What is glass mosaic? In Myanmar culture, glass mosaic represents a traditional style of glasswork where fragments of glass are utilized to enhance decorative arts, architectural structures, and furniture. Referred to as glass tiles or glass veneer tiles, it consists of small, colored decorative glass pieces. This building material is known for its safety, composed of natural minerals and glass, lightweight, and environmentally friendly.
With its zero water absorption rate and resistance to acid and alkali corrosion, glass mosaic is particularly suited for decorating areas near water bodies. Its prominence lies in applications such as walls, floors, and nocturnal surroundings, especially in settings like swimming pools, courtyard pavilions, temple areas, bathroom furnishings, discotheques, skating rinks, bars, clubs, and more. By utilizing complementary purple lights, energy-saving illumination, and natural light during design and construction, the building can exude a jade-like, crystal-clear appearance after lights are turned off – a transparent, luminous, and profoundly enchanting ambience, imbuing the structure with a captivating and infinitely romantic atmosphere during the night.
Featuring a vivid array of colors that never fade, glass mosaic, despite its small size, is an optimal material for creating artistic puzzles and mosaics. Diverse colored mosaics can be employed to craft intricate patterns, such as computer-designed pool bottoms. According to the national standard (GB/T7697-1996), Glass Mosaic can be categorized as follows:
Fused glass mosaic: Primarily composed of silicate and other materials, melted into a milky or semi-milky state at high temperatures, containing occasional bubbles and unmelted glass mosaic particles.
Sintered glass mosaic: Made predominantly from glass powder, combined with an appropriate amount of binder and other substances, and compressed into a specific green body size; the resulting glass mosaic is formed through sintering at a defined temperature.
Gold star glass mosaic: Contains slight bubbles and a certain quantity of metal crystalline particles, displaying distinct light reflections.
While glass mosaic excels in crafting art puzzles and inlaid paintings, adhesive application is no simple task. So, how is glass mosaic adhered?
Base preparation: Remove loose concrete, mortar, and debris from the wall. Repair scaffold holes and moisten the wall. Level the base using cement mortar, compacting and leveling with a ruler based on the embedded surface, ensuring vertical, square, and even corners. In dry weather, sprinkle water to maintain the base.
Placing glass mosaic: Arrange glass mosaic according to the design plan. Attach them to the wall using glass mosaic adhesive, leaving a gap between each piece (usually around 3mm) in a uniform manner.
Leveling layer: Wet the wall surface, apply a layer of plain cement mortar, and add the bonding layer.
Laying guidelines: Establish guidelines on the bonding layer, typically utilizing a four-link mosaic for each grid.
Applying mortar and sealing gaps: Place the mosaic flat on a wooden board, use an iron trowel to apply cement mortar to the gaps, and then apply a 1-2mm thick cement mortar bonding layer over the filled gaps. For white or light-colored mosaics, use white cement to mix the bonding layer and filling cement mortar.
Common glass mosaic specifications include:
4mm Glass Mosaic: Common in the market, it is lightweight and budget-friendly. However, it lacks pronounced luster and a three-dimensional effect, making it susceptible to breakage and detachment.
8mm Glass Mosaic: Also prevalent, it boasts good luster, a stronger three-dimensional effect, and greater breakage resistance. It pairs well with wall and floor tiles, but is heavier and more expensive than the 4mm version.
10mm Glass Mosaic: Featuring thicker mosaics for special occasions, it's ideal for creating a more three-dimensional appearance on walls. While pricier, it works exceptionally well when combined with 8mm mosaics.