Mosaics are decorative and are made from small pieces of coloured glass, natural stone, ceramic, porcelain, and metal. Mosaics are generally fashioned into small square pieces that are fixed to a mesh backing in columns and rows. Hence, mosaics are generally sold in sheets.
The mesh backing protects the tiles on installation, allows the pieces to be cut to fit specific areas while ensuring the grout gap between each small mosaic tile is uniform. The colour palette for mosaics is huge. Nearly every colour imaginable is available.
Listello is derived from the Italian word meaning “decorative border”. It specifically refers to natural stone, ceramic, porcelain or metallic borders. They typically have an interlocking pattern and are often created in a poured or molded form that gives the tiles a rich, textured, and three-dimensional form. Listellos come in all shapes and sizes and are predominately fixed to walls or floors piece by piece.
Mosaics and listellos are used to accent wall or floor tiles. They are popular for kitchen splash-backs, bathrooms, and showers to provide a break or border in the tiles giving the room something extra. Mosaics are often used in shower floors because the many grout joints provide an anti-slip texture.