Monday, February 14, 2011

Design Tip!

Pssst! Hey you!

Yeah, you. Design aficionado.

I want to share a little secret with you.
I usually don’t share this with anyone, but here it is:

Mosaic tile installations can be a great way to liven up any surface especially in a bathroom or a kitchen. When it comes to dealing with visible grout lines in mosaic installations, there are typically two options.

ONE: If you don't want to accentuate those grout lines you Pick a color that will blend into the color scheme of the tile.

TWO: Sometimes, you actually want to accentuate the grout lines. Isn't that part of the point of a mosaic installation anyway? In that case, you choose white or gray grout or a grout color that shows off the grout lines best with your mosaic tile.

Now, listen closely, since I'm going to let you in on this secret.

I have a THIRD option! This is an option which I use ALL the time. It's a cool little trick. Even designer colleague's of mine love it when they learn how I did certain mosaic tile installations.

Are you ready? the little secret is...

...use Clear Epoxy Grout!
Here's why it works: The clear grout blends in and reflects the color from tile in the mosaic. It also has an incredible shimmer to it which you can't get with a typical, flat grout.
check out these close ups on these mosaic installations where we used clear epoxy grout. 

Take a look at how the copper glass mosaic tile in ceiling of this steam shower blends. The clear grout, which is used throughout, made the job simple and clean. If we had tried to use a brown grout in ceiling, it would've created a mess on the blue tile, even if we had taped it off. Even if we had avoided that problem, the brown would’ve been a different shade. On top of that, the rest of the mosaic pattern itself has copper, titanium, gold, white and blue and if we used a blue or a gray (or even a white) grout, the lines would be really pronounced and perhaps a tad too busy. In this case, I didn’t want to see that. So clear grout was the way to go.

The blue mosaic tile is from SICIS, and SICIS loved my little grout trick too.
The fish mosaic is a custom mosaic design by Waterworks based on a Japanese painting my client loves.
I love that I stumbled upon this secret years ago while experimenting with and doing research on grouts and mosaics. It’s made sooo many of my projects a lot nicer! This is probably the most valuable trade secret I’ve shared thus far, so use it well!

One thing you might want to consider as well is that you should always use a professional tile installer to install glass mosaic. Because it’s a specialty, it MUST be installed with WHITE thinset (preferably Mapie). If not, the mosaic will show trowel lines behind glass mosaic tiles, just to name one of the many problems that could come up in the ensuing fiasco.

I hope you can use this little trick next time you're looking to make your mosaic tile installation look spectacular.

Monday, February 7, 2011

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