Painting Versus Mosaic Art: How to Decide ?

8 min readMar 20, 2023


When you’re pondering the best way to transform and decorate your indoor and outdoor rooms, selecting artwork is one of the top decisions. Nothing ties things together like a carefully chosen image! It can help create a scene, provide a focal point, pull disparate decor elements together, and more.

So, how do you choose the right art for personal expression and decoration? While paintings may seem like the traditional choice, you should always consider mosaic art as you work up your design plans and mood boards. Of course, our Mozaico team loves the idea of using mosaics in every space — but let’s look at the pros and cons of both of these visual art forms.


Let’s start with the most obvious difference between creating paintings and mosaic art: The materials used. Although painting and mosaic art are both forms of visual art that use colors, shapes, and patterns to create an image — the raw materials couldn’t be more different. And, as it turns out — that can work in your favor, as you style your home!

Image source Pinterest

Painting is all about applying and manipulating pigment to a surface — such as canvas or paper, using a brush or other tool. The fluidity of the paint can vary — just think about watercolors versus acrylic paint — but there’s still a lot of moving it about to create the right effect.

As such, painters spend their time at the palette blending and layering colors to create a specific effect or image. They also have the capability of color matching and generation that’s practically infinite. From monotone compositions to veritable rainbows of shades, they have the power of color theory at their fingertips. With an extensive palette and a knowledge of the color wheel, painters are only limited by their own color-mixing skills.

With a more limited palette of tiles, mosaic artists rely on the careful selection of tile materials and a discerning eye for planning and composition. Blending and creating new colors is not possible — they must rely on the colors available to them in the tiles. This is where the real artistry and technique involved in mosaic art shines. By using slight variations in tile shades and the shapes and placement of the tiles themselves, they make the art come to life,

Image Source: Mozaico

Take a look at the mosaic piece above. It’s filled with a huge range of colors and beautiful shading. Amazingly, our mosaic artists can achieve these effects by hand-selecting natural stone and glass tiles to create the image that has already been planned out. Each tile — or tessera — is placed according to the composition.


Image Source: Mozaico

Ever done the math on the actual cost of art? If you look at the price-per-square-foot of paintings versus mosaic art installations, you’ll quickly see the big difference. Everyone loves the look of eye-filling, coordinated images for their walls, floors, and more.

So, here’s a challenge for you: Decide on the location, dimensions, and features of your dream art in your home. And, in this case: Go as large as you like! Imagine a room-sized mosaic rug, a wall of color in a bathroom, or even a large custom portrait for any location.

Image Source: Mozaico

Now, check out our catalog for ideas. Remember: Any of our designs can be customized, so you’re assured that you’ll receive a piece of handmade art, built to your exact specifications, in the colors you want. (And don’t forget our completely customized creations, where we can design and build mosaic pieces from your own photos, sketches, and art!)

Comparing the costs of a bespoke painting of the same size to one-of-a-kind hand-crafted mosaic art, and you’ll discover that mosaic materials provide the most bang for your buck. Pretty neat, eh? And when you factor in the versatility, low maintenance, and durability of mosaic art, it really becomes a smart purchase.


Image source Pinterest

One of the most perplexing problems to face art collectors is the conservation of paintings. Many of the pigments are prone to breaking down under UV rays that are found in sunlight, causing colors to shift, fade, and turn. Even the processes used to preserve paintings can cause issues. Lacquers yellow and even precious metals used as accents can oxidize. The base materials of paintings: canvas, paper, and others, are also influenced by the environment. Humidity and temperature variations are real enemies of any type of painting.

Additionally, paintings have built-in limitations, as far as their placement. Caring for fine art means that it can’t be hung in places where the air is too dry or too wet. It’s not suitable for more creative uses — such as on ceilings, behind stoves, or anywhere it might be splashed — like kitchens or bars. And — there’s a reason you never see framed paintings outside on the patio — not matter how much it may feel like a second living room!

The House of Neptune and Amphitrite mosaic, located in the Casa di Nettuno ed Anfitrite in Italy

Image source Wikimedia Commons

While the palette may be somewhat limited in mosaic art, the raw ingredients are much more durable. Glass and stone tiles — the time-honored components of mosaic wall and floor art — are resistant to wear, tear, and fading. That’s why stunning finds dating back to ancient Greek and Roman times are still making the news on a regular basis. Today, modern mosaic artwork produced by Mozaico craftsmen comes with a lifetime warranty. It’s meant to continue the tradition of beautiful art that lasts for generations.

It’s also more versatile, allowing art to go where it never could before! Wet surfaces — humid conditions — no problem! Behind stoves and on countertops? Mosaic art is made for tough conditions — it can go all the way to the bottom of the pool and line the busiest pathways. Mosaic art can follow curves, cover irregular surfaces, create stunning underwater effects, and change the looks of not just walls — but also floors and ceilings! Sadly, paintings cannot.

Image Source: Mozaico


Texture is a very important feature of both paintings and mosaic art. Mosaic art achieves texture and movement through the placement of individual tiles — arranging pieces of materials into a design or pattern, with the spacing between the pieces creating the image. It’s not only beautiful — the texture is built into every mosaic.

This tactile quality is something that adds a whole new dimension to how mosaic art appears to viewers. Unlike paintings, it welcomes touch! The patterns and shapes of natural stone and glass mosaic tiles are quite mesmerizing. There’s nothing quite like the experience of engaging with mosaic art — its beauty lies with the physical qualities of the tiles and their inherent glow, luster, and subtle variations.

That said — here’s a cool fact about mosaic texture: One of the most common questions that come up about mosaic floors is “Are they slippery”? We’ve actually discussed this at length in a previous Mozaico blog, but we won’t make you wait! The answer: No. It’s time to modernize your thinking about using some mosaic art underfoot!


Paintings and mosaics don’t have the same size constraints. Point to a favorite painting in your own home, and it’s likely to be a standard size. In a world that depends on a set of predictable measurements for framing art, your personal choices for paintings are quite likely to be limited.

Image Source: Mozaico

And, that’s no shade on all the talented painters out there! It’s a system that works to keep wonderful art on the walls of homes everywhere. But — what if you’d like to think outside the box a little, when it comes to your wall art? For that matter — how about thinking outside the frame? Here’s something you may not have considered: Unlike framed art, Mozaico designs arrive rolled up! While a huge painting that covers an entire wall might not even fit through your door, your new mosaic art is easy to transport, place, and carry — no matter what the size. Just a little something to consider when you’re dreaming big!

Our designers are also able to repeat patterns at the size and scale you specify. This allows our customers to create stunning wallpaper effects with the richness and unparalleled texture of mosaic tiles.

Image Source: Mozaico

How about hanging it outside — where no painting dares to go?

Image Source: Mozaico

Have you dreamed of making your outdoor space a piece of stand-alone art, done on an epic scale?

Image Source: Mozaico

How about wrapping curved surfaces with a perfectly sized and shaped mosaic art design, full of sparkle and eye appeal?

Image Source: Mozaico

Or, creating a major view from a wall that defies normal hanging art?

It’s always a joy to work with customers who are just beginning their design journeys — we can help them see new possibilities in any space. We even offer a free service where you get to see and approve simulation sketches of your order before the handcrafting begins. It’s a no-commitment way to ensure that the design, colors, and other touches are just the right fit for your space and project.

Visit 100 houses — and you’ll see 99 owners that are using conventional paintings to decorate their walls. Be that 100th home — and stand out with a unique take on art with Mozaico mosaic art designs! Once you see the possibilities of our versatile and beautiful mosaics, you’ll begin imagining more and more creative uses for any space.

Curious about how the beauty of mosaic art can transform your floors and more with glorious, non-slip surfaces filled with pattern and color? First, start with our massive catalog of designs. Then, get in touch with our Design Department, where our design team can help you view your custom mosaic piece in a virtual environment.




We are creators of mosaic art. Each of our mosaics is handmade from hand cut marble and glass tesserae. We share captivating mosaics, one stone at a time.