Among the many ways that natural stone can be used as a floor or wall covering, decorative mosaic patterns are one of the most intricate. Made up of hundreds of tiny pieces of stone arranged to make a picture, pattern, or large field, these patterns are typically put together and installed differently than other types of mosaics or stone field tiles, making installation a little more difficult.
When a stone mosaic pattern is made, particularly large ones, it’s typically laid out in its entirety on a piece of contact paper. This is done to ensure that each piece of the pattern lays perfectly with the rest.
A second piece of contact paper is placed on top of the design to hold the pieces together until installation. The entire mosaic, including both sheets of contact paper will now be cut up into smaller pieces. The mosaics will have to be put back together again like a puzzle during installation until the mural is complete. To make this easier, most of the sheets will be numbered with arrows for the installer to follow.
At the time of installation, the bottom sheet of contact paper is removed before the mosaics are set in the mortar. Most sheets are labeled on the top to avoid confusion, but if there is any question about which sheet to remove, the corner of both sheets can be lifted to take a look at the stones in the middle.
If any pieces of mosaic come loose from the top sheet when the bottom sheet is removed, they can usually be pressed back into place temporarily until the sheets are ready to be pressed into the mortar.
After this time, the sheets can be installed like any stone mosaics; all key marks should be smoothed out and the sheets beaten into the mortar before the top contact paper is removed.
Stone mosaic patterns and murals make a beautiful addition to any home, taking care when installing them can ensure that they make the transition from factory to home in perfect condition.