Mosaic is perhaps the most effective way of decoration. Many small colored fragments, shimmering in the sun and forming various patterns, attract the eye from afar and can decorate absolutely any surface. For outdoor cladding, the most demanded is a mosaic made of natural stone, which is distinguished not only by its strength, but also by a wide variety of colors and textures.
Natural stone mosaic
Stone mosaic on the facade
A mosaic is small pieces of processed stone that are square, rectangular or irregular. The most popular are square elements (chips) with sizes from 1x1 cm to 5x5 cm, and in the form of bricks, sizes 1x3, 2x4, 2x6 cm.
The standard thickness of the mosaic is 10 and 15 mm, although each manufacturer has both the thickness and the size of the chips. differ.
Option for finishing the facade with mosaic
Finishing the facade of a country house - facing with natural stone
For the manufacture of mosaics, both hard and soft rocks are used: all types of marble and granite, basalt, quartzite, travertine, limestone, sandstone, dolomite and others. As a rule, hardwood mosaics are used for outdoor decoration, and soft ones for indoor decoration. The surface of stone chips can be smooth and rough, depending on the processing method.
The mosaic acquires smoothness and glossy shine in the process of polishing, but to obtain a rough texture, the stones are treated with a tumbling or sandblasting apparatus.
Facing the facade with stone
As you know, mosaic laying requires a lot of time and patience, especially if you need to lay out a complex pattern. Therefore, for the convenience of installation, manufacturers produce stone chips on a matrix grid. The sizes of the nets are different, as well as the drawing on them, but the principle of laying is the same. Seams, as in conventional tiles, are treated with grouting pastes.
There is another type of stone mosaic - mosaic plaster. It consists of natural stone chips of various types mixed with an acrylic binder.
Depending on the grain size, stone chips are divided into several groups:
All granules undergo preliminary processing, as a result of which they acquire a spherical shape. This is to ensure that sharp edges do not scratch the surface during application.
Stone chips have many colors and shades, so the coating options are also very diverse.
Decorative mosaic plaster
Why stone Is mosaic so much appreciated? After all, there are a lot of other materials, more affordable, bright and attractive in appearance, easy to process. To answer this question, you need to get acquainted with its merits, the list of which is not so small.
Environmental friendliness. Since stone is a natural material, it does not contain chemically aggressive substances hazardous to health.
For this reason, it is excellent not only for outdoor decoration, but also for living spaces.
Facade decorated with mosaics
Durability. Natural stone is not afraid of temperature extremes, prolonged freezing, moisture, exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Mosaic has the same properties - even in unfavorable conditions it retains its magnificent appearance for years, does not collapse or fade.
Stone mosaic is many times stronger than ceramic and glass, so it better withstands mechanical stress, is not covered with scratches and cracks. Of course, a strong blow can split the stone, but no homeowner will deliberately hit the cladding. The surface of such a mosaic is resistant to abrasion and can be washed and cleaned many times.
Attractiveness. Each stone has its own natural shade and unique pattern, which are preserved in each small fragment.
The right choice and combination of such fragments allows you to create real mosaic masterpieces. But even a coating of identical stones is very decorative, thanks to an interesting texture and play of light on the stones.
Decorative finishing of the facade: mosaic
Simplicity of finishing. Despite the fact that mosaic laying is a rather lengthy occupation, the process itself cannot be called complicated. Working according to a template, anyone can lay out a pattern or a small panel, and even more so to cope with a mosaic on a grid.
Decorating the facade of the house with mosaics
Disadvantages of stone mosaics:
Hint. Even mosaic plaster, containing only stone chips, exerts a high load on the supporting base, and it is even higher for stone chips. For this reason, such a mosaic is only suitable for strong, reliable substrates that are not prone to crumbling and shrinkage.
There are three main techniques of stone mosaic - Florentine, Roman and Russian.
Florentine is used to create artistic images, and is considered to be the most difficult to perform. Flat stones of a wide variety of colors and shapes are used here.
For Roman mosaics, light-colored pebbles and polished homogeneous stones of small sizes are used.Geometric patterns are laid out of them, floral ornaments on the walls, and patterned stone paths are made.
Roman mosaic - a type of mosaic made of small cubes of stones of different colors or smalt, small size of the modules allows you to achieve high accuracy and grace of the image
The technique of Russian mosaic appeared later, and it originated in the Urals, famous for its huge deposits of valuable rocks.
This technique differs in that stones with a textured surface, unpolished, are used for laying. This mosaic is widely used for interior and exterior decoration, as well as in landscape design.
As for the material itself, there are much more varieties of mosaic here. Manufacturers offer chips from marble, granite, onyx, jasper, basalt, limestone and a variety of other rocks. Each type has its own characteristics and distinctive features, which are decisive in the choice of material for decoration.
Popular types of mosaics
|Type of stone||Main characteristics|
|Refers to exclusive finishes. Stones tend to partially transmit light, which makes them appear translucent at a certain angle. The palette of shades is very wide - from snow-white to burgundy and almost black, but the most popular are stones of sand, beige and golden colors. The shape of the chips is most often square, rectangular and triangular, with a matte and polished surface. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor decoration|
| An expensive type of finish, it has the largest variety of colors and shapes. |
There is a single-color mosaic with a pronounced pattern, textured and polished. Manufacturers produce many varieties of mosaics on a grid, with chips of the correct and natural shape, which allows you to create a unique design for decorative cladding. Marble chips are used in the production of mosaic plaster
| One of the best types for outdoor decoration. It is appreciated for its high strength, resistance to abrasion and aggressive chemicals. The color palette includes various shades of red, gray, green, as well as white and black. |
The pattern of the stone can be monochromatic or with multi-colored splashes. Granite chips are used for the production of mosaic plaster. Suitable for both outdoor and indoor use
| A relatively inexpensive finish. The color of the stone varies from light yellow to red, brown shades are found. The rarest and most expensive is white travertine. |
There are stones with a pronounced pattern on the cut, which further increases the decorative effect of the mosaic.Travertine is easy to grind and polish, but mosaics with a rough surface in the "antique" style are more in demand. The material is suitable for indoor and outdoor use
| Inexpensive and practical type of finish, although the most difficult. The material is very durable and resistant to various influences. The color range is gray-black, sometimes stones with a greenish tint are found. |
Basalt mosaic is widely used in the decoration of facades and plinths, paths, floor surfaces. Basalt chips are often included in mosaic plaster. The limited palette is compensated by the shape of mosaic chips: they are round, square, triangular, in the form of honeycombs and oval granules, with a rough and polished surface
| A very popular and inexpensive type of decoration made of river and sea pebbles. The stones are color-matched, calibrated and polished to give a soft shine. The color palette is very wide and includes various shades of gray, red, brown and yellow. |
Most of the stones have a pronounced pattern. Pebbles are great for exterior wall cladding, foundations, walkways, interior decoration
Mosaic laying is done in different ways, depending on the type of material. But the requirements for surface quality are the same: the base must be strong, reliable, as smooth and even as possible. The mosaic elements are small, which means that even small flaws will be clearly visible on the finished coating.
The area intended for mosaic finishing should be cleaned of dirt and dust and carefully inspected for defects.
Paint and old plaster must be removed to a solid base, because the load from the mosaic is very significant, and the old coating will not be able to hold it. All cracks, even small ones, must be expanded and repaired with mortar.
Cleaning the facade walls
Wall surface preparation advice
Angle grinders (grinders)
The next step is leveling. The walls are primed, a cement-sand mortar or a purchased plaster mixture is kneaded, and it is applied in an even layer over the surface. If the irregularities exceed 10-15 mm, it is recommended to reinforce the plaster layer with a mesh.
In the process of work, be sure to control the base plane with a level. After the plaster has set, it is required to grout with a polyurethane or metal trowel, which will allow to achieve a perfect surface smoothness. You can start finishing only after the solution has dried.
Mechanized application of plaster will speed up the process of leveling the walls
The use of plaster mesh on area with large irregularities
Facade prepared to finishing
Stone mosaic on mesh
Mosaic on mesh, material - marble
In addition to the mosaic itself, you will need to work:
Technology of laying and grouting mosaics
Prepared base must be primed. If the surface strongly absorbs the soil, after the first layer has dried, apply another one.
Apply primer with roller
Step 2 . Measure the mosaic sections and make markings on the base to avoid clipping in prominent places. You can immediately attach the section to the wall and mark its boundaries with a marker.
Step 3. Knead the glue: pour dry powder into water at room temperature in the proportions indicated on the package. Using a drill with a nozzle, mix the composition at low speed for a couple of minutes, then leave for 5 minutes for ripening and mix again.
Step 4. Apply glue to the wall with a smooth spatula and spread so that the layer is about 4 mm thick and uniform over the entire area.
Tip. It is recommended to cover no more than 1 m2 with glue at a time, since it sets quickly, and you may not have time to fix all sections.
Apply the mixture to the trowel and form grooves on the wall
Step 5. Notched trowel form grooves in the solution and apply a grid with stone chips. The mosaic is leveled with hands, pressed to the surface, and then smoothed with a float with an elastic pad.
When facing curved bases, smoothing is performed with a dense roller.
Press the mosaic sheet against the adhesive applied to the wall
Step 6. Lay the next mesh so that the width of the seam between the sections is equal to the width of the seams between the tiles of the mosaic. If the seams differ in width, it immediately catches the eye, and such a mosaic looks sloppy. After leveling and smoothing the mesh, you need to carefully wipe the excess glue along the seam with a damp sponge.
Laying the mosaic with your own hands
Step 7. Having fixed the first row, proceed to the second.While the glue is not frozen, the mesh may slide down slightly under the weight of the stones, which will reduce the width of the horizontal joints. Plastic crosses for tiles, which must be inserted between the sections immediately after fastening, will help to avoid this.
Step 8 .
After finishing the cladding, allow the solution to dry completely and proceed to grouting. The grout mixture is taken with a spatula and, keeping it at an angle to the surface, the composition is applied in a thin layer. The mass must be rubbed with effort over the mosaic in order to tightly hammer each seam. The grout should completely cover the finish with a thin layer.
Approximately 15-20 minutes after grouting, take clean water , a dense foam sponge and washed the mosaic. The water should be changed as often as possible so that after drying, no streaks remain on the stones.
When the seams are dry, all that remains is to wipe the mosaic with a dry cloth. This completes the finishing process. Further maintenance consists in periodically cleaning the cladding from dust and dirt.
To do this, it is enough to rinse it with clean water.
This method is slightly different from the one described above, this installation requires more time and skill. In this case, the mosaic must be purchased in bulk (it is sold by weight), picking up several types of stone that are combined with each other. First, you need to think carefully about the pattern, draw a sketch, lay out the stones on a flat surface without glue and see how the mosaic will look.
If the stones are small, and the base is solid concrete or brickwork, you can do without a reinforcing mesh.
For large mosaics, especially from pebbles, granite and basalt, the presence of a grid is required. The galvanized metal mesh is fixed to the wall with disc dowels, and a thick layer of adhesive is applied on top. Then the creative process begins: the stones are selected by color and size and, one by one, are pressed into the solution at least a third of the thickness. Work should be done as carefully as possible so that all elements are deepened equally, at the same distance from each other, and the pattern is clearly visible.
Finishing the wall with pebbles placed on the edge
After laying all the stones, wait at least a day for the glue to dry, and then proceed with grouting as described above.
Example of work performed. Stone mosaic
Panel made of natural stone on the wall. Photo
Panel made of stone and pebbles
Mosaic from pebbles with the image of a bird
Mosaic plaster is marketed ready for application, and before starting work, it only needs to be mixed so that the crumb settled on the bottom is evenly distributed in the mass.The base must be pre-coated with a quartz-filled primer to ensure reliable adhesion of the plaster to the surface.
Applying mosaic plaster
Applying plaster to the wall
Grouting mosaic plaster
Next, a little plaster mixture is collected on the spatula and applied from the bottom up, pressing the tool against the wall with effort.
This plaster cannot be smeared and leveled for a long time, since the crumb begins to crumble from such actions. Therefore, in one movement the composition is applied, with the second they try to level everything, and move on. After processing about a meter of area, they take a foam grater and rub the plaster with light circular movements. Thus, the entire site is finished.
After about two weeks, when the coating gains strength, the surface is treated with a water repellent or transparent stone varnish.
This treatment will create additional protection against moisture and enhance the shine of the stone chips.
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