Bob Vila Radio: Tile Mosaics

By Sarah Monzon & Bob Vila | Published Sep 28, 2012 5:00 AM

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Mosaic tile has been around for a couple of millennia, but it never seems to lose its popularity. Thanks to advances in robotics and optics, the art of arranging tiny glass or ceramic tiles to form mosaic design features in floors, walls and ceilings is within reach of those of us who might not be roman senators. 

Tile Mosaic



Listen to BOB VILA ON TILE MOSAIC, or read the text below:

Mosaics can now be designed on a computer, using custom designs or even your favorite photo. The computer pixelizes the image and color-matches the right tile for each pixel to form the picture.  The program then tells a robotic arm where to place each tile, and a mosaic tile design feature that would take a human hours or days to assemble can be completed in minutes.

Although the labor involved in handmade mosaics makes them very expensive, there’s still a lot to be said for them.  They can be a great do-it-yourself project as well, and you don’t have to use fancy glass tile or have your own robotic arm.  Broken tile of any color or type, sea glass, shells and china fragments can find new life in a “rubble tile” end table or wall accent panel, for instance.  Tile adhesive, grout, and your imagination is all you need.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.

For more on tile, consider:

Bathroom Floor Tile: Which is Best for Your Bath?
Bathroom Floor Tile: 9 Top Options
Creative Ceramics: Top Trends in Tile