Making a floor mosaic – from start to finish.

Finished!

It’s finished!

Forty six hours, umpteen cups of tea and non-stop Radio Four later. Ask me anything about international affairs or Scottish independence or the weather in the home counties, the price of coal, how cancer cells behave, Esther Rantzen’s singing voice, Francois Metterrand’s thoughts on Thatcher, the latest survey about British women’s sex lives…Go on. Anything!

Even about how to make a floor mosaic. Here is how it happened:

Making a floor mosaic – the planning.

The idea was to make a 90cm by 90cm mosaic insert for a floor in a traditional stone house in the Peloponnese, Greece, which would be reminiscent of this mosaic from Crete. The direct method on mesh would be used:

Original peacocks from Crete.

There are lots of lovely mosaics out there of birds and peacocks:

peacock with flowers

So I sat down and looked at all sorts of photographs of ancient peacock-y type designs and thought about the floor and its size and the colours and started coming up with ideas:

Coming up with various designs.

The future floor owner liked this one but there was still some tweaking to do – he wanted stripy wings and the tail design to be like the original:

This was the one that was chosen, but it still needed a few extra tweaking - stipes on wings and closer to original on tail.

 

 Making a floor mosaic – the process

And here is the long suffering dog who was dragged out for cold, dark walks at 6am when he should have been curled up in bed so that I’d have the days free for mosaicking. As you can see, he isn’t very impressed:

DSCN5275

 

 

 

4 Comments

  1. Love it, thank you very much. Since visiting Pompeii I have wanted to make a copy of the “Cave Canem” mosaic at the House of the Tragic Poet, so your website gave me some great tips.

    Is marble the best material to use for floor mosaics? What adhesive do you use to attach to the mesh? I was planning on gluing directly to a very rigid product that is readily available, I think it’s called cement board. Please advise if that would be a good approach.

    Thanks for your informative website. Also love the picture of your dog, reminds me of my Labrador Del, Ellie.

    Ken Haworth

    1. Hi Ken, Thank you for your enquiry and good luck with your project. Marble is a good material to use as long as you use the harder marbles but it is certainly not the only one. I would recommend using unglazed ceramic tiles which are non-slip and dont need special treatment in terms of polishing and finishing. The ones we use in the UK are called Winckelman’s and are available through mosaic tile suppliers like the Mosaic Workshop: https://www.mosaicworkshop.com/shop/index.php?seo_path=ceramic-mosaic-tiles. The glue I use to fix the tesserae to mesh is also from the Mosaic Workshop and is called Titebond: https://www.mosaicworkshop.com/shop/titebond-2-237ml.html#fndtn-product_info. Please be sure to only use a dab – you dont want the glue squishing out inbetween the tiles and stopping the tile adhesive and grout from working. As for the cement board, I have not heard of anyone using cement board as a backer for floors – it is intended (I believe) for walls so I would be very careful before using it on a floor. A floor, however stable it might seem, will always have imperceptible movement in it especially if there is a lot of traffic over it, so I would recommend that you create a cement bed for the mosaic (a whole process in itself and best done by an expert) and then embed your mosaic into the bed. I hope this helps! Helen.

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