Old world craftsmanship meets new world technology NZ
Old world craftsmanship meets new world technology

Old world craftsmanship meets new world technology

Create bespoke mosaic tile designs virtually with a custom online mosaic creator. 

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

Since antiquity, mosaic tiles have been coveted the world over for their durability and for the breadth of their artistic applications. In New Zealand, Global Tile has been the sole distributor for Spain’s leading mosaic manufacturer, Onix, since 2000.

Onix’s technological expertise has enabled them to create, manufacture and deliver complex bespoke designs for world renowned and recognised architects, designers and major hospitality chains, says Jared Caldwell, Managing Director of Global Tile.

“Onix has participated in a number of high-profile collaborations with brands Hard Rock Café, W Hotels, Pullman Resorts, Hilton Ritz Carlton and Marriott, as well as working with equally high-profile architects and designers such as Sir Norman Foster, Jean Nouvel, Felipe Pantone and Karim Rashid.

With Onix's Mosaic Creator you can create custom floor, wall and facade mosaics for your home.

Recreate the look of your favourite high-end project at home

“Onix’s wide range of recycled glass mosaics enabled the conception of bespoke designs for each project, including custom patterns and even pixel art. Usually, this is the domain of these high-end projects, however, the company has designed the Onix Mosaic Creator. This web application makes it possible for you to create custom floor, wall and facade designs using their extensive catalogue.”

Thanks to Mosaic Creator—which has all of the colours and finishes of the Onix range of tiles built in—conventional, off-the-shelf mosaics that do not reflect your personality are a thing of the past, says Jared.

“Creator allows you to experiment with a great choice of tesserae in different finishes: anti-slip; matt; gloss; opalescent; nieve; stoneglass; relief; and, 24K gold, as well as the different mosaic formats such as HEX (hexagonal), PENTA (large format square) and SQUARE (traditional square).

“Best of all, the Creator web application also has a feature that will completely change the look of your custom design—it comes with a colour palette for the grout, a key factor in the final look of your project.

Tiles in shades of grey, brown and stone help create the visual effect of crystal-clear water in this swimming pool.

Going freerange: using mosaics in the great outdoors

Before you make any decisions about the mosaic finish for your latest pool project, you will need to decide on the effect you want to create with your pool. The perceived colour of the water will play the greatest part in this and you can change the colour you perceive by playing with the colour of the mosaic. However, there are other factors at play, says Jared.

“Besides the colour of the mosaic the other factors that also modify the appearance of the water are the amount of sunlight it will be exposed to—the more sunlight, the brighter the colours will appear—and the depth of the pool—as the water gets deeper, the darker the hue and tone will become.

“With this in mind, the colour of pool mosaic you choose will impact the final effect. White or very light-coloured pool tiles are perfect to achieve sky-blue water shades. This shade of blue will add luminosity, serenity and relaxation to your pool. A classic blue mosaic will impart a deep blue colour to your pool water; giving a refreshingly appealing look in the hottest months.

“If you want to achieve a seawater effect in dark blue shades, choose black or very dark mosaics. It will also add a touch of sophistication and design to your pool. Nothing says paradise like turquoise-coloured water and beige or light-grey mosaics are the best option to achieve this effect. To achieve the crystal-clear water effect reminiscent of high mountain rivers, dark grey, brown and stone-style pool mosaics are perfect, while green mosaics are perfect if you want an exotic colour effect—an emerald green will add personality and a wild look to the pool.”

Jared says for those wanting something truly special, Onix has a range of luminescent pool mosaics. These tiles are ‘charged’ by sunlight and, once night falls, luminesce, creating an effect that is reminiscent of the starry night sky.

Digital images can now be printed directly onto tiles to create unique pool scapes.

Digital printing: taking your tile design one step further

For those who don’t want to wait until dark to create a unique effect with their pool tiles will be pleased to hear that other alternative techniques for customising swimming pools and spas also exist.

“Digital printing is one of those techniques,” says Jared. “It is as simple as supplying us with your favourite image in as high a resolution as possible, along with a detailed description of your design idea.

“You choose the base material, colours and textures and supply the dimensions of the pool. Onix then creates your design in pdf format for approval before reproducing the final mosaic creation ready for installation.”

Learn more about Onix mosaic tiles.

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