Mosaics are an age-old wall and floor design popularized by the Romans and used lavishly in the Byzantine area to depict mythical scenes and pay tribute to gods and emperors. Materials as luxurious as gold, silver and marble were used to bring out a colorful scene pieced together like a puzzle. In the twenty-first century mosaics are still popular, although stone tiles and colored glass are the contemporary materials of choice.
A simple way of using this technique is to create a multi-colored bathroom design. Start small by using miniature square glossy tiles around a bathroom mirror; a large oval mirror works best. A good combination of colors for a multi-colored design would be a dark red, orange, dark lime green and a lavender or dark blue with white tiles to break up the darker colors. Tiling around a basin is also a small scale project that gives your bathroom a warm inviting feel with a retro twist. You can complement the mosaic design with colorful striped towels and stained-glass bottles.
A stone mosaic is best for a bathroom floor, as the tiles are not too slippery. Slate, marble and ceramic work best. A ceramic is great for an earthy, warm look while marble is more opulent. Mosaic tiles tend to be pricier than ordinary tiles, so using them as a tile boarder or as a medallion in the center of the room still has an impact but at a lower cost. Borders can also incorporate a theme, for example a vine boarder for an organic look or an ocean theme to give the illusion of a glass-bottomed boat.
The same can be applied to bathroom walls. If you decide on a two color theme, you can use one or two lines of darker mosaic tiles for effect. Alternately, for shower walls, small diamond mosaics between the large tiles give your shower a stylish twist. Good duo color combinations are cream and navy, light blue and earthy brown and white wall tiles combined with a thick line of different pastel mosaic tiles. For a futuristic look use metallic mosaics in gold, silver or copper. An added advantage of metallic tiles is that they are non-porous and will remain mildew-free.
Whether you are looking for an expensive Byzantine theme to take your bathroom back in time, or just to give it an extra something and make your guests feel more at home, mosaics can be used very effectively and easily. An intrictate medallion at the entrance or a bordered mirror changes a simple domestic bathroom into a welcoming showroom.