Once again, it is time for Contemporary Stone & Tile Design’s (CSTD) annual focus on mosaics. Each year, we try to offer insight into some of the newest mosaic products as well as the latest ways they are being applied in design. Over the years, we have seen the explosion of shimmering glass tiles and a seemingly endless assortment of colors. And when it comes to shapes, it seems that squares are no longer the standard. We have seen these tiny tiles evolve into circles, hexagons, rectangles, etc. Also, they are moving beyond kitchen and bathroom backsplashes. They are now being used for entire floors, walls and even outdoor applications such as pools and outdoor kitchens.

When putting this issue’s focus on mosaics together, something else caught my attention. Strips — or “bricks” as they are sometimes called — of stone and tile are now being referred to as mosaics. It seems that there has been an even greater shift from the traditional mosaic style. While I still associate mosaics with artistry and true craftsmanship, technology has definitely allowed for some new exciting and innovative products.

In the article about the remodel of a Pinecrest, FL, residence, which begins on page 14, a feature wall was created above the vanity with strips of slate. The varying lengths of the strips — along with the rich coloring of the stone — set a tone of rustic elegance in the space. These non-traditional mosaics also provide texture and depth.

More of these “brick” mosaics can be found in the feature that begins on page 22. For this master bath renovation, Aquastone from Voguebay was used for an accent wall as well as a border for the tub surround and shower walls. Once again, the mosaics bring a unique element of design to the room.

And of course, the more traditional glass mosaics are still a popular design choice, and are featured in an article about a new Bliss Spa that opened in the W Boston Hotel and Residences in Boston, MA, which starts on page 18. The mosaics not only met a practical function — as they were used in the Vichy Room, which is used for wet treatments — but they also provide a vibrant look that contributes to the spa’s overall cheery design.

As always, we have tried our best to illustrate a range of styles, applications and products in this issue — hoping to serve as a source of ideas for design. While it is obvious that advances in technology are allowing for more options and creativity, I still believe that the artistry of mosaics hasn’t been lost. Just yesterday I had the opportunity to speak with a mosaic artist who recently completed a mural for a commercial building in Key West, FL.

Unfortunately, it was too late to feature the project in this issue of CSTD, but we do plan to cover this story in the near future. It was interesting to learn the details of how the artist cut the custom mosaic pieces with a saw on her living room floor, then cut the mural into sections when it was completed, and then labeled and packaged all of the sections for transport. It was refreshing to hear about her passion and dedication to the art of mosaics.

Look for a full feature about the mural soon on our newly designed Web site at: www.cstdmag.com.