Marble Mosaic, Courtyard

Marble Mosaic in Outdoor Courtyard

Marble Mosaic, Courtyard

I installed this mosaic in an outdoor courtyard. For perspective, this section is about ten feet by ten feet, so one-hundred square feet.

The stones are a white limestone/marble, imported from the former Yugoslavia.

The mosaic pieces are one inch wide by one to two inches long.

What made the work exceptionally challenging is the tile’s one-and-a-quarter inch thickness, which caused the tiles to topple over constantly, and to shift and slide from their installed position while they were drying. This required nightly visits to correct these misaligned pieces before drying was completed.

Not sure if this picture does the project justice, will take some more photos soon. This place looks like a Mediterranean haven (which was the intended look.)

Marble Mosaic, Deck
Coming next, phase 2: Marble mosaic in open deck flooring. This next phase has already begun. I have yet to fill in the empty areas with mosaic.

I had hoped to get to this earlier in the year, as in before the cold weather set it, but it looks like I’m going to be working with heaters, which really only serve to provide an illusion of warmth in the Canadian cold outdoors.

Update: Spring 2011

The cold came and went so I guess I won’t be needing those heaters after all. Oh well, “dem’s the breaks” – I seem to be living a “last minute life.”

2 thoughts on “Marble Mosaic in Outdoor Courtyard”

  1. I am curious about the use of marble outside. I would like touse this material in a sculpture using mosaics over concrete. I am now reconsidering since stone absorbs water. What is your opinion on this. Did you use thinset on your marble pieces and are they exposed to rain?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Emily!

      I used a very specific type of material made by a company called “Mapei.”

      From their website – “Kerabond is a premium-grade dry-set mortar for use in most interior, exterior, residential and light commercial floor and wall applications. This premium dry-set mortar is part of the Kerabond/Keralastic™ high-performance mortar system.”

      These products are somewhat more costly than typical thinset, but IMHO – very much worth it in terms of ease of use as well as product quality and strength. The Keralastic part of the Kerabond/Keralastic combo is the liquid part of the combo and thus no water is required. This makes it an suitable for installation even during cold weather.

      The round mosaic piece above is ten by ten feet (one-hundred square feet) and was installed in 2006. It still looks as good as it did on the day it was installed. And yes, it is outside and exposed to the elements, including sun, rain, snow, ice, wind, etc (I live in Toronto, Canada.) The only thing I’m wondering about is the thickness of your marble. My stones were cut from sheets that were one-and one-quarter inch thick, which is about 3.2 cm. I would not recommend a product that is very thin.

      If you have a suitable product, I really wouldn’t worry too much about damage to the marble. In the worst case scenario, if there were to be some small nicks here and there, it would probably just add a rustic charm to the look.

      I would love to hear about your project, so I hope you’ll keep me posted!

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