Frequently Asked Questions
What's the process for designing a custom mosaic installation?
You or your interior designer contact me with your design idea, color palette, dimensions, time-frame for completion and any other pertinent details. I will quote a cost and estimate a completion date. I will work up some mockups/sketches. Once you approve your design, I require a deposit of one-half of the total fee. The balance of the fee is due upon completion of the work. I send you a weekly (if not more) work-in-progress picture so that you can see your vision coming to life.
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, I will come and install it at your convenience or work with your contractor to have it installed.
I live outside of the Bay Area, but I really want a Marin Mosaics custom-designed kitchen backsplash. Is there any way I can still get one?
Of course! Our custom-designed backsplashes and shower insets are in kitchens and baths all over the country. I will either mount your custom mosaic on Wedi board or fiberglass mesh and ship your completed mosaic to you for installation by your contractor.
How long does the process take?
Usually 60 to 90 days for a larger piece. I cut and shape every piece of glass by hand to fit perfectly into an exquisite design with harmonious colors and construct and grout the piece in my studio. Adhesive has drying time, and grout also has drying/curing time. To paraphrase the famous Orson Welles Paul Masson quote, "I shall release no mosaic before its time."
Do you work with ceramic tile?
I rarely work with ceramic tile. I prefer to work with stained glass, vitreous (waterproof) glass tile and some found objects (glass marble gems, shells, rigid plastic odds and ends, small fired ceramic pieces). The glass I use is approximately 1/8” thick.
Can I choose my grout color?
I do not tint grout with custom colors because it is too difficult to match if any mishap occurs and your mosaic needs to be repaired. All of my custom mosaics use pewter gray or charcoal colored grout because it enhances colors and does not wash them out as white or ivory grout tends to do. Darker color grout doesn't look as stained or dirty in the long run as lighter colors do.
Where can I put a custom mosaic?
Mosaics can be used in flooring applications and will withstand the pressure of normal foot traffic, but they should not be used in areas of heavy traffic (elephant parades) or under heavy weight items like refrigerators.
Vitreous (waterproof) glass tile and stained glass can be used in bathrooms, kitchens, pools, birdbaths, fountains. Check with a licensed contractor to make sure that your installation substrate is waterproof and also use water-proof adhesive and binding materials.
Are the tiles heatproof for fireplace surrounds and pizza ovens?
Glass tile and stained glass are highly heat-resistant but are not resistant to thermal shocks. Check with a licensed contractor to make sure that your installation substrate is heat-proof and also use heat-proof adhesive and binding materials.
How do I care for my mosaic installation?
After your mosaic is installed, you can use mineral or olive oil to polish the tile and glass. Using a soft cloth, sponge or chamois, apply a few drops of oil to the surface of your mosaic and rub it in. This should give you a nice, shiny wet look which will enhance the color of the tile and grout. You may need to occasionally re-apply a coat of oil to restore this look. Caution to pet owners with mosaic floors: do not oil your floor as pets may lick it and it becomes a slip and fall hazard.
Any other tips I should know?
Mosaics made of glass have sharp edges at times. If mounted on concrete they can be heavy at 20 pounds or more, so use care when lifting. Always supervise your children and pets around your mosaic. Do not serve food and beverages in or on your mosaic. Red wine, grape juice, and rusty metal are just a few things that will stain grout. However, rest assured that if a local volcano erupts your mosaic will be exquisitely preserved in the ashes.