How to make a tile mosaic

tile mosaic

Broken tiles… perhaps this is the inevitable companion of repair, because even the most experienced tile mosaic at least two or three tiles will break during installation. In addition, there are the remnants – from trimming large pieces for pipes, protrusions, corners and more. Another source of scrap is the removal of the old cladding from the walls. And where to dispose of it all? Option “in the trash” is always relevant, but there is another – to use the tile scrap to create an original mosaic.

Depending on the size of the fragments – length, width, thickness – and their shape, you can use broken tiles for:

  1. Garden paths – here it is better to take the remains of porcelain tiles or other maximum durable and solid tiles. As a base is used cement-sand mixture or gravel (crushed stone, pebbles), as well as compacted sand;
  2. The facade and / or plinth. The material can be any, laid either on tile adhesive (for exterior work) or on the cement-sand mixture;
  3. Steps, porches, terraces, platforms – here the fragments of different quality and size are used with installation on the cement-sand mixture;
  4. Swimming pools and decorative and household structures (benches, tables, fences, etc.);
  5. Finishing of internal walls, especially in the bathroom and kitchen. With the right choice of elements, the kitchen apron or shower compartment floor will look fantastic!

In addition, broken tiles are used to decorate a variety of objects made of concrete, ceramic, brick and other materials – the list of possible objects is almost endless.

How to make?

There are four basic steps in the process, similar for any method of use (except for garden paths on a gravel or sand base, there its own nuances):

  • Choosing a design. The initial idea sometimes changes in the course of the work, but you have to at least generally imagine the desired result. If you have chosen a certain pattern, it should first be executed on paper, divided into squares and then transferred to the surface by squares. The technique of such copying and scaling can be seen here;
  • Finding and selecting suitable material – remnants and pieces of tile. You can divide the raw material into smaller pieces with an ordinary hammer (if you need pieces of arbitrary shape), or with a tile cutter – if you need elements of a certain geometry. Important: before you break a tile, it is worth wrapping it in a thick cloth, and the blows should be made from the back side. Otherwise, instead of ornate pieces, you will get an indistinct broken mass. For ornaments, the broken pieces will still have to be trimmed and/or sharpened, so it is better to look for a suitable tool;
  • Surface preparation – it must be even, smooth enough and suitable for gluing or applying a cement-sand mixture. For installation on the adhesive, the requirements for smoothness and evenness of the surface are higher, while the small irregularities can be leveled directly with cement mortar;
  • The installation itself and the subsequent sealing of the joints.
tile mosaic

A few additional nuances:

  1. Before starting the work, it is better to sort the broken tiles by color, texture and size. This will be more convenient to lay out the pattern;
  2. If you plan to make individual panels, the tiles are placed in a flat container with sides “face” down and filled with mortar. Also with this method of making the panels can be reinforced – on top of a slightly frozen layer of mortar laid mesh or rods, then poured another layer;
  3. When laying the pieces of tile should not touch each other – even if a small distance between them is better to leave. This will allow, firstly, to achieve a more uniform width of the joints, and secondly, will give the opportunity to move the fragments slightly to obtain an interesting pattern;
  4. Small pieces are difficult to arrange in one plane. You can do it “by eye”, and then press the whole section with a flat flat object – for example, a piece of plywood;
  5. Remaining grout is best removed immediately.

Do you also have leftover tiles from your renovation? Try it! All you need is time and patience!