Mosaic tiles are the name given to any material of tile that measures 2 inches or smaller. They can be glass, stone, porcelain or ceramic and while they are sometimes sold as individual tiles, they are typically mounted on sheets for easy installation. Mosaic tiles help lend several different styles to the overall bathroom design. From classic and retro to modern and funky, mosaics can be used almost anywhere in the bathroom.
Retro Bathroom Design
Mosaics were some of the first tiles used for bathroom flooring. When bathrooms were first installed in American homes, they were typically converted from old closets or taken from other areas. This meant the substrate might not be stable enough for large tiles, which could crack. Several tile shapes and layouts date back to Victorian and 1920s art deco designs. Octagon and dot, basketweave, hexagon and penny tiles are all still used on bathroom floors in the 21st century. Combined with subway tiles on the walls, retro tiles can provide an instant design scheme in the room. While older tiles in Americans homes were originally made of unglazed porcelain, mosaic tiles can now be found in glass, ceramic and other materials. Extend a mosaic tiled bathroom floor into a walk-in shower for a unified look.
Because mosaic tiles are frequently mounted in sheets, it’s easy to install large areas and smaller borders simply by cutting the sheet. Make an accent wall in the bathroom out of mosaic tiles and tie it into the rest of the room with a border running the perimeter. Tiled accent walls are appropriate behind the shower head or on a wall opposite the bathroom door if it faces a glass, freestanding shower. Mosaic tiles can cover shelves or recessed soap and shampoo storage nooks set into the walls, and extending the tiles from floor to ceiling can elongate the room.
For a subtle accent that brings additional color and interest into the room, cut sheets of mosaic up into a border that runs the perimeter of the room. Light hits mosaic tiles differently because of the way each one is surrounded by grout. This draws the eye to the border and adds light to the space. Pair polished stone mosaics with large honed stone tiles for depth, or use brightly colored glass mosaics with a plain white subway tile in a child’s bathroom. Extend the border up and over the bathroom mirror as a frame, or take it through the shower for a unified look.
Mosaics were once confined to the bathroom floor, while larger tiles were used on the walls. Today, mosaics are used everywhere. One way to get a contemporary look is to use large tiles on the floor and mosaics on the walls. Despite their many grout lines, mosaics create an overall pattern in a space, which makes the space appear larger than it actually is. This draws the eyes upward and visually opens the room. Combined with a simple floor with relatively few grout lines, this makes the bathroom look large and sleek. Run the mosaics from floor to ceiling around the room for depth, light and interest.
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