Support at Tilemaster Adhesives. For information and technical advice:
T: 01772 456831 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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