Mosaic tiles, also referred to as tesserae, are a popular material for flooring and backsplashes. They were also popular as ceiling art and later street art but these trends are no longer in vogue. Mosaic tiles, like other types of tiles, come in a plethora of colours, sizes and shapes, styles and of course compositions. The manufacturing method depends on the primary materials and the chemical composition. Mosaic tiles can also be natural. However, even those that are found in nature are worked on to alter shapes, sizes, perhaps compositions and to accomplish a certain level of aesthetic appeal.
• One of the most popular types of mosaic tiles used today is ceramic. Just as you would buy ceramic tiles that are made from clay, the same material can be used to make mosaic tiles. Mosaic tiles made from ceramic are not different from ceramic tiles per se but they do have different designs. The evolution of mosaic was primarily about the art or the image that would be revealed when all the pieces would be put together in their rightful place. Normal ceramic tile or any other tile does not really aim for an image or particular artwork. There can be patterns but not an image, certainly not with distinctive colours. Mosaic tiles made from ceramic have its physical attributes such as durability and antiskid features.
• Mosaic tiles are also made from vitreous glass. This glass is almost like stone and makes for affordable mosaic. The glass is easy to work with so cutting and shaping, forming distinctive edges and basically carving out a certain shape and then having the chosen image or artwork become less of a challenge. Vitreous glass tile can be installed indoors or outdoors. Unlike ceramic based mosaic tiles, vitreous glass tile can withstand weather extremes.
• One of the most expensive and also among the most wonderful mosaic tiles is the smalti glass. There are two types of smalti glass mosaic tiles, gold & silver and light reflective. These mosaic tiles are handmade and they are quite popular in Venice. These tiles have been used for centuries, dating back to the Byzantine and Roman eras. Since these are quite expensive, most people opt for small decorative application of the tile.
• Finally we have organic tiles which are made from stone. You would find marble, basalt, limestone and granite based mosaic tiles. There is another category called creative mosaic tiles but their compositions have the same basic materials, such as marble, glass, china and ceramic among others.