Creating Mosaic Countertops
Creating a real tile mosaic on almost any surface top is easy. The first step would be to look in a tile shop and see what is available. Then decide on a pattern you want.
There are many books, magazines and TV shows that give step by step instructions as well as design ideas. After deciding a pattern or design, sketch your pattern on the surface you are going to tile over. The first step is to prepare the surface making sure the tile will adhere. 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 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, (don’t be in too big of a hurry) fill the gaps between the tiles with tile grout. Most people think grout is available only in white but 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.
Have you ever been in a cafe, restaurant or a friend’s house for that fact, 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 end tables and patios have become favorites too. Consider embellishing a coffee table purchased from an unfinished furniture store. This is a great little week-end 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 or even broken tile pieces. This same technique works equally well for a larger area like this as it does for a small accent table.
Before starting this project, there are some things you should do first to be prepared.
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 or library. 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 always a good idea to draw a sketch of your design.
Then you will want to place the actual tiles on the countertop, starting from the center and working outwards, to make sure your pleased with your design. Once you have everything in place, take a magic marker and mark the tiles’ location.
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 and give them a whack. This is the simplest way to get the broken pieces of tile you’ll need for the mosaic. For the border mosaics you are 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 that you can buy at any tile store or home improvement 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 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. Next smear the grout over the top of the tiles filling in the seams. To clean the tiles, wipe off any excess grout with a sponge. Let it dry overnight and you’re done so sit back and admire your work of art!