Glass Mosaic Tile and The History of where it came from

The History of the Glass Mosaic Tile


Mosaic Tile, discover where mosaic glass tile came from. It was an enduring art utilized across all mediums of architectural design, it has been evolving since approximately the 8th century BC. Greek artisans found artistic freedom in the little stones with endless combinations of art and placement for the upper class. However, the earliest mosaics were only comprised of gray scale colors (white, gray, and black), although the reasons for this peculiar limitation is unknown. Colors entered the mosaic art scene a while after and the first red and green additions were seen approximately four centuries later. One of the first swimming pools, The “Great Bath” was built in Pakistan around the 3rd century BC. This primitive yet, elaborate pool for the time period utilized brick and plank construction. The structure was covered in a tar based sealant to capture water. The world of mosaic tile and swimming pools would inevitably collide one day.  The clever use of this material would be a vast improvement from the earlier attempts, giving them the look of liquid jewelry or jewelry in the garden. Today there seem to be no limits to mosaic tile colors, adhesive uses, or artistic mosaic design in pools and spas!

Capture23This special tile was more durable and easy to fit, compared to full sheets of marble or other stones that had to be transported and placed with care. After many years of innovation the bonding materials and adhesives became more secure and the mosaic tiles and rocks were laid into place with a new level of permanence. With this innovation in application came the innovation of materials as artisans moved from pebbles and shells to glass tiles, known as ‘smalti’, around 500 AD.

This picture is 10 years the mosaics are 3000 years old!

3000bc The construction costs were considerably lower, although the first artisan tiles were reserved for upper class citizens alone. Over time the practice became more accessible and the costs lowered. There was a lot of debate as mosaic tile made a shift from being an appreciated and revered artistic technique with construction in beautiful cathedrals and villas to being utilized as a simple, time-saving skill in lower class communities. Some Roman bath houses featured basic mosaic tiling on the floor, like many pools are designed today. To serve a similar purpose, some societies in the Early and Middle Ages placed mosaic tile at the edge of a water line in hopes of improved sanitation. Although the intention was good, and the result was beautifully crafted, historians are unsure of its initial sanitary success. Some skeptics think that the original waterline tile simply hid dirt and debris, resulting in their initial satisfaction.


Although the roots of mosaic tiling are small with very few choices or material options, the mosaic tile market has exploded in modern times. Mosaic tiling fell out of favor around the Victorian Era but returned in full force at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution when tile manufacturers could produce more tile with higher consistency in less time. During this time suddenly the crafting of mosaic tile was not reserved to trained artisans. This offered increased popularity and brought prices down for the materials but there was also a slight decline in the quality of the tiles. Of course the factories were able to create a more even, reliable product but the human quality of hand-crafted mosaic tile was lost for a short time. British companies dominated the tile market as they quickly mastered the art of mass production but American competitors like the J. & J.G. Low Art Tile Co. and the Rookwood Pottery Co. took over as leaders in the early 20th century.


A select number of companies dominate the mosaic tile industry in the United States today, especially for installation in swimming pools, and customers are pleased with the quality and affordability of a job well-done.

Here are two of the top mosaic experts in the business today in the United States and a short description what specialties set them apart:

  • Jimmy Reed. Jimmy Reed, the president of Rock Solid Tile, Inc., understands the luxurious touch that a fully lined glass mosaic tile pool can add to an upscale home. Their dedication to a lifetime of lasting beauty starts with the selection of only the best glass mosaic tile and true mosaic artesian to install them.


  • Greg Andrews. Greg Andrews is known as an absolute perfectionist in the industry, taking on detail oriented pool designs. He’s not afraid of innovation and is always on the cutting edge of new glass mosaic tile installation techniques.

Sure, mosaic tile is found all around your home with trends reaching into nearly every room but everyone knows that its real place is in the pool. Offering limitless design possibilities and the shimmering tile looks brilliant under the water in the summer sun and the tile feels silky smooth under bare feet. Now water architecture enthusiasts have breathed a new life into this high art and has promoted its use as the pinnacle material for pool and spa surfaces and waterline applications.  Enduring elegance and charm are the hallmark. 

It has evolved over time and is now better than ever!

 Be on the look out for part two onThe History of Mosaic TileHere is example of Modern Mosaics V-vo Architectural Mosaics Perth Australia click on the link below!

V-vo Architectural Mosaics Perth Australia

 Was created and has now evolved in response to the natural passion, and a professional need, for specialist installation of Premium Italian glass mosaics. Our commitment is to complement and capture the magnificence of these truly remarkable and fascinating Mosaics. Specializing in Spa and Swimming pool glass mosaic installations, V-vo prides itself in providing exceptional finishes using a specific range of premium Italian fine glass mosaics, appropriate adhesives and epoxy grouts.  In addition, fine tooled water-proof renders with brilliant white backgrounds are incorporated to provide a smooth bright surface to mount the Mosaic.

Here is a great global solution for mosaic adhesive products that are used today.

Cick on the links below for cutting edge solutions for mosaic adhesive.

Laticrete International

Interview with Jimmy Reed from the United States and Owner of Rock Solid Tile INC.

Welcome to the Pool & Spa industry, revolutionized!

Produced By: Artistic Visual Studios

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