Stone was the first material used to make mosaic tiles. Over time and particularly in recent years, stone has taken a backseat and ceramic has become more popular. This is primarily because of the cost. Stone is more expensive and it is also more complicated to work with. Ceramic is much easier to handle, especially during the manufacturing process. Glass remains as popular as it was. While no one can dispute the beauty of glass mosaic tiles, no one can dismiss stone mosaics either.
Different types of stones are used to make mosaic tiles. You may go for granite, limestone, basalt or marble. Stone mosaic tiles are a classic. Stones can be carved into distinct shapes and sizes. They can be truly unique if not mass produced. There are various technologies available today that make working with stone as easy as working with ceramic. Modern stonemasons don’t take months to create enough mosaic tiles for a house. Stonemasons use water-jet technologies among others for amazing precision. The methods also make the whole process convenient, swift, safe and reliable.
Since there isn’t much you can do about the stones that are found in nature, the magic is weaved into the shape, size, design, pattern and the overall artwork. You may be familiar with murals and medallions. Earlier, many tiny pieces of stone were used for murals and medallions. This was primarily because stonemasons could not work with large chunks of stones and have the kind of intricate detailing that was warranted by the designs. Water-jet technology helps stonemasons to work with large uncut or single cut pieces.
While water-jet technology has ushered in different types of designs and patterns in mosaic tiles made from stones, the old school technique of etching and carving is still prevalent. Large pieces or tiny pieces of stone can be carved and etched according to a chosen design. The effect is fascinating. Etching and carving essentially have a sculpturing effect on a stone and hence the mosaic tiles look truly distinct. Such mosaic tiles can have engravings and intricate detailing. Most of this etching and carving is usually done by hand, thereby further allowing a stonemason the liberty to make every tile stand out for its uniqueness. Hand painted mosaic tiles are also popular. They use the same stones as the primary material and can complement the other methods, be it water-jet or etching and carving. It is needless to mention that hand painted stone mosaic tiles would be a tad more expensive.