Mosaic is such a wonderful, colorful, and malleable material. It's perfect for wall coverings, such as small wall sections, wainscot, backsplashes, tub surrounds, shower tile, etc.
If you're averse to cutting with a wet tile saw, you're in luck with mosaic. In many instances, it's just a matter of scissoring the mesh mat between individual tiles. Or, if you need to cut a tile, you do so with a tile nibbler.
I've chosen two of my favorite tile manufacturers, Ann Sacks and... Modwalls, to represent many of the great ways you can use mosaic in your home.
01 of 09
Kitchen Backsplash: Colorful Retro-Styled Mosaic Tile
The Mosaic tile was practically made for kitchen backsplashes. It installs easily. It doesn't require lots of cutting. And because it's so colorful, it enlivens dark spaces below cabinets.
This is an especially colorful mosaic, with dots of yellow, red, green, and blue against a largely white background (if you've got eagle eyes, you'll notice too that this primary color-themed tile synchronizes with the London Tube map).
02 of 09
Bathroom Backsplash: Gorgeous Glass Mosaic Tile
The second place you'll find mosaic tile in great numbers is on bathroom backsplashes. Just think "wet" and you'll find a place for mosaic. I would argue that bathroom backsplashes are the place to start your DIY tiling career if you want to develop your skills because these runs are far shorter than the ones you will find in kitchens.
If you happen to have a powder room or guest bathroom, that's better because the space will be shorter and tolerance level for errors will be... greater.
03 of 09
Bathroom Wall: Cool and Gray and Orderly Mosaic
I mentioned how mosaic tile has different faces, shifting personalities. You can see this happening in a single photo. Contrast the lively, bouncy yellows and whites of the mosaic on the left-hand wall with the more serious, buttoned-down gray tiles on the right-hand wall. Yet both are mosaics. In fact, both are from the same maker and line. Now, how did that happen? Such is the power of mosaic.
04 of 09
Shower Wall: Brass 2-Inch Mosaic Cuts Through the Dark
Mosaics and showers: a perfect combination, just like peanut butter and chocolate.
What I love most about this two-inch ceramic and metal (brass) tile from Ann Sacks is how it naturally provides light to a dark place. Just one watertight recessed light in the shower ceiling will reflect from this shimmery (but not too shiny) tile and brighten the beginning of your day.
The only downside of mosaic in the shower is that it introduces more grout that potentially needs to be cleaned. You can keep the... grout lines slim, or just be religious about cleaning your shower to avoid this painstaking task.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Bathroom Floor: Mosaics Create Exotic, Lush, Fanciful Designs
Mosaic tile goes on floors, too. The Romans have known this for centuries. In essence, you can go two directions. First, you can lay down mosaic like the one shown here for the kitchen backsplash. It's a random pattern that continues across the entire floor (of course, you can do solids, too).
Or you can do as pictured here and create stunning patterns. This is a Michael S. Smith/Ann Sacks (Cosmati) stone mosaic. The Ann Sacks site says that it's best for residential foyers or commercial... spaces, such as hotel lobbies. But my opinion is that it would work equally well in limited quantities for bathroom floors.
06 of 09
Staircase Wall: Mirrored Mosaics Create Flash and Excitement
Here's where we start to stray into unexplored territory. The tile gods at some point dictated that tile shall only be installed in bathrooms and kitchens.
While I might have condemnations rain down on my head for saying this, I will say it: tile is allowed to venture outside of these two rooms. Perhaps this photo is not the best example. Who has a giant, curved Gone With the Wind staircase? Okay, probably a great number of people.
But a more important question: Who dares to install mirrored... mosaic tile all up and down this curved staircase? Tile is Ann Sacks/Chrysalis. Designed by New York design firm Coffinier Ku, it was installed in a club called Fr.og, also in Manhattan. This club has since been closed. Let's hope the new owners keep this wild staircase tile.
07 of 09
Bathtub Surround: Sky-Blue Tile That Unifies Tub With Rest of Bathroom
A bathtub surround is a simple thing. It's just tile or any other waterproof material that corrals water and helps drain it back into the tub basin. But why be basic when you can add real verve to your tub?
Here, we've got Lumésticks mosaic in sky blue and white as a tub surround, giving the bather a feeling of being on a summery beach. Not only that, the tile continues beyond the surround and into the room, pulling it all together.
08 of 09
Kitchen Island Front and Sides: Dress It Up With Mosaic
Another novel idea that you don't see often but should: install mosaic tile on the front and sides of your kitchen island. It's as easy to do as backsplashes. Attach cement board to vertical surfaces and lay the tile. You don't need to install perfectly to top edges where the countertop hangs over (no one will see it anyway).Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Home Bar Backsplash: Short, Sweet, and Showy
If you're still nervous about installing your own backsplash, consider getting your feet wet with the smallest backsplash in the world: a home bar backsplash. Of course, this is dependent on you having a home bar in the first place.