Monthly Archives: November 2021

Mosaic Watering Can, ungrouted, composite view

Best Grout Gap For Mosaic Artwork

The best grout gap for mosaic artwork depends on whether or not the mosaic will be outdoors or in a potentially wet location such as a backsplash.

When Do You Need A Grout Gap?

If the mosaic might get wet or exposed to humid air, you can’t have the tiles touch each other. You need a gap for the grout to fit into to seal out moisture.

Tiles that touch can never touch close enough to seal out moisture.

If the mosaic is a small indoor icon or plaque, you don’t have to worry about sealing out moisture, and so you can fit the tiles tightly together and skip grouting.

TIP: You might want to grout anyway to fill in any small incidental gaps left by imperfectly shaped tesserae, especially if your mosaic is a “dry” tabletop or architectural surface. (If those surfaces are in the kitchen or bathroom, you should consider them “wet” and use a grout gap.)

Smaller Gaps Preferred

Smaller gaps are preferred because they make grouting easier, and they minimize the color impact of grouting.

A grout gap only needs to be large enough to ensure that grout can fill the gap all the way to the bottom and not just a smear across the top and hide a void underneath.

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Mr Pinchapotamus Tile Holding Tool with adjustable depth setting

Your New Best Friend Mr. Pinchapotamus

Mr. Pinchapotamus is your new best friend. He holds small glass tile while you cut them with a Mosaic Glass Cutter so that your fingertips aren’t near the blades. He can also hold the tile more firmly in place than your fingertips, and so Mr. Pinchapotamus also improves the precision of your cuts.

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Abstract Mosaic-Covered River Stones by Barbara Stutts

Abstract Mosaics As “Quilt” Elements

Artist Barbara Stutts recently emailed me some photos of her abstract mosaic stepping stones and mosaic-covered river stones, and they resonated with me for several reasons.

Barbara says she is relatively new to mosaic, but her abstract mosaics are worth sharing because they are well executed and serve as good teaching examples.

In this case, one of the lessons needing a teaching example is what beautiful art you can make without drawing or rending an image in any way.

Abstract Mosaic Plaque p1 by Barbara Stutts
Abstract Mosaic Stepping Stone p1 by Barbara Stutts

Mosaic stepping stones such as these can be made directly on concrete stepping stones using thinset mortar, and you can purchase both products at a local building material store.

If you need something lighter and thinner for a mosaic that will be mounted vertically on an outdoor wall, you could use a large porcelain floor tile in either 12 inch or 18 inch size as the backer.

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