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Mosaic Surfaces And How To Choose What Works Best For You

(4 min read) Mosaic art can be applied virtually anywhere, from subway walls to bowling balls. Just like its undestroyable predecessor (paradoxical, but true), contemporary mosaic art should be able to captivate the attention, make a statement, and last wherever you decide to put it, regardless of the base.

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Glorious and whimsical staircase to Treetanic Bar in Utila, Honduras stands as a proud and colorful testament that truly anything can be a mosaic base. Image Source: Link.

You’ll notice I used the famously overused, favorite auxiliary verb of most politicians — “should”, meaning that, alas, in a lot of cases, the application of mosaic art is strongly dependent on its base. The base or substrate further depends on the location, use, cost, etc. Needless to say, that puts some additional pressure on everything surrounding the mosaic artwork itself, from the type of the adhesive to the tesserae.

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Mosaic art on a mannequin. Image Source: Link.

Whether you are just doing a home project, starting out as a mosaicist, or just buying a mosaic artwork and don’t know where to apply it, you are bound to make some mistakes. Here are some bases and their pros and cons, so you can easily decide what to go for if you are starting a mosaic by yourself.

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Old guitar can be a mosaic base too. Image Source: Link.


1. Often used, but not so great

One of the most commonly used bases among mosaic amateurs is most definitely plywood, precisely exterior and marine plywood. This sturdy base is made of thin sheets of wood veneer that are laminated together creating one flat sheet. However, although it is often used for mosaic art, plywood is susceptible to water damage, so it is not recommended as a base for mosaic artwork that will be placed in areas exposed to water. Also, plywood needs to be primed or sealed, and all of the plywood surfaces that aren’t mosaiced need to be painted.

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Sea turtle mosaic art created on the surface of a surfboard. Image Source: Link.


One of the materials that are highly popular for craft projects and among amateur mosaicists is MDF or Medium Density Board. Made from compressed and glued chunks of sawdust, this cheap material is also venerable to water and it should be kept away from moisture, not to mention that the bonding agent used to create MDF poses a health risk to humans because it contains formaldehyde.

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Stained glass mosaic on a glass base. Image Source: Link.


2. Great, great, great

Terracotta is a terrific choice for a mosaic art base because it is completely weather resistant. The only thing you should be careful about when using it is cleaning. We also strongly advise sealing your terracotta sheet first because it will keep it from absorbing the water and it will also keep the grout from drying out too quickly.

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A lovely mosaic art birdbath created on a terracotta base. Image Source: Link.


Cement is also one of the best surfaces to mosaic on, especially exterior mosaics. Mosaic tiles can be laid directly into wet cement or cement-based adhesives can be used later on. Once the cement is put into mold and dried, it needs to be sealed or primed before your start creating your mosaic design.

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Mosaic artwork on a cement base. Image Source: Link.

The glass base works extremely effective when you are using transparent mosaic tiles. Before starting you need to carefully clean your glass with methylated spirit. When mosaicking on glass you should make sure that mosaic tiles adhere with a smooth side onto the base with a lot of clear silicone.

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Glass mosaic tiles on glass.


3. THE BEST

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And suddenly that dull lil living room is not so dull any longer. Image Source: Link.


The best option you can go for and avoid all of the tedious overthinking and mistakes is simply going for one of our marvelous mosaics or creating your own mosaic design with us. we have a comprehensive guide on how to properly install our mosaic artworks, so any possibility of mistake is avoided. Here is our awesome and simple guide for those of you who are ready to give your space an amazing makeover.


How To Install Your Mosaic Artwork

  1. Gently open your package and unravel your mosaic. The mosaic is mounted on a fiber mesh backing and wrapped with a protective film from the reverse. Gently remove the protective film without damaging the mesh and remove any excess glue. Should individual stones have become loose during shipment, glue them back using a solvent-based adhesive.
  2. Using your trowel, spread a thin layer of adhesive or white thin-set mortar across the surface you wish to tile. If you’re placing your mosaic on a vertical wall or ceiling, you can always glue it to a wooden board and secure the board to the wall. In the case of large wall installations, nailing little nails into the gaps between the stones for a stronger seal is recommended. If the mosaic is to be laid in a humid or wet room, the laying area must be made waterproof. A special sealing adhesive should be used.
  3. Gently place the mosaic and use the flat end of the grout float to ensure the mosaic is perfectly flat and well adhered to the surface. Remove any excess of mortar with a damp cloth.
  4. Wait for at least 24hrs for the mortar to dry out. Once the mortar is dry, moisten the tiles using a damp sponge, and spread your desired grout to fill the spaces between tiles using your grout float. Wipe down any excess grout, first with a dry towel, then a wet one. (Before applying the grout, make sure to glue back in place any fallen stone using a solvent-based adhesive).
  5. Once dry (will take approximately 24hrs), apply a marble and stone sealer.
  6. Take a step back and admire the space you’ve just transformed.

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Change your spaces and uplift them with a few simple steps. Image Source: Link.


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Make your living space unique with our mosaic art. Mosaic Mural by Mosaics Lab.


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Mosaic Surfaces And How To Choose What Works Best For You.


Mosaic_Mural_Artwork, Mosaic_Artwork, Mosaic_Surface_Design
Mosaic Surfaces And How To Choose What Works Best For You.


Mosaic_Mural_Artwork, Mosaic_Artwork, Mosaic_Surface_Design
Mosaic Surfaces And How To Choose What Works Best For You.


Mosaic_Mural_Artwork, Mosaic_Artwork, Mosaic_Surface_Design
Mosaic Surfaces And How To Choose What Works Best For You.


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M. Belosh

M. Belosh

Passionate art enthusiast; avid reader (you can find me on Goodreads under the same name); movie connoisseur; intolerable before my morning coffee.

54 Comments

  1. Beth
    July 15, 2022 at 1:56 pm — Reply

    This was such an interesting read. I have never considered surfaces before. I would never have thought that they mattered so much.

  2. Janice
    July 15, 2022 at 3:27 pm — Reply

    These are beautiful! I love the mannequin design.

  3. CeCe
    July 15, 2022 at 6:07 pm — Reply

    Stupendously beautiful! I am in awe every time I read a post here.

  4. John
    July 15, 2022 at 6:09 pm — Reply

    Stupendously beautiful! I am in awe every time I read a post here.

  5. Lyosha
    July 15, 2022 at 8:57 pm — Reply

    How curious! I hardly saw such creativity in form with the mosaics. Those mushrooms are so cute!

  6. Rhian Westbury
    July 16, 2022 at 4:46 am — Reply

    Wow so many amazing places to mosaic, that staircase is stunning. My manager at work did mosaic art as a table top and it looks amazing x

  7. Melanie E
    July 16, 2022 at 10:00 am — Reply

    It appears you can mosaic just about anything. It’s great as these do all look pretty amazing!!! Love the guitar.

  8. Mleissa Cushing
    July 16, 2022 at 10:42 am — Reply

    All of the pieces pictured above are true works of art and I especially love those mosaic mushrooms!

  9. Kari
    July 16, 2022 at 10:48 am — Reply

    Very cool. I’d imagine these would be hard to clean unless they have a resin over the top.

  10. Melissa Dixon
    July 16, 2022 at 10:59 am — Reply

    I love all of the mosaic art, it is so beautiful. I would love to get those mushrooms for my yard.

  11. Jennifer Passmore
    July 16, 2022 at 3:36 pm — Reply

    Wow! I think my favorite may be that mosaic guitar! It is absolutely beautiful and such a unique shape for a mosaic!

  12. Pete
    July 16, 2022 at 4:47 pm — Reply

    Wao, they are all looking nice.

  13. Jeff
    July 16, 2022 at 9:17 pm — Reply

    I took a mosaic class and started with flat surfaces, and then did a flower pot. I love the mosaics done on not flat surfaces.

  14. Rosey
    July 16, 2022 at 11:25 pm — Reply

    You find the best mosaics to showcase. I love the stairs. But that guitar!! That’s just dreamy.

  15. rachel
    July 16, 2022 at 11:59 pm — Reply

    Those mosaic mushrooms are INCREDIBLE.

  16. Stephanie
    July 18, 2022 at 11:34 am — Reply

    I never really thought about what material a mosaic is on, but it makes sense that there are some better than others. I like how it looks on the concrete, and have always enjoyed stained glass mosaics. We have one that my husband’s grandparents made themselves!

  17. Sarah Stockley
    July 18, 2022 at 12:28 pm — Reply

    Everything here is so my style. I love the arty vibe and that first photo is amazing. I am also loving the toadstools!

  18. Talya Stone
    July 18, 2022 at 1:45 pm — Reply

    Wow some really cool examples here. I love the guitar and mannequin especially and who knew you could put a mosaic on a bowling ball!

  19. Carleen
    July 18, 2022 at 2:53 pm — Reply

    I love mosaics. I particularly like using them as art in the garden. You have a nice example of that here.

  20. Nayna Kanabar
    July 18, 2022 at 3:36 pm — Reply

    The mosaics look so colourful, I love the beautiful patterns and all the intricut designs. They are so gorgeous.

  21. Sandra
    July 18, 2022 at 7:01 pm — Reply

    There are some really pretty pieces featured here. Thank you for the tips!

  22. Kari
    July 19, 2022 at 10:04 am — Reply

    These are beautiful! Would love to visit a place with a ton of mosaics.

  23. Tammy
    July 19, 2022 at 11:53 am — Reply

    So many beautiful designs and patterns. I really think mosaics are so beautiful in the garden!

  24. Ris
    July 19, 2022 at 12:32 pm — Reply

    These mosaics are really colorful, classy, and beautiful. I wish I could have one of those in my garden.

  25. Ken
    July 19, 2022 at 6:18 pm — Reply

    Some superb surfaces ideas here especially of using the old guitar as a base for the mosaic design.

  26. Claudia
    July 20, 2022 at 1:59 am — Reply

    I’ve never been so fascinated by mosaic arts until I read this. It was an interesting read. Thanks for sharing!

  27. Steph Social
    July 20, 2022 at 9:32 am — Reply

    I have always loved mosaic flooring! Especially stairs. These designs are mesmerizing!

  28. Risa Lopez
    July 20, 2022 at 12:25 pm — Reply

    I love the guitar mosaic! So lovely!

  29. Angela
    July 20, 2022 at 2:49 pm — Reply

    Those are all wonderful types and thanks for sharing this informative post with us. Definitely learned something new and all of them look absolutely beautiful!

  30. Melissa Dixon
    July 20, 2022 at 3:21 pm — Reply

    I love the look of these and think that my home would look great with mosaics throughout.

  31. Rosey
    July 20, 2022 at 6:12 pm — Reply

    It’s the guitar for me. I just love it so much.

  32. Lily Lily
    July 21, 2022 at 12:41 am — Reply

    That mosaic body sculpture is genius! I want one now!

  33. Jupiter Hadley
    July 21, 2022 at 3:34 am — Reply

    I tried to moasic my back garden gate, but when someone closed the door it all came off! Clearly I need more tips to be honest.

  34. Samantha Donnelly
    July 21, 2022 at 6:29 am — Reply

    You can literally use anything I love the mannequin and my husband would love the guitar

  35. Michael
    July 21, 2022 at 9:28 am — Reply

    Terracotta is always a choice here in our country as to its very flexible generally.

  36. Jasmine Hewitt
    July 21, 2022 at 10:34 am — Reply

    i am still in love with mosaics! All of these look beautiful and well done!

  37. Risa Lopez
    July 21, 2022 at 1:03 pm — Reply

    These mosaics are so classy and beautiful.

  38. Mrs Cherry
    July 21, 2022 at 3:18 pm — Reply

    Wow I love this artistry!

  39. Natasha Mairs
    July 22, 2022 at 5:27 am — Reply

    I love those toadstools mosaics! I might even have to try and make some of these myself.

  40. Jasmine Hewitt
    July 22, 2022 at 10:41 am — Reply

    I’d really love to work a mosaic into a coffee table someday. that’s my dream diy project!

  41. Risa Lopez
    July 22, 2022 at 11:13 am — Reply

    I would love to learn how to do this art. I learned a lot about mosaics from your posts. These are beautiful!

  42. Mrs Enero Diaries
    July 22, 2022 at 11:13 am — Reply

    I love everything! I love that they are all colorful and have unique designs. My fave? the mosaic mushrooms.

  43. Diane
    July 22, 2022 at 2:00 pm — Reply

    I’ve learnt so many interesting facts here, did not know that plywood does not make a good mosaic surface.

  44. Melissa
    July 22, 2022 at 3:09 pm — Reply

    I always love seeing your wonderful mosaic designs and then mushrooms are the cutest!

  45. Lavanda Michelle
    July 22, 2022 at 7:04 pm — Reply

    They all look so pretty, the bathroom piece is so gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!

  46. Aarika
    July 23, 2022 at 8:00 pm — Reply

    I love this mosaic art! There are so many incredible ways to incorporate mosaics in the house and yard. Wow!

  47. Czhyonne
    July 24, 2022 at 3:05 am — Reply

    How amazing are these!!! I absolutely love these mosaics ideas. So so beautiful and unique

  48. A. NZ.
    July 24, 2022 at 3:48 pm — Reply

    Great info! That Sea turtle mosaic art and that guitar art look so amazing 👌🏻. Learned something new from this post❤️.

  49. Laura
    July 24, 2022 at 11:19 pm — Reply

    I love that mosaic window. Such a great way to bring some fun light into your space.

  50. Sonia Seivwright
    July 25, 2022 at 4:59 am — Reply

    I would love a Stained glass mosaic on a glass base on my windows.

  51. Risa Lopez
    July 25, 2022 at 9:59 am — Reply

    I love these mosaics, they are all colorful.

  52. May
    July 28, 2022 at 12:36 am — Reply

    I love mosaics…what not to love about them. Your post is awesome!

  53. Lavanda Michelle
    August 1, 2022 at 11:12 am — Reply

    I think using the terracotta mosaics for gardening and to add an accent to any yard is a fantastic way to do it.

  54. Laura
    August 2, 2022 at 12:37 pm — Reply

    I would love to have a custom design made one day – love mosaics, so pretty and unique

    Laura x

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