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Learn the Art of Tile Mosaicing, on a budget pt 1

By Edited Feb 18, 2014 0 0

Finished Tile Mosaic

I began mosaicing in 2003 when my sister-in-law handed me a box of broken tiles that she she had used to make the surface of her dresser. Little did I know that I would absolutely fall in love with, what some might call, 'tedious' process of tile mosaicing. Mosaicing literally doesn't have to cost you more then $20 at your local department of hardware store. To begin I went to the hardware store and had them cut me a 1 x 1 piece of press board. You can make a bigger project, but keep in mind - the bigger it gets...the heavier it gets. My father in law happened to have a couple of tools in his garage that allowed me to cut a small whole in the middle of the press board, (which later I will fill with a small mirror). While I was at the hardware store I also purchased a heavy duty adhesive, and plain premixed white grout. I was ready to begin my first project.

Never Pay for a cent for your tile

I went to a flooring store who sold tiles to find my pieces. I simply asked if I could look around and take any tiles that had chips, cracks, or breaks in them. They gave me the floor - and it can actually be kind of fun. Sometimes you really have to dig, but you will find tons of broken tile - and they're just going to get rid of them anyway. If there happens to be a neat colour that you need just for one part of your picture, then pay the $3.00 that it costs to make your piece as great as it can be. Still to this day I have been fortunate enough to find every colour and piece that I needed without paying a cent.

If you have a full tile that you're no longer going to use, you can break it a couple of different ways. The first time I had to break tile I wrapped a couple pieces up in an old towel (make sure it's an old towel that you no longer want to use, because it will most likely become unsalvageable) tied it in a knot and dropped it from the top of my stairs onto my concrete basement floor. If this is not an option, take it outside onto the driveway or cement road – that will do the trick. As I became a more experienced I began using a hammer to smash a shape that I wanted. This will take some time as you familiarize yourself with how the pieces of tile will naturally break. In all of my projects I have never used any tool, other than a hammer. Mosaicing is not for the impatient, or easily agitated. It takes time, dedication and patience. For a smaller project that you can finish in an evening, well that is different - but when you work your way into wall or floor murals this will likely take months of diligence, dedication, and back breaking patience.

When I began my fist 1' x 1' project, I simply took the shapes that I had broken and began lying them down dry on the board, to help get an idea of how and where I was going to place them. It might be a good way to begin mosaicing, but again when you become more experienced you can begin gluing them right away. The great thing about mosaicing is that you can break any shape you desire, so it will always fit - it's a very relaxed version of a puzzle. Sometimes beginners really space the pieces out with a fairly large gap between each piece of tile. I prefer a tighter look myself, so I try to get them as close as possible, but never touching. One time I had found a place for each piece of tile, I took a butter knife that I no longer planned on using, and spread the adhesive on the back of the tile as if I were spreading butter onto bread. A tip * if you're using different colours (which I imagine you will) generally you'll want to find tiles that have approximately the same width, otherwise it can end up looking messy and also be tough to grout.

Learn the Art of Tile Mosaicing on a Budget pt2



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