The Mosaic and its laying

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With mosaic floors and walls can become of great value with the use of materials that allow you to play on surfaces with light, color and movement.

The Mosaic and its laying
Erika Casali
Erika Casali

The mosaic covering

The technique of mosaic exists since the seventh century B.C. so much so that the term derives from the greek µουσαικoν (musaikòn) which literally means patient work worthy of the Muses.

This kind of coating, so ancient, can now be re-interpreted in a modern way by experimenting with new materials which enable to achieve such extraordinary effects to consider the mosaics real design tools.

From marble to glass paste, from resins to metals up even to fragments of waste materials, the range of materials is so wide as to allow everyone to explore their creativity.

mosaico in acciaio di Studio effe
The mosaic can become piece of furniture, a valuable picture even where its installation needs poor materials or its extension is limited to portions of walls or floors.

It may serve to indicate the destination of use of an environment, divide a space by another or vice versa to harmonize two separate environments.
Flexible, precious, colorful, it is suitable for many situations.

Technically is defined mosaic a coating composed of a series of small tiles usually square and small in size between (1.0 x 1.0 cm) and (2.5 x 2.5 cm) to about 10 mm thick (usually the thickness of the tiles is between 4 and 10/11 mm).
Naturally, the smaller the weave, the greater the detail of the design.

The materials used for the mosaic

mosaico acquanaria di IPERCERAMICA Here is a brief description of the main materials used for the production of mosaic tiles.

- The glass paste: its main property is that it is not chipped when cut and being unalterable in time. Transparency effect, bright colors. It donate game of light of great effect.
The company IPERCERAMICA proposes such a wide range of glass mosaics.

- square sandstone: cutting easy and resistant to cold. Suitable for outdoor mosaics.

- glazed ceramics: large range of colors even though it is a difficult material to store. Not suitable for outdoor or high humidity.

- Stoneware: highly resistant to the intrinsic characteristics of the material (the porcelain is a hard ceramic material). Wide range of colors. Suitable for both outdoor and indoor.

studio di arte mosaica: durante la costruzione di un mosaico decorativo - Marble: numerous colors, great strength, although it is a very heavy material. MosaicArt Studio from Milan is one of the leading manufacturers of artistic mosaics in marble tiles.

- Metals: by inserting a layer of gold or silver in a glass tile layer is protected and has an effect of great brightness. Costs aside, the yield is certainly valuable. It is offered by the company Arredoemosaico .
Steel is the most innovative among contemporary mosaics. Its use in the environment (such as in the kitchen or bathroom) strongly accentuates the hi-tech value. It is proposed by Studio effe.

Laying of the mosaic

tipi di mosaico IPERCERAMICA The tiles need to be layed on a networks of appropriate size; for example, if the tiles measure 2.5 x 2.5 cm, the network can be 30 x 30 cm considering the joints between one tile and the next.

For the success of the work it is very important that the concrete substrate on which rests the network is planar, compact and without cracks.

Once placed the network on the wall, it is layed a layer of concrete of at least 13 mm thick, so as to protect the mosaic from cracking.

Then the tiles are glued with a glue that can be of various type, also a common white glue. The Romans used to fix the tiles with wax, which proved to be a great glue: many mosaics of Piazza Armerina in Sicily have been fixed with this technique and are still fast to plastering.

Another glue between the most used is the mortar: applicable on all surfaces, it can add the lime to slow the setting time.

You can also use also adhesives based on cement, designed in function of the support, with various setting times.

The use of two types of white glue (normal and soluble in water) is also frequent. Finally, in modern times it has spread the use of silicone adhesive.

The tile, once glued, must be leveled and beaten with a trowel, a hand tool consisting of a blade or a flat tablet with a central handle.
It is usually used to spread and smooth concrete surfaces or mortar.

The joints in the mosaic

The joints between one tile and the other must be grouted with a filler placed throughout the coating; it is ok also the common stucco.
Usually the width between the joints is between 1 and 2 mm.

As an alternative to on-site construction of the mosaic, are commercially available real sheets on which are already applied tiles.
It is an ideal solution for creating entire walls and floors, even in humid environments such as the bathroom or kitchen.

pannello di mosaico industriale, Arredoemosaico They have the advantage of having the shutter speed substantially reduced and comparable with the laying of common tiles (the sheets are also measured 30 x 30 cm) but of course are the most limiting from an artistic point of view.

The so-called mosaic industry provides at most the creation of geometric compositions like Greek, borders, rosettes.

On the other hand, their use is more economical: a sheet of 30 x 30 cm can cost around 15-20 euro. The installation is quite simple; providing for the establishment of a layer of adhesive, possibly latex based rubber, on which to apply the sheet with a pad which also allows for leveling the tiles by exerting a certain pressure.

Once the adhesive has solidified, they must be filled the joints.
It is important to know that each sheet of mosaic, on net or on paper, does not have a rigid structure and therefore always adapt to the underlying funds as long as they are of a surface without cracks and uniform.

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