Glass Mosaic Tile Art – Grout-Line Size and Shape

Making wonderful glass mosaic tile art is easy! Let me show you how.

Where you don’t put tesserae determines your grout lines because grout fills in everything on your base material left uncovered by tesserae. Strive for consistent grout spacing over the entire mosaic. If you use mismatched shapes (e.g., broken pieces of miscellaneous crockery), this is virtually impossible, but do your best to maintain consistency. Big gaps left between tesserae because you were in too much of a hurry look messy.

However, you’ll have instances where specific lines are intentionally wider or narrower than others. For example, wider lines can emphasize the distinction between one shape and another. A wider grout line around the eye of a frog can make the eye standout, if that’s the look you desire.

Avoid consistently wide grout lines throughout your mosaic because they just don’t look good. Tesserae don’t need to fit together tightly like a puzzle, but they should be close enough to yield thin grout lines. The danger with thick grout lines is they can cause the mosaic to appear extremely fractured or cause the tesserae to merge into a single muddy image. The eyes are weird in the way they see juxtaposed colors. If you have relatively equal amounts of grout and tesserae, and especially if the grout and tesserae colors are of similar tone, the primary features can be hard to distinguish from the background or the even grout. Therefore, I suggest using thin grout lines. They don’t all have to be the exact width throughout the mosaic, just make them consistently thin. However, if thick grout lines give the desired look, then use them, but don’t be surprised if couch potato critics accuse you of being in a hurry to finish the work (i.e., thicker grout lines equal fewer tesserae, which equals less time cutting and gluing, which equals less time to finish the mosaic).

Grout-line shape is also important because it can add distinction to your work. For example, suppose your focal point is a butterfly. If you properly plan, cut, and place your tesserae, the resulting grout lines can represent veins in the butterfly’s wings, which make your mosaic look more unique and alive.

Remember, making mosaic art is easy. You can do it. Yes, you can!