To do this project you will need the following tools:
- A wet diamond tile saw. (Purchase from Home Depot for about $50, or rent from a tool store.)
- 1 bag of tile cement referred to as Thinset
- 1 bag of sanded grout, colour to match adjacent tile
- bag of plastic tile seperators (1/8 inch and 1/4 inch thickness cross shaped.)
- A piece of wall board/ gypsum board/ plywood, measuring 40 inches square (big enough to hold insert.)
- blank paper to cover the board and on which you will sketch your design
- Compass made from stick about 20 inches long
- a roll of clear plastic shelf protector (sticky.)
Skill set required:
Do it yourself skills with no fear trying new methods
Patience, plus measure twice cut once attitude! You need this one in spades.
Step 1: The design
In the end I chose a design that could be implemented WITHOUT specialty tools and which could be implemented using nothing beyond straight line cuts and 45 degree cuts on the wet saw. Last, but not least, I wanted a simple design that I could implement using my supply of left over 3/8 inch floor tile.
To be clear, mosaics are usually constructed from small pieces of material. In ancient Rome, the tiles termed tessara were made from cubes of limestone, typically 1" on a side. Nowadays, the tessarae are made from virtually any shape and size and material, including semi-precious and precious stone, glass, marble, and ceramic . However, the people who design and construct mosaics still tend to use pieces of 1" or less in surface area. THIS PROJECT IS MADE WITH BIG PIECES!
The design I am using is not original to me. I did change the design, including using BIG pieces instead of tessare, but otherwise the basic design is pretty generic. If you just love it and want to start producing these, please check for any copyright. This instructable shows how to construct, not how to design.
In order to build the inlay, I did a fairly straight forward analysis of the design. The pic here is from an AutoCad image I created simply by copying each element in turn using a repeat copy tool. The basics are straight forward, 36 outer elements into 360 degrees gives a 10 degree subtended angle, the 18 element set is twice that or a 20 degree subtended angle. The circumferances, are chosen arbitrarily but selected to give a pleasing pattern. The entire inlay uses a 1/8 inch grout line.