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Tiling News

Mosaic Tiles-real tile mosaic.

By  Last updated: 3rd February 2010

Here are a few ideas on how anyone can create a real tile mosaic on almost any surface top.

The technique is much easier than it sounds. First you should look in a tile store to see what is available. Then decide on a pattern you want. There are many books available that give step by step instructions as well as design ideas.


Sketch your pattern on the surface your going to tile over. You can tile over almost any surface. The first step is to prepare the surface making sure the tile will adhere to the surface. You do this by scoring the surface with a utility knife then coating the surface with a mixture of watered down white glue. Next you take a tile cement, commonly known as thin set or mortar, and spread a thin coating over the surface. Place your tiles in the cement according to the pattern you drew. After the cement has set, fill the gaps between the tiles with tile grout. Most people think grout is available only in white. If you look in a hardware store you’ll find many different colors of grout available. You apply the grout by simply troweling it over all of the seams between the individual tiles; then wipe away the excess with a sponge. Tiles range anywhere from $2 to $100 a square meter. Cost of the project is up to you.

How to create a mosaic on a counter top
Have you ever been in an cafe or restaurant and admired the mosaic tile on the tabletops or walls? Well it’s not that hard to bring that look into your own home. Where’s a good place to add a mosaic in your home? Kitchens and bathrooms are the obvious choices but anywhere you want to add a decorative accent is fine. For example, consider embellishing a corner table purchased from an unfinished furniture store. This is a great little project. All you have to do is add a coat of paint and then make a small mosaic on the tabletop using some different size tiles. This same techniques works equally well for a larger area like this countertop as it does for a small accent table.

Before starting this project, what should you do first?
Take some time researching what you want to do before you start laying tiles down. There are tons of books on ceramic tiles at your bookstore. A recommendation is to just thumb through them to get some inspiration for your design. Once you have a basic idea of what you want to do, it’s a good idea to draw a sketch of your design.

Then you’ll want to place the actual tiles on the counter top, starting from the center and working outwards, to make sure you’re happy with the design. Try working with some diamond shapes, border the edges and fill in the rest with a simple mosaic. The design includes space for a center mosaic section and then a mosaic border around the edge. Once you have everything in place, take a magic marker and mark the tiles’ location.

You’re doing this over plywood. What do you do if you have a different surface to work with? You can really apply ceramic tile over any surface as long as it’s rigid. You just have to make sure that the tile mortar has something to grab on to. Since plywood is really smooth, take a utility knife and score the surface by making latice shape cuts in it. Then take a watered down white glue and apply a light coat to the surface to help seal it from water and improve adhesion.


How do you actually cement the tiles to the surface?
Before you cement the tiles in place, you have to prepare the tiles for the mosaic sections. How do you do that? This is where you can get some aggression out. Take a mix of tiles, wrap them in a towel, take a hammer and give them a good whack. This is the simplest way to get the broken pieces of tile you’ll need for the mosaic sections. For the border mosaics we’re going to need some smaller pieces of tile. For the smaller pieces you use a tile nibbler to break off pieces the size you need.

To cement the tiles in place, use mortar which you can buy at any tile store. You just trowel the mortar on about 1/8th inch thick. Then use the edge of the trowel to score the mortar. Then just put your tiles in place. For the mosaic sections you use the same process. Take the different pieces of tile and arrange them however you like. Try and keep the spaces between the tiles to 1/8th of an inch.

How much does a project like this cost?

Tiles can cost from $2 to $100 a square meter. The technique is the same for all tiles. Your cost will depend on the size of the project and the cost of the tiles you select to use.

How do you finish the project?
You have to grout the tiles after the mortar has set up or dried. Remember, tile grout is available in many colors, not just white. Select one that matches and apply it by using a grout trowel. Smear the grout over the top of the tiles, filling in all the seams. To clean the tiles, wipe off any excess grout with a sponge. Let it dry overnight and you’re done. And everything you need can be found in any tile store!

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