Fitting And Sealing Pebble And Stone Mosaic Tiles

Red, black, honey and white river peggle mosaics
For stone tiles like pebble mosaics, marble and travertine

  1. The stone pieces are glued to a flexible backing so you can glue them in place using tile adhesive like you do with other tiles.
  2. Seal the stone tile after the adhesive has completely dried. This action will prevent the pebbles and stone tiles from absorbing the grout color. Allow the sealer to dry.
  3. Apply grout to the pebble tiles by pushing it into the spaces between the pebbles. Work slowly when doing this to fill in all gaps. When you have finished the entire area will be properly covered with grout.
  4. Allow the grout to set up and dry for around 20 minutes.
  5.  Sponge away the grout from the surface of the stones. The sponge should be damp, not dripping wet and dont push too hard, you dont want to remove the grout from between the stones. Rinse the sponge regularly.
  6. Leave the grout to dry for 24 hours.
  7. Apply sealer to the grout and stones.

Mosaic tiles that feature natural stone


Mosaic: the pretty & the practical


When it comes to decorating our homes we tend to lean towards the pretty rather than practical. And so what? Life is hard enough. What with taxes and public speaking to concern ourselves with.

Amidst the conflict between the pretty and the practical we seldom find a happy medium. That is until we begin discussing the anomaly that is the coloured tile. 

Mosaics have a long and, excuse the pun, rather colourful history. A history that lends itself to the balance between the pretty and the practical. A history that some of you might find rather fascinating.

Or perhaps, for the less historic minded of you, the history of mosaic can be seen as something useful. Useful, in its ability to convince your significant other of its rich historical and cultural value. And of course how, in its acquisition, it will add that much needed dimension of socio-historic culture to your all-be-it-lacking guest bathroom.

Historically, Mosaic has its roots in the practical. It was first used thousands (yes`, thousands) of years ago. Not as sophisticated as it would later become as an art form, mosaics were first made by positioning pebbles and stones into patterns that conveyed messages or directions (how practical). 

As an art form, records show that Mosaic has been around since the fourth millennium B.C. The first mosaics were found in Mesopotamia. They were made from an array of materials. Including shells, semi-precious stones and ivory. The Greeks played a significant part in discovery of mosaic. While the Romans played a role in its development.

St. Mark’s Basilica. The cathedral of Venice. Renowned for its Byzantine architecture and mosaics. Consecrated in 1094.

St. Mark’s Basilica. The cathedral of Venice. Renowned for its Byzantine architecture and mosaics. Consecrated in 1094.

“Christian art furthered the decorative technique in churches and other religious buildings, but under the Byzantines, mosaic art became a privileged language to express divine, supernatural and mystic themes. The use of manufactured materials, including gold, and the techniques of setting the tesserae at different angles and depths, created magical lighting effects.” (Goetz, 2007)

Mosaic is considered to be both a modern and an ancient art form. Its position on the continuum of modern art allows mosaic to remain “trendy”. And it remains a firm favourite in the ever-shifting world of interior design.

Emma Biggs, is a london-based mosaic artist. She founded the Mosaic Workshop, the largest mosaic studio in Britain, and produces private and public works around the world. Some of her most famous installations include Made in England, Five Sisters, London’s Wharf Walk pavement mosaics, and Mosaic Rill .

Mosaic tiles may be seen as contemporary derivative of Mosaic as an art form. Adding texture and interest to a room mosaic tiles are a pretty that always pleases. Practically, they can be used as a non- slip surface in showers.  

So what is so wrong with spending your well-earned pounds on a wall of colourful, and aesthetically pleasing tiles? Nothing. Nothing is wrong with that. If anything it will make your teeth-brushing ritual a more cultural experience.

Check out the great variety of mosaic tiles at Grand Taps. When in Rome do as the Roman’s do:

This post was inspired and drawn from A Journey Into the World of Mosaics: Historical and Contemporary Use By Lewis J. Goetz, FIIDA, FAIA

If you would like to read the entire article go to:

New year, new designs

Often, if not always, New year is welcomed in with a heap of enthusiastic, or rather not-so-enthusiastic, resolutions. These dreaded undertakings, which we feel so inclined to make after a few glasses of bubbly and a hearty rendition of Auld Lang Syne, are always the soon-to-be regretted commitments to which we are completely and undeniably uncommitted.

As January falls away and February quickly approaches. The resolve which we held onto so firmly only a month ago slowly crumbles. And the urge to do nothing takes hold.  Once again it seems we are destined to end up spending our free time on the couch watching day-time T.V.

So before the novelty of this year’s New Year’s resolutions wear off, we wanted to put together a few ways for you to re-invent your 2014 kitchen. So you can finally fulfil your promise to ‘do something with that space’ and put a big tick on that 2014 to-do-list.

The ‘something’ for that space

Our ‘somethings’ were inspired by House Beautiful, tips for 10 Kitchen Details That Wow and 14 Kitchen Backsplash Ideas

Mirrors and Mosaic. Space and light are a must for your 2014 kitchen. Use mirrors to create the illusion of space. While mosaic tiles create patterns of light and colour.

Use mirrors and mosaics to create space and light in the kitchen

Use mirrors and mosaics to create space and light in the kitchen

Use mirrors and mosaics to create space and light in the kitchen

Detail, detail, detail. Don’t let the idea of a ‘functional space’ stop you from creating personal details that are quirky and original.

Use details such as old biscuit tins to give your kitchen a quirky character

Use details such as old biscuit tins to give your kitchen a quirky character

Get textured. Use wood, concrete/stone, glass and tile to reinvent your kitchen.

Use textures in your kitchen to create interest and character

Use textures in your kitchen to create interest and character

– Colours and Patterns. Go warm or go cool but be sure to use a range of tones to create a quality of depth. Pop-colours are a must.

Subtle colours with a paisley pattern offer a soft sophistication to any kitchen

Subtle colours with a paisley pattern offer a soft sophistication to any kitchen

Get Artsy. Use statement pieces to create a sense of grandeur. They can be bought from that obscure little gallery on the corner or made by the kids at school.

Pottery is a great addition to any kitchen

Pottery is a great addition to any kitchen

Retro reverence. Black and white checks? Yes, please.

You can never go wrong with a vintage/retro twist.

You can never go wrong with a vintage/retro twist.

Get innovative. Use old records as table mats

Get innovative. Use old records as table mats

If predictions are anything to go by, and we think they are, then interior design in 2014 is all about the personal. Involve the family in the re-invention of your kitchen, go arty with some mosaic or go professional with a silver finish and black and white tile. The choices are endless and entirely yours.But be sure to give your kitchen its much deserved attention this year.

How To Install Metal And Glass Mosaic Tiles


This is a step by step process for installing our stainless steel and glass mosaic wall tiles.

Please note that this is a “how to” guide and should only be considered as an informational resource.

Required tools and materials. All tile stores and most big diy hardware stores will have the items available:

  • 5/32 inch or similar V-notch trowel to apply adhesive .
  • A rubber grout float.
  • Sufficient stainless steel or glass mosaic tiles to cover the area.
  • Enough tile adhesive to cover the area you are going to be tiling.
  • Adhesive for standard ceramic porcelain tiles is compatible with our products.
  • Enough un-sanded grout to cover the area you are going to be tiling. Use non-sanded or un-sanded or sandless grout because sanded grout may scratch the finish during installation.
  • A clean sponge or cheesecloth.
  • Two buckets, one for water and one for mixing the adhesive and grout.
  • A tile cutter if there are any cuts to be made around certain obstacles that can’t be properly fitted by simply removing individual tiles from the mosaic mesh sheets.
  • A pair of scisors or craft knife to cut the mesh backing if necessary
  • A flat wood block or plank about 7cm wide and 20cm long and a hammer for making the tiles all level. This prevents any tiles or parts of tiles standing proud of the rest

Step 1: Mix your adhesive as shown on the product package. Apply the adhesive firmly onto the wall with the flat side of the V-notch trowel. Make uniform depth grooves in the adhesive with the V-notched side of the trowel.

Top tip: If you have a large area to do then only do a few square feet at a time so you dont end up with hard adhesive with tiling still to do

Step 2: Lightly apply the mosaic tile sheets onto the adhesive using even pressure. Lay subsequent sheets lining up the tile pieces from one sheet to the next.

Top tip: Tap a wood block lightly with the hammer on top of the sheets of tiles to ensure each tile piece is at the same level as the one next to it.

Step 3: Once the adhesive has set sufficiently you need to remove and protective covering on the surface of the tiles. If your tiles are covered in a protective paper wet them a few times and gently peel the paper off. If your tiles are covered in protective plastic, simply peel it off.

Step 4: Gently wipe the excess adhehive off the surface of the tiles with a wet cloth or sponge once the adhesive has set. Check the instructions on the adhesive bag for the time it takes to set.

Step 5: Mix your grout and apply with the rubber grout float forcing grout into the joints until they are full. Always use fine non sanded grout for glass, metal and mirror tiles.

Step 6: Wait 2 hours and then gently wipe off the excess grout from the tile surfaces using the damp cloth or sponge. Don’t use too much pressure as that may wash out the grout from the joints.

Please note: We will not be responsible for any mis-installation, misuse, errors or damaged caused by the direct or indirect use of the content in this article.

DIY Nail Art


You need:
A hammer
A pencil and ruler
A board (not chipboard – fairly sturdy wood)
Colourful twine/string
An awesome place to hang the final product

Start by marking out the points where each nail needs to go on the board. I chose to create the word ‘art’ but you can pretty much string up any design, word, picture, shape, (whatever floats your boat), (you get the point), that you would like to.
After plotting your design on the board, begin hammering in each nail. It can become a tad noisy after a while but the final product will be worth the headachey-loud-noise. With each nail secured and upright, you can begin the threading process. It’s pretty simple really, tie a knot around a nail on one end of your design and simply twist the twine around the nails to create a woven look. Try keep the thread even so as to keep it looking neat and evenly covered. Try keep it a colour palette of sorts, it’ll make the final product look just that more professional and somewhat less crafty. Once all the nails have had some twine twisted around them tie a final knot to secure the string.

Yay! And that, folks, is how to create a simple (and creative) piece of artwork for your home.





The Cost And Return Of Home Improvements

Where To Improve Your Home To Make The Most Return On Investment
With the housing market stagnant in many areas and buyers harder to come by, it is important to improve your home to make it more sellable. This could mean little projects such as laying new carpets and redecorating or undertaking bigger improvements such as kitchen extensions and adding a conservatory.   Such improvements can increase the value of a property and make for a quicker sale should you decide to sell or re-mortgage.

However, whatever home improvements cost money. So is it best to use your savings, tap into the equity you have by re-mortgaging, take out a home improvement loan or use a 0% credit card?

For instance, a big improvement such as a conservatory can be quite expensive, so it might be best to save up for it or get a low-cost loan.

A smaller improvement such as replacing the kitchen tap could be done using a 0% credit card, but make sure you pay it off during the interest-free period if you can.   Here are some home improvement suggestions with guide prices…

Home improvement return on investment 2

Home improvement return on investment 3

Home improvement return on investment 4

Home improvement return on investment 5

Home improvement return on investment 6


DIY Embellished Chair

You’d think that colourful chairs like this one would only exist somewhere over the rainbow – yeah, they’re just that awesome to sit in. And to look at, for that matter. Remember the rocking chair I whitewashed a while back? Yeah, that old thing. It started out as a boring old pine rocker, okay maybe I’m exaggerating a little but you know what I mean. And then I gave it a facelift, et voila we have a wonderful white chair. But it needed an extra somethin’ somethin’. An whenever something needs an extra somethin’ somethin’ I always seem to gravitate to rainbows. Personal taste that. They’re just so damn happy. Anyhow, sidenote that. So you wanna know how to give a chair an extra bit of pop? Grab a stack of ribbons and knot them onto the top rail. Space them between the spindles to create a flowy style. And don’t just hang one or two. Drape excessively or evenly, not minimally (if that’s even a thing). And pick ribbons according to a colour scheme of sorts. Colour schemes are incredibly useful when decorating or creating. Click here for a little colour inspo. This little ribbon trick works well as a temporary decor idea for entertaining. Have a long table and many a chair in need of some party colours and pizaaz? Here’s your answer.

Happy colour rocking.

colourful chair

Make Your Own Mosaic Tile Splashback

Seriously if I can do it then anyone can. It is my first mosaic tiling job and… well see for yourself.

Cloakroom basin splashback before and after photos:

splashback MT0006 before  

I made a photo diary of the job so you can see just how simple it is:

Tools and materials I used are:
Tape measure
craft knife
glass mosaic tiles
aluminium edging strip
sharp screwdriver
coarse sanding paper
paint scraper
tile adhesive
tile grout

Measure the outer perimeter and cut the edging strips to size, Mine are 3 sides with the basin at the bottom edge. The top corners are done by cutting 45 degree angles which I marked out using a square card board folded in half to make a triangle. Use a file to finish off the cut edges. I used 8mm edging because the tiles are 8mm thick

Cut the mosaic tile sheets to the correct size. I used glass mosaic tiles. The specs are:
MT0006 Hong Kong autumn mix glass mosaic tiles
8mm thick. 4mm to 8mm are good for wall mosaic tiles
The chip (tile piece) size is 48mm x 15mm. You need to be sure of this size to avoid having to cut a lot of tile pieces
There are 108 tile pieces glued onto a sheet. It is easily cut between the tile pieces using scissors or a craft knife
A sheet is 30cm x 30cm.
I used 2 sheets and made a rectangle 40mm wide x 45mm high to go behind a 40mm wide basin

Roughen up the wall surface to give the adhesive a better grip. I used a sharp screwdriver and coarse sanding paper. Try not to go out of the area to be tiled, then you wont need to touch-up with paint afterwards

Apply tile adhesive with a ploughed field effect. I used a paint scraping tool to apply the paste and a kitchen fork to make grooves. You could use the proper tool which is cheap from your local hardware store. The grooves aid in laying the tiles evenly

Wear your favorite super hero shirt to get you in the right frame of mind

Place the tile sheets into position with the edging strip tucked in behind. Press gently just so the tiles don’t fall off. Don’t push hard yet, we will get to that part soon.

Use tile spacers between the separate sheets to keep a uniform grid pattern. I used 2mm ones

Ok now you can press the tiles onto the wall. Use a short plank to get them all even. This is what I’ve been keeping that piece of wood for in the shed all these years

Apply fine texture grout with a firm sponge. For anyone that doesn’t know, grout is the filler between the tile spaces. You can get various colours of grout,  I chose white. In fact I used a premixed white 2 in 1 cement grout product. It is practical if you have a small area to tile

Job Done!

my wife is very happy with it too…. big points for me!!!

Total cost: £21.40

Time taken: 3 hours. This is not including adhesive and grout drying time

Calculate How Many Mosaic Tile Sheets You Need For Your Project

Mosaic Tiles Variety 4mm 23x23 with or without glitter

Calculate the number of mosaic tile sheets you will need to complete your DIY project:

First calculate the size of one mosaic tile sheet (eg 30cm x 30cm = 900cm²)

Then calculate the area to be tiled. (eg 90cm x 250cm = 22500cm²)

Then divide the total area to be tiled by the area of one sheet (eg 22500 / 900 = 25 sheets needed)

Useful conversions:

1 m = 100 cm

1 m = 1000 mm

1 m² = 10 000 cm²

2.54cm = 1 inch

1m² = 10.764ft²

Area Calculator For Mosaic Tiles

More about mosaics….
Mosaic tiles come in a variety of sheet sizes so you must make sure you have the correct info, you don’t want to come up short and find out later that the supplier no longer stocks them.

Some sheets of mosaic tiles are a mix of sizes and are not as easily cut into the right size strips as you would be able to cut a sheet of uniform tile pieces

Make sure that you will be able to do your job with the least amount of cutting, and I don’t mean cutting the gauze backing, I mean the tile pieces. For example if you need a 75mm strip it is best to use mosaics that have 23mm chip sizes. 48mm chip sizes will need to be cut and this will be a big challenge

DIY: Crayon Art


Happen to have one or two blank boards at home? Yes? Awesome! And some white paint? Great! Or maybe you have canvases that are already white and ready to be rainbowed up? That’d be even better! Basically we’re looking for a blank surface that’ll show colour beautifully – like a wooden board that’s been give a coat of white house paint, or a blank canvas.

Yay! Let’s make rainbows! Grab about a bajillion (because that’s a real number) wax crayons, some glue and a hairdryer. Order your crayons as you’d like to see them melt. I kinda went for all the colours in the box and arranged them according to the rainbow – because rainbow is my favourite colour, see. You, however, can pick only the colours you like and arrange them as you see fit. I’d suggest keeping similar hues together, ’cause melting similar hues seems to create a better blend of colour than, say, melting right pink and black. But that’s just my taste.

Anyhow, with your white surface and crayons ordered – time to get sticking. Use craft glue to keep the crayons in place on the canvas. Allow them a little time to dry before going at it with the heat. We don’t want melted crayons slipping all over the show now.

Eeek! Hairdrying time! This can get a tad messy, but is by far the funnest part. Stand your board up (crayons glued to the top) and simply hairdry the crayons. Angle the hairdryer at about 45 degrees to the ground and watch the wax melt and splatter. Start at one end and work your way to the other – spending a minute or two at each point along the way. A strong hairdryer is best because the intense heat and power allow for the crayon to melt quickly and splat quickly. And little hairdryers just kinda create a dribble and well – don’t produce such a splattery style.

Et voila! We have rainbow art! Get the leprechauns, I mean kids, involved. Or anyone with an appreciation for craft and colour. This is a great, easy and inexpensive way to create art works for a bedroom, art room or dull spot in the home.