Ceramic tiles have long been considered a versatile finishing material, which is still widely used in construction and renovation. Everything is covered with tiles - swimming pools, walls and floors in bathrooms and kitchens, building facades, stair treads, etc. And yet, despite the love for ceramic tiles, people were looking for an alternative. Alas, ceramics are still fragile and porous. In addition, the rather large "dimensions" of the tiles (the smallest size is 10 x 10 cm) do not allow obtaining an image with a "high resolution", as computer scientists say.
As a result of these searches, a mosaic, known to mankind since time immemorial, has again entered our life. However, as you know, everything new is well forgotten old. Once again, you are convinced of the validity of this idea when you get acquainted with such interesting and original material as the mosaic "bizazza", which has recently been gaining popularity all over the world.
The name "bizazza", which has already become a household name, is in fact the name of the largest company that produces glass mosaic tiles. The company "Bisazza" was founded by the entrepreneur Renato Bisazza in 1955 in the Italian city of Alta (Vicenza province). At first this enterprise was called Vetricolor (now one of the production lines of the factory bears this name).
In 1960, a technological line was launched in Hong Kong, in the 80s - production was established in the Middle East, in North and South America. In 1975, the Art Technology Center was opened.
Until now, the main production facilities of the Bisazza company are located in the city of Alta, and the art glass-blowing workshop is in Venice.
In fact, glass mosaics are produced in many countries, including France and Turkey. Nevertheless, Italy is the recognized leader in this area. And among the Italian factories the Bisazza factory is considered the best of the best.
Bizazza mosaic is a very durable material. You can easily lay it on the floor
Almost everyone who dealt with its products notes the excellent quality of the material, the secret of making it known only to its creators. True, the production of such a high-quality mosaic turns out to be expensive. After all, the raw material - fine, completely white quartz sand, which is brought from the southern coast of France - is not cheap. Therefore, "bizazza" is one of the most expensive facing materials. For example, a simple bizazza mosaic (without the additions, which we'll talk about later) costs $ 24 per square meter! But experts say it's worth it.
I will add that the "tiles" of the "bizazza" mosaic have standard sizes - usually 2 x 2 cm, less often - 1 x 1 cm and 5 x 5 cm. And the color range is larger than that of other glass mosaic manufacturers - 62 colors! Such a rich palette allows you to create real works of art, stunning paintings and panels from bisazza.
In addition to the usual colored glass mosaics, Bisazza also produces exclusive products, which is its know-how - mosaics with the addition of artificial aventurine (the Little Adventure collection) and gold foil mosaics.
The same "bizazza" with aventurine from the "Little Adventure" collection
As you know, aventurine is a semi-precious stone with shimmering dotted patches. An artificial aventurine is used for the production of the "Little Adventure" collection. The process of its production is very complicated and even with the most exact observance of all conditions, it does not always bring the desired result. This is a matter of chance. That is why the collection has such a strange name. In the sense of "lucky - not lucky." By the way, only seven out of ten production cycles of aventurine are successful, which means that a lot of waste is obtained. Hence the high price of the "Small Adventure" collection - $ 146 per square meter.
By the way, the Bisazza company acquired the secret of making artificial aventurine from Murano craftsmen - the inhabitants of the small island of Murano in Venice. They were known as excellent glass blowers who knew the secrets of glass. But only the Bisazza company managed to put the production of artificial aventurine on stream. To this day, Bisazza is the only manufacturer of this material in the world.
This is how this sacrament happens. The "ingredients" needed to create the stone, which are the company's secret, are placed in large tanks. Then, for five days, the raw material is fired in ovens until it is completely melted. At the right time, copper oxide is added to the mass. About twelve more hours pass. The oven is then sealed and left to cool for ten days. And only after that it is possible to determine whether or not aventurine has worked out. If everything went well, the finished aventurine (it looks like a frozen resin) is ground into powder, manually mixed into the glass mass and melted. The finished composition is poured into molds.
Question: Where can I buy the Bisazza mosaic?
Answer: It is not sold in stores, and even more so in construction markets. You can order a mosaic "bizazza" only in specialized firms. There, at the request of the client, they will select and make drawings.
The Bisazza factory also has another original collection - the “gold” one. This mosaic is hand-made from start to finish, with real 99-proof gold foil between two layers of glass. Accordingly, the price turns out to be rather big - $ 2 for one thing. But there is something to pay for - the "golden" mosaic looks great.
Bizazza mosaic will stand the test and get hotter
However, the appearance is the appearance, but let's talk about the properties of the glass mosaic "bizazza". After all, thanks to its amazing qualities - strength, water resistance, heat resistance, frost resistance, resistance to sunlight - “bizazza” conquered the world. In fact, she is able to survive any adversity. Despite the fact that the bisazza mosaic is made of glass, it is much stronger than regular glass. After all, after the molten glass for the mosaic is poured into molds, it is fired in ovens.
Bisazza is absolutely waterproof. Therefore, it can be used to cover bathrooms, baths, swimming pools and other wet rooms. For example: the lowest water absorption coefficient (WRC) that a ceramic mosaic has is 1%. And the KVP of glass mosaic is less than 0.1%.
Glass mosaic is a heat-resistant material, that is, it perfectly withstands temperatures up to + 150 ° C. That is why they can be used for facing fireplaces and stoves. By the way, it is the bizazza mosaic facing of fireplaces that is now considered the squeak of fashion.
Q: If you compare the properties of glass and ceramic mosaics, which coating is better?
Answer: Ceramics and glass are two completely different materials, and it makes no sense to compare them. Ceramic is a porous and fragile material, glass is more durable and absolutely waterproof. Different adhesives are used for their installation: for ceramics, cement mortar is sufficient, and for glass, latex is required.
Another remarkable quality of "bizazza" is frost resistance. It is able to withstand any bad weather and cold down to -30 ° C. Therefore, "bizazza" is perfect for cladding facades.
In addition, specifically for the floor, the Bisazza company produces another type of mosaic - the so-called smalt. Smalt differs from ordinary glass mosaic by its special strength. The glass is ground into powder, pressed into a mosaic shape, fired in ovens, and an opaque material is obtained (while the usual mosaic is transparent).
Smalt is made with a size of 1.2 x 1.2 cm and a thickness of 8 mm (the thickness of an ordinary mosaic is 4 mm). The main advantage is that it is perfect for flooring in rooms with heavy traffic: stairs and landings, halls and corridors. Although there are customers who want to lay on the floor not smalt, but a simple "bizazza". This is exactly how, for example, the floor in the lobby of the renovated Strela cinema in Moscow is decorated.
By the way, about styling. As it turned out, the mosaic is not laid out by the piece, as I initially thought. Even at the factory, it is glued onto a dense paper or mesh base (matrix) measuring 322 x 322 mm. She goes on sale with these sheets. Then this matrix is applied to the glue-treated surface on the side where there is no paper. After that, the paper base is removed by slightly moistening with water. That is, it turns out a kind of "translator".
But attention: despite the seeming simplicity of installation, the cladding process is rather complicated. This painstaking work can only be entrusted to professionals! An ordinary "tiled" master will not cope. After all, it is necessary that all the seams coincide perfectly, and the distance between the matrix sheets was the same as between the "glass" itself.
Glue - a special cement-latex mass that holds the glass surface well - is also applied in a special way. This requires a notched trowel, the length of the teeth of which does not exceed 3.5 mm (for smalt - 7.5 mm). Then, when laying the mosaic, excess glue will not crawl out of the seams. All this needs to be calculated down to the millimeter. As a result, the mosaic should form a flat surface with the glue.
But it is not difficult to take care of the mosaic. It can be washed with water and almost any cleaning agent, except abrasive.
So far, we have talked mainly about the technical characteristics and properties of the "bizazza" mosaic. But let's turn our attention to the artistic possibilities of this wonderful cladding material. There are different technologies for creating a mosaic pattern - from the simplest, geometric, to very complex, computer-based, allowing you to "draw" even a reproduction of a painting by a famous artist.
Geometric technology is considered relatively easy: when creating a pattern, the mosaic does not need to be cut into smaller pieces. Compositions are obtained by simple color matching. Then the master manually lays out the desired ornament on the matrix grid. Therefore, ordering such a composition, the client can independently draw a grid, indicating the colors of the picture.
But more complex work is performed on a computer using the patented bizazza technology. How does this happen? The drawing, photograph, painting are scanned, and the program breaks the image into cells. Then a color scheme is selected with different shades, depending on the complexity of the picture. There are, of course, some nuances. For example, you need to consider from what distance the panel will look. The larger the dimensions of the future "drawing", the greater the distance to it should be.
This is how modern computer technologies bring ancient art back into our lives. By the way, the image on TV screens and monitors is nothing more than billions of tiny squares. That is, a mosaic.