Mosaic shard spacing

Italian Smalti AngelFor Sale

Spacing of mosaic pieces is as critical as grout color. The further apart the spacing the more fragmented the piece will look – and the more grout will be needed to finish the piece. The closer the spacing the better the piece will read. So spacing is another of the vital design choices that have to be made when designing a mosaic. Once again you can draw your mosaic to get a feel for how close or apart the pieces should be placed. But the more closely the pieces are assembled the more solid the design will look. However something like a geometric floor design could well suit larger spacing between pieces. You’ll want to think about your choice of grout colour carefully too. (See And remember that the closer the pieces are to each other the more careful you’ll have to be to ensure that the grout gets down into the nooks and crannies between the pieces. One way of achieving this is to thin out your grout with water so that it spreads more easily – but be careful, too much water and you’ll affect the integrity and strength of the grout. Using material such as wall tile and china, when the shards are placed further apart, grout is more than likely necessary, otherwise you’ll see the substrate below which is unlikely to look very attractive.

If you’re using a material such as Italian Smalti (see above image) then no grout will be applied to the surface and the spacing will be tight- each piece butted up against the next. The same applies if you’re using stone or marble, though if these are cut by hand as in my Owl and Pussy-cat wall then seeing the grout between pieces is unavoidable. However making sure that the grout and the pieces work in harmony helps – white adhesive, white pieces.


For smalti, adhesive will be used to fix the pieces to the substrate but only enough so that the adhesive will not be visible from the surface as shown in the image below.

Hand made Venitian Smalti + gold smalti. For Sale
Italian Smalti Glass- Angel based on crop circle design.

When looking at the image face-on, no adhesive is visible.

For sale by Sarah-Alice Miles
The Angel by Sarah-Alice Miles


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.