behind the scenes : mosaic substrate guide

// March 16th, 2012 // Materials, Mosaicing guides


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:

  • Metal
  • Glass
  • Plastic
  • MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) – not suitable for outdoors or wet areas
  • Plywood (including marine ply) – not suitable for outdoors
  • Cement backer board
  • Cement
  • Pottery


My next mosaicing guide will be about adhesives…

12 Responses to “behind the scenes : mosaic substrate guide”

  1. Best D*** says:

    I am not sure where you are getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic info I was looking for this information for my mosaic.

  2. Heather E. N*** says:

    I’m having a tiny problem I can’t seem to be able to subscribe your feed, I’m using google reader by the way.

  3. MosaicAvatar says:

    Hi Heather. Please note the feed is a 3rd party application, however I have just checked the feed in Google Reader and could not see any issue, so would need further info regarding the problem you encountered (to forward to the app’s writer) in order to assist you.
    In the meantime you may like to view the Google Reader guide at CNET

    I hope this helps.
    Kind regards, Kevin

  4. Alyssa C*** says:

    Lots of helpful information. I have bookmarked your site.

    • MosaicAvatar says:

      Thanks Alyssa.
      The information is provided as a basic guide only, and I am glad you found it helpful. There are also many good books available from other mosaic artists which discuss the various mosaicing techniques in greater detail.

      Kind regards, Kevin

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