7 Different Types of Mosaic Tiles: Which Type Is Right for You?

With so many different types of mosaic tiles to choose from, you could replicate any design already out there and still make it original by using different types of tiles.

Designs become limitless with different types of materials, sizes, and manufacturing techniques when creating tiles. While the uniqueness of tile design is its strength, it doesn't mean you have to come up with original ideas when there are so many types of tiles to make any design unique and beautiful.

Let me show you the breadth and depth of at least seven different types of tiles that can create visually stunning designs, even when you are copying a motif, pattern, or ancient artwork to make them truly your own designs.

1. Stone Mosaics

When people think about mosaics, they tend to imagine those beautiful, timeless, Roman and Greek floors with tiny bits of inlaid stone that create huge pictures when completed.

To be certain, the grace and hypnotic allure of tiny stone mosaics is still an excellent choice and you can still get fantastic mosaic flower patterns and colorful geometric designs done in stone mosaics today.

However, you can also get even more sophisticated using waterjet technologies and mother-of-pearl, amongst many other types of materials and manufacturing methods that take modern day mosaics to the next level.

2. Glass Mosaics

Glass mosaics can come in transparent, opaque, and mirrored tile pieces. They help bounce light around in a room and have a glowing effect, in some cases. Mirrored glass mosaics have a shimmery effect that instantly vitalizes a space and makes it feel special. Incoming sunlight or lamp light can create shadows and light effects that make it seem like the tile pieces are dancing in the light.

Take a look at the way this Nezul tile mimics the shadows and creates dimensionality of design with glass and artwork.

3. Medallions and Murals

Getting past the tiny bits of stone, different manufacturing techniques, like water-jet technology, allow stonemasons to cut stone into swirling curves and delicately thin pieces that would have been difficult, if not impossible, in the past to do. This enhancement in manufacturing techniques can create medallions and murals that are single cut large pieces without needing tiny bits and pieces to create flowing curves.

The geometric design is more seamless, like it this Jeffers design, and are ideal for places of business where a logo can be prominently displayed on a wall or floor. It can also be used for decorative purposes, like this scrolled Sophi medallion displayed on a wall.

4. Etched Stone

Larger tiles can be etched that is precisely "carved" into the desired design.

The result creates a sculptured effect on the tile that is more luxurious and smoothly engraved than the grouted lines of tiny, tiled, pieces. The designs can be intricate, and deeply etched, like in the Bordo Antiqo tile here.

Or, it can be more finely etched and in a dramatic black and white motif with fine lines and curves that are perfect for a floral pattern, like the Lalma design.

5. Hand Painted Stone

As mentioned earlier, you don't have to think up an original design to make it your own.

You simply have to opt for a different style. Hand painted stone allows you to copy any design in any style so you can have that "Old World"-inspired fruit bowl in your kitchen, upgraded in hand painted stone.

This technqiue can be adopted to include landscapes as kitchen backsplashes or modern, contemporary, ornamental works of art, all using hand painted stone.

6. Stone Tile

Manufacturing techniques and styles are just one of the ways to create different types of mosaic tiles. However, when you vary the size from tiny bits and pieces to large squares or octagons and other geometric shapes, you have a whole new way to make designs unique and breathtaking.

Mix-and-matching materials and sizes can create grand designs that please the eye, like this octagon and large white marble floor.

You can even get textural effects on the wall by creating larger pieces that juxtapose against each other on a wall, like this ledger stone wall.

Just don't try to do this on your own, because it is a lot trickier to do correctly so it doesn't fall apart because ledger and slate can come in different thicknesses, as this YouTube video shows.

Using larger pieces is not only more dramatic, but it covers larger spaces more quickly than using tiny mosaics.

7. Waterjet Mosaics

Waterjet technologies, besides making medallions and tiny mosaics, can also create dimensional, textured effects that appear sculpted, like this Dimension tile created with waterjet technology.

It can create intricate scrollwork, reminiscent of etched stone. It can can put together large and small puzzles, like in stone mosaics, but with greater precision and a "seamless" look that makes it more professional for modern day businesses. It's a wonderful technology that can be used with many different types of materials, not just stone, to create increasingly intricate and sophisticated designs.

Which One Is Right For You?

Now, the big questions is, once faced with all these wonderful choices, which is the right one for you?

To make that choice, you may need help from a design consultant, or you can go it alone. You can get a good idea of the colors and materials you prefer for your design by viewing other designs, like the ones we've listed. Depending on the final look-and-feel, you might choose one manufacturing method or material over another.

Did you like the list I prepared or did you want more examples? Let us know in the comment sections which you liked and what you would have liked included that you want to know more about. If you liked the article, and share it with your friends and followers.

About the Author

Nelson Londono founded Artsaics in 1998 after learning the ins and outs of designing custom artistic tiles and stone mosaics. The New York-based surfacing company specializes in producing stunning artistic tiles & stone designs with fine natural stone from around the world. Nelson and his team's passion lies in working with their hands, heads and hearts to make each and every space a unique reflection of self expression. You can learn more about Artsaics here.

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