When talking about mosaic ideas, you must first discuss the supplies that are used to make mosaics. There are many types of are supplies used and different techniques used on mosaics. There isn’t one right or wrong way to do it. I am going to discuss my favorite supplies, how to pick them and how to use them.
Grout has a lot of uses in construction. It is used to embed rebars in masonry walls, fill voids it connects the sections of pre-cast concrete, and it can be used to seal joints. I am going to talk about the latter because I use grout to seal between glass and tile used in my mosaic.
The composition of grout is a mixture of water, cement, sand, and at times it can be mixed with color tint (I will get back to that). Grout is thick liquid when it is applied and like mortar, it hardens over time.
Everyone that knows mosaics knows grout is a big component of it. There are times when mosaics are made without grout, but the majority is grouted. Most of the time, the grout is applied to the mosaic in between the tesserae.
One thing to consider before you grout is if you want to change the color of your grout. Sometimes, the grout you are using can be too bright for the colors of you tesserae. You want the tesserae to stand out over the grout. To fix this, people change the color of the grout. All you need to do to change the color is to add a little paint to the grout. Mix it in to the desired color and you are ready to go!
I usually use ready-mixed household tile grout. You can get this at most hardware stores. It is good to get some latex gloves for this because you are going to use your hands to spread the grout. You can use a grout spreader, but I think it is easier to get all the cracks with your fingers.
Spread it on, forcing it down into all the gaps with your fingers or a spreader. Let the surface of the grout dry. As it is drying, brush it off with a small brush. An old toothbrush is perfect for this. Work from the edges to the inside. Be careful not to dislodge the grout from in between the piece of tile, glass, or crockery. Doing a good job cleaning the grout off will save time later so do a good job! If you miss some grout you can always sand it off later.
I allow the grout to set overnight. I also make sure that the place I leave it to dry is nice and cool. A warm place causes the grout to not dry properly. In the morning the grout should be nice and strong. You can use a soft clothe to go over it and clean off any remaining dust off of the grout. After that you apply the grout sealer (to protect the grout from absorbing water) and you are ready to go!
I remember being told that a mosaic goes from looking ok to great after you apply the grout to it. I totally agree! It is the last step you take in a mosaic project and it could be considered the most important!