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Mosaic Tiles: Advantages and Disadvantages

Mosaic tiles immediately call to mind a sense of elegance and sophistication, perhaps with some artistry for good measure. And why not? Mosaics were made popular during the height of the Roman Empire, which pretty much embodied limitless hedonism.

Mosaic Tiles, Their Advantages, and Their Disadvantages

Back then, as today, mosaics were a way of advertising wealth and sophistication, often used by Romanised landowners to mark their membership of the rich and powerful Roman elite. While the Roman Empire is long gone, the association mosaics have with wealth and elegance remains.

Of course while they certainly are pretty classy, that’s not to say that mosaic tiles are perfect and without flaws. Like any other tile type they have their strengths and weaknesses, and understanding both will help you to decide for yourself whether they’re really worth all that hype.

Advantages

Appearance

First and foremost, mosaic tiles do look very spectacular when they’ve been fully arranged and laid out. As well as solid colour tiles, it’s also possible to buy multi-coloured and patterned tiles as well, offering a very broad range of design options. Depending on your budget, creativity and the space you have to work with, you can have a design as simple or intricate as you please.

Further because mosaics tend to be made from glass, all but the darkest tiles tend to be highly reflective. This can make a room seem a lot brighter and larger, to a degree that other tile types just can’t match.

Durability

Unless you have members of the household who’ve taken to mindlessly smashing the floor in with a hammer, your tiles should be highly resistance to most forms of damage. For simple, every day wears and stresses, this makes mosaic tiles a dream if you’re looking for a long-term investment for a floor tiles. Whereas less durable tiles may need replacing after a few years, mosaics can be expected to last at least twice that.

Cleanliness

A final advantage behind buying mosaic tiles is that they’re very easy to clean. Because they have such smooth, glossy surfaces it’s difficult for dirt and grime to become encased in them.

All you really need to do is wipe them down with warm soapy water and that’s pretty much it. In the event that you need something a bit stronger, mosaics are also highly resistant to chemical damage. Further, glass is very resistant to mould and mildew, and doesn’t stain easily.

Disadvantages

Installation

Because mosaics are made of glass, there is a chance that you’ll see the adhesive through the tile if it isn’t installed correctly, a problem other tile types don’t face. Consequently, installing them is a lot trickier to pull off than with other tiles.

Unless you’re particularly experienced with laying down tiles, it may just be easier to hire out a professional to fit them in for you. Which compounds the next problem:

Cost

There’s a reason mosaics are associated with wealth and class. Unit for unit, they’re one of the most expensive tile types around. This is especially true for the more elaborate tiles. Adding in the possibility of hiring out a professional to install it for you, and you may be paying a very pretty penny indeed for that new floor. Replacing the tiles in the case of damages can also be very expensive to boot.

Scratches and Damages

While mosaics are durable, they can still be scratched if you’re not careful. Depending on the amount of foot traffic they receive, over time glass mosaic tiles will become overladen with scratches and need replacing. Likewise while it takes a lot to break a tile, when it does happen it will shatter like glass. Very little needs to be said about how this can be particularly dangerous, especially if you have pets or young children.

Slippage

Finally, because mosaic tiles have a smooth, glossy surface, this makes them very slippery underfoot, especially if wet. That said, there are ways to mitigate this, such as using textured tiles, grout lines and non-slip throw rugs.

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