This little (not so little) project was a huge undertaking for me. I like mosaic, and have done mosaic with all kinds of tesserae, but until about 10 years ago had not really used mortar and tiles and grout. I decided to do the floor in the basement which routinely floods regardless of how much landscaping I do or how many times a year I clean the gutters, etc. Carpet is not going to work, and the peel and stick vinyl tile from the previous owners did just pop off, after so many soakings.
I wondered if i could tile the floor. First two years were spent learning that asphalt? asbestos? stickly black mastic requires some heavy duty preparation before it will let thinset adhere. So the first 1/10 of the tiles came up, and i decided to practice tiling the washing machine room (just plain concrete)… that project was finished about 4 years ago and counted out at about 10,000 pieces of tile all from scrap. (ah, i might have purchased one or a half dozen tiles, but really it is all out of the trash bin at a local tile place). I put a stained glass window in the window well (also left overs from a bathroom window I was replacing in a rental property, which rented before i finished).
I began the bathroom that is in the basement next to the family room, and finished that, and a little stained glass window (a long thin small window) with little half moons of glass, kind of in memoria of the outhouse half moons.
Then to begin again the family room which now has a central mosaic of the shield which is carved in stone on the fireplace on the front of the house, and I bordered the entire room with a three-row motif –about 1sq inch for two rows which contained two inch tiles of various widths and colors. Across the fireplace i replicated the arch as a variation of the border. The remainder of the room is just random tiles, mostly 2×2 squares which i cut from various scrap pieces.
The fun part was to mosaic in some board games. Monopoly, checkers/chess, a small version of go, scrabble, ur, sennet, chinese checkers and tic tac toe. That actually kept me interested in finishing…. this floor, plus the hall and bar and bathroom (sampled in a stratified random approach, with the min and max) comes in at about 25,000 pieces. You can see part of the scrabble board in the lower left.
The sad thing for me is that i developed a sensitivity (apparently) to the metals and additives and have to go back to quilting for a while.