How to Create a Tile Mosaic

Motive for the stairway

A colorful tile mosaic in the entrance area invites the visitor into the house and leads him up the stairs to the residential community. The mosaic shows a vibrant underwater world. On the ground are plants growing and two water pythons meander through the water. A large shark swims next to a skate. Between plants, little colorful fish cavort and a turtle drifts around slowly.

Sketches and designs

Inspired by the work of Antoni Gaudi, Hundertwasser and Niki de Saint Phalle, the group came up with first sketches and drafts for the wall design on paper. Each of the residents drew a motive, which was put together to a great overall picture in a further step. Using an overhead projector, the individual motifs were projected at the correct size on the wall. The more artistically skilled outlined the shapes freehand.

Crushing and grinding the tiles

The masonry course of Jugendwerk St. Joseph generously provided a concrete mixer and tool for making the tile pieces. The boys put the tiles in a jute bag and smashed them with the hammer. Others crushed pieces with a spade. The pieces were ground with quartz sand in a concrete mixer, because the fragments are very sharp.

Place the mosaic tiles

The tile adhesive was mixed and applied with a brick trowel on the wall. The surface was prepared with a coarse-toothed trowel. Than it was ready to go: The fragments were pressed into the tile adhesive, and stone by stone the mosaic built up. Since the laying of the mosaic is an time-consuming work, the design of the wall took several weeks. It is required a lot of patience and perseverance, but the artwork continued to grow every day.

Grouting and cleaning of the mosaic

After drying the tile filler is applied to the mosaic and the excess mass must be removed with a float. When the grout had hardened, the surface can be cleaned with a damp cloth. Then the participants were rewarded with a brilliant result.