Just as important as your choice of materials for your tesserae (mosaic tiles), is the choice of substrate (base on which to mount your mosaic).
Substrates should always be rigid, as any flexibility will cause the tesserae to dislodge. The substrate should also be suitable for the chosen location of your mosaic, ie; if your mosaic will be in a wet area such as a bathroom, the substrate must be waterproof. Outdoor mosaics should have a frost-proof substrate if they will be in a location which may be prone to frosts.
Porous materials such as wood, terracotta or cement should always be sealed before use.
suitable substrate materials include:
- MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) – not suitable for outdoors or wet areas.
- Plywood – not suitable for outdoors.
- Cement backer board
My next mosaicing guide will be about adhesives…