The first mosaics I designed were for the front of my house. I started with a simple dragonfly to practice the technique and then moved on to a design using my house number. Outdoor mosaics start with backer board (sometimes called cement board). The sheets come in very large pieces, but can be cut down to size. The first few pieces I made were about 2′ x 2 ‘ and very easy to manage. This material does not warp and I’ve had my signs mounted on a small porch outside for about eight years without any noticeable wear.
The best thing about working with backer board, is that the design can be fairly detailed and personalized. The tiles are hand cut and attached to the board before grouting and applying three coats of sealer. A coat of wax is the last step in protecting it from the elements. I leave holes in the corners of the backer board and insert long screws for mounting. Anything is possible.