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It’s the time of year when the urge to refresh the kitchen or bathroom takes hold. There is no better way to make a big impact without major construction than by adding a mosaic tile backsplash. Whether you want to add a subtle accent to your kitchen or create a spa-like atmosphere in your bathroom, mosaic tiles are an eye-catching addition.

What are Mosaic Tiles? 

Mosaic tiles are very small in size, with the squares measuring 2″x2″ or less. Now the image of all those tiny pieces can be daunting, particularly if you have a large area to cover. Not to worry. Southern Living reveals that mosaic tiles being used for a kitchen or bathroom backsplash typically come pre-attached to a mesh backing that can be applied in large blocks to your wall. This makes installation much easier for your contractor or you if you are going down the DIY path.

Today’s mosaic tile comes in an array of materials. From glass to metal to ceramic to stone, options abound. The best material to use depends on personal taste, budget and the impact you want to make. For instance, glass tile offers a more reflective surface, and it will have an overall brighter feel than a material like stone, which will absorb light and offer a matte experience. Glass and natural materials will be more expensive than synthetics or ceramic options but can be worth the added expense to achieve the look you want.

The mosaic tiles you choose for your backsplash do not have to be uniform squares. In fact, the tiles can come in a range of shapes (penny rounds and mini-bricks are nearly as popular as the more traditional square) and be arranged in numerous patterns. If you want to add mosaics with a herringbone arrangement, you can! Even custom shapes and arrangements are possible when working with a designer. What you choose really depends on your tastes and whether you are trying to match a pre-existing style in your kitchen or bathroom.

Using Mosaic Tiles

There is no doubt that the popularity of mosaic tiles has surged in recent years. Why? As the shapes, sizes and colors of the tile have proliferated, so has their incorporation into kitchen and bathroom design. Bold glass tiles bring pops of color into classic kitchens, and they work well with natural surfaces that you may already have on your countertops. Metallics, including hammered options, can bring new textures into the environment. Even if you are only adding a small strip of mosaic tile as an accent to your kitchen backsplash, there’s a bit of extra glamour that comes with it. It is stain resistant, and glass tiles, in particular, will still be bright and reflective even years after installation. Mosaic additions won’t absorb sharp cooking odors the way wallpaper or even paint might. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the tiles tend to stop mold and bacteria in their tracks – a key advantage for any backsplash.

Where to Start

Decide on the scope of your project. In the kitchen, are you running the backsplash between your countertops and kitchen cabinets only, or are you going to run the backsplash all the way up the wall behind the sink to the ceiling for a more dramatic focal point? Are you going to add the mosaic tiles in a strip as an accent to a more neutral backsplash? Adding several rows of brightly colored mosaic tile to a classic black and white kitchen will definitely draw the eye and make a statement. As with any project, make sure to measure the space and create a rough sketch of the pattern you imagine. While this is imperative for DIYers, this early planning can also be very helpful to contractors.

In bathrooms, real transformation can happen quickly with just some paint and a mosaic wall. For instance, if you are considering adding a sea of deep blue coloring to your bathroom, Real Simple suggests adorning the wall behind the sink, floor-to-ceiling, with reflective mosaic tiles that work with your bolder paint palette.

Because glass tiles are so useful in staving off mold and mildew, they are a particularly popular choice on shower walls. Think of a soothing, spa-like feeling that will take over your bathroom when you add seafoam or light aqua tiles to your shower walls. Naturally, the larger the wall you want to cover, the more tiles you will need. But there is not doubt that a mosaic tile wall, even in a small space, will make a huge impact.

Hiring a Contractor

With the mesh attachments to most mosaic tiles, it isn’t imperative that you hire an outside contractor to install your backsplash. And if you are a deeply creative person who loves the idea of working with individual bold tiles, you’ll love seeing your backsplash take shape as you select each piece. However, for most, hiring a contractor means saving yourself some frustration and considerable time. At the very least, you won’t have to fret over complex cuts of shaving down pieces to fit into smaller than normal final spaces, and you won’t have to struggle to find the perfect alignment for each tile.

Visit Distinctive Collection by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate® when you begin your journey to buy or sell your unique home.