Ancient mosaics were directly built or mounted on stone and concrete substrates.
I usually mount my mosaics on framed concrete boards, Hardi Backer in the USA and Vedi boards in Europe. I glue the mosaics on their support with thinset mortar and later fill up the gap between the tesserae with unsanded grouts.
However, small mosaics, specially if they are to be displayed inside, do not require such modus operandi. They can be mounted on wood, with glue. It is an easier method to implement for mosaic beginners, and perfect for mosaic workshops and seminars.
The procedure is extremely simple. The only tools and materials I use are :
- A piece of plywood cut to size.
- Pair of scissors.
- Glue (Weldbond, Elmer or Exterior wood glue)
- Unsanded grout.
- Plastic bowl.
- Silicone spatula.
- Rubber float.
In this tutorial video, I am mounting on a piece of plywood a small mosaic (6 x 6″ – 15 x 15 cm) with glue, grout it and clean it. This mosaic was built on a piece of fiberglass mesh set on top of a printed laminated model. I use this technique for most of my mosaics whether built in reverse or direct method.
In some cases, grouting will not be necessary and the mosaic is ready to display once mounted on its wooden support.
In this case, the only tools and materials you’ll need are the piece of plywood a pair of scissors and the glue.
Because it is structurally more stable, I recommend the use of plywood rather than plain wood.