Introduction: Designing Your Mosaic Floor
Hello everyone. A couple months ago my wife and I decided to install a brand new floor to an old house we recently purchased.
A custom made mosaic floor.
We hope this project will motivate anyone into a remodel of a floor . . .
. . . One step at a time.
This was the bedroom of a married couple in their 80s. They raised a family in this house for 30 years.
My wife and I will have a different function for it.
It will be a library room with a spectacular custom made mosaic floor, wine/liquor bar closet and a custom made wall to wall bookcase.
Living in the tropics, our design needed a water theme related to our natural environment.
Astronomy and a river were our choices. I love astronomy and my wife, as a child, had a river for a backyard. Some people are so lucky. A river for a backyard. Wow !
We've designed the sun with 15 rays. Inside the sun will be the water planet - Earth.
By the way , this mosaic floor will sit on a concrete floor. Those foot square tiles are the originals.
To test the overall size circle placement on the floor with the future placement of bookcase, chairs, we made sure that when walking into this room the sun burst circle will be smack in the middle.
The small square tiles represent the earth's crust. The center round circle represent energy.
Since time is not of the essence, we went the old fashion way (the traditional method), tile by tile by tile by tile !
Our technical support crew for the installation from left to right are :
* Aranis Bayou
* Katness Everdeen and
* Juno Akemi
Thank you girls for being our north star.
Cut and glue. Cut and glue. Coffee break. Tile nippers at local home centers.
Safety is our number one priority.
Use safety glasses.
The fish design are based on the kois from Japan. They represent longevity, prosperity, and purity.
Ten fishes : "The Power of Ten" is a term extremely related to the science of astronomy.
A good design is strongly recommended. We need to see our errors on paper - not when tiles are cut.
The glass pebbles are from your local crafting store. We'll use blue, clear and opaque for Earth.
The tiles for the kois will be multi colored. Ladies if you want to protect your hands use comfortable safety gloves.
The Boston Terrier is iron-casted. Has been in the family for 30+ years. Our door stopper and I "stole" it from my mom. Sorry mom !
The fractured tiles are ready to be glued to the wall.
The foundation tiles represent "The Ring of Fire" in honor of Chile and its wonderful people.
This is a great angle shot where you can see the height of the pebbles and tiles.
The Ring of Fire are completely set on this wall.
The craft paper represent the sketches for the local flora and fauna like the eternal benefactors . . .
The dragonflies, butterflies, and the ever beautiful, Isabel Segunda, a local flowering plant.
The commencement of the water planet. To avoid a blotchy pattern, set the pebbles apart by at least a 1/4 inch .
Placement of pebbles within the circle is easier to place tiles around the pebbles than vice versa. It's impossible to cut pebbles by hand.
Notice the blending of colors and transparency among the pebbles.
Pebbles are always align outside the line drawings.
See how nicely and easily the tiles are cut around the pebbles.
The fluidity among the fish line drawings here is worth its merit when designing it on paper. Drawings plans has its purposes.
All the side and dorsal fins are completed.
A close up of one of the kois.
A word on floor tile selections and meaning of tile graphics when viewed in home centers.
Sanded grout with polymer is used when the spaces between the tiles are 1/8 of an inch to 1-1/2 inches wide.
Not all tools and accessories look the same but these are the usual suspects usually seen at the scene.
The grout has been prepared and is applied to the tiles and pebbles.
The completed grouted circle.
Why do the pebbles looks mudded and cloudy ?
Oh No !
What happened here ? !
Don't despair, Savoir Faire is here.
All I need is Malamutt by my side.
The black grout is making the crystal pebbles go thru a dirty snowball effect.
A clean up is needed.
Here is where the patience of a saint kicks in. The artisan needs to clean very individual pebble. You really need a wire brush.
Because I was to damn lazy and late in the afternoon to get a wire brush at a local home center.
Your mind starts to drift away at looking at so many pebbles so close to your face.
Where is that coffee !
Artisans sometimes are so stubborn !
Ok, let's get back on track.
The pebbles on the right side of the photo has been cleaned.
Notice the absense of knee pads - Sometimes you simply forget about them.
Thank you Malamutt for keeping me on track.
Here's a close up view of muddy crystal pebbles.
And another close up after the cleansing process.
Ah - That's better.
The inner circle at this point has been completed. The next step will be to work on the background theme.
The sketches for the flora and fauna. To skip this step of sketching, you can draw them directly . . .
. . . on the floor like this.
The satisfaction of craftsmanship in human society is as old as intellectual thought.
At this point, we are done with the design process. By now, you have a general idea where the flora and fauna might go. Off we go to the next phase.
Here we have the first of many dragonflies and Isabel Segundas.
The butterfly looking its best for the cameras. Always making a fashion statement.
Here's an inset of an actual Isabel Segunda flower. They come in different colors also.
General layout on the placement of the dragonflies, butterflies and the Isabel Segundas.
The cutting and gluing of background tiles.
The background has been designed to represent a 24 hour day cycle.
Night is represented in the dark tile, the blue grey is the beginning of dawn, and the yellow tile is the day.
Home Depot has a tile design with three different shades of colors on one tile. This is the tile you see here. Save money every which way you can !
Here's a photo showing the day in three parts : night - dawn - day.
Because the nature of tiling floors is painstaking, I cut the metal legs from an old table as low as possible to the floor.
Making it easier on your back and knees when gluing, I cut the chair legs down as low as possible.
Think of it as a ceramic jigsaw puzzle : you pick from the table, paste the tile and place it on the floor all while sitting down !
The mosaic floor will have a black grout which will provide a great contrast among the tiles and also represent the dark matter in the universe.
Long live Dr. Stephen Hawkings.
The finished mosaic floor before the grout application. That dark abysmal area on the upper left is where the walk-in closet for the liquor bar will be.
The beginning of a cloudy day.
With a chance of showers.
The resurrection of a tiled floor.
Here's the mess behind the magic of a successful mosaic floor.
From the library room you walk into this open air terrace. That is, after I get rid of all this mess. Hah !
After weeks of hard work the complete mosaic floor finished with a complementary color band above the fractured tiles. It represent the world's oceans.
Malamutt, of course, always the guardian.
The Alexandria Library
at El Mirador Residence.
Is named after the largest and most significant library in the ancient world.
It has become a symbol of " knowledge and culture destroyed. "
. . . But first, we need special bookcases .
Thank you instructable makers for your time and attention.
See ya in the next instructable !
Second Prize in the
Concrete and Casting Contest