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There are dozens upon dozens of reason to love natural stone. And we at Santa Barbara Stone Masters have made no secret of our affection for it!

But in and among the many reasons we’ve already shared with you in our humble blog, at least one remains which we’re excited to discuss with you today.

Odds are, when you think of natural stone for your home, you’re thinking of a slab of marble for your kitchen counters, or Saltillo tile for your floors. But you can do so much more, and to that end, today we’re discussing one of my favorite uses of stone in design: Mosaic.

What Is A Mosaic?

A mosaic is – an image, design or other motif composed by smaller pieces of stone, glass, or ceramic.

This incredible style of art goes back five millennia, with the earliest examples of it appearing in ancient Mesopotamia. What a testament to the craft that it still persists in popularity today!

Mosaics are popular forms of art in civic design – you’re very likely to come upon at least one in a park, plaza, or mall.

Mosaics have also been growing in domestic popularity as well, especially in the form of kitchen and bathroom backsplashes and fireplace design.

And, as we are wont to do here at Santa Barbara Stone Masters, we’d like to share some tips about how to best care for YOUR mosaic.

What is it?

No mosaic is the same! Some are made from bits of natural stone, some from glass, some from ceramic, some from clay and concrete! And it’s important that you know. Ceramic, for example, is going to be more resilient against acids than marble will be, so that should inform your needs.

Where is it?

This is a great question to ask for any stone under your care, but it’s particularly worth asking with mosaics. Is this the backsplash to your kitchen stove? Then you can count on it seeing lots of oilwater, and other organic matter from your cooking.

Is it in your floor? It’s going to see more dirt and mud than it would in your kitchen! Where you put your mosaic will inform the level of care you need to invest. That said…

Diligent maintenance is key!

I’ve said it a million times, and I’ll say it a million more. Nothing is more important for the care of your stone than constant, diligent maintenance. Natural stone is an investment that will reward you if cared for and punish you if neglected, so don’t be lazy!

When you’re finished cooking, wipe down the kitchen backsplash with soapy water. Mop your mosaic floors weekly. Believe me, it takes much less time (and money!) to maintain it NOW than to fix it LATER.

Don’t neglect the grout.

Grout lines in mosaic, unlike in tile, are often inconsistent in size and texture. As such, they are excellent traps for dirt and grime. Not only will that begin to show over time, but it will become harder and harder to remedy the longer you put it off. Make a monthly practice of taking a stiff nylon toothbrush and a neutral stone cleaner(peroxide cleaner works great!) to the grout in your ceramic to keep grime from building up and staining.

Anything else – well, you already know! Or, if you don’t, check out our other blogs for great tips about general maintenance to keep your stone beautiful.

If you’re in the Santa Barbara area and have a mosaic that could use a little extra lovin’, give us a call today!

We’d love to help.

Skip Jankoski

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