So you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen or bathroom, and naturally you’re worried about what to do with all those old tiles that will be leftover once the transformation is complete. After all, you don’t want them cluttering up your shed or cellar.
Here at Tile Mart we think there are better ways to make use of your old tiles, rather than just disposing them. That’s why we love the idea of upcycling. If you haven’t heard of upcycling before, it’s essentially a way to create new items out of old ones, using just a sprinkle of creativity. Since you’re making them yourself, you can be sure you own something truly unique. And not only does it help the environment, it also helps your pocket; never a bad thing in these post-recession days. These are our top ideas for upcycling your tiles once your new ones have been installed.
This is a great idea for old tiles that are still in one piece. They’re the perfect size, after all, for popping on your coffee table. There are two ways to magic your tiles into coasters: you can either cut out, say, a map, beer mats, sheet music, or images from a magazine and glue them on to the tile, or draw or paint your own design if you prefer. Either way, once you’ve got the design you want, pick up a bottle of Mod Podge which is available in most craft stores. The Mod Podge will glue the image to the tile, and act as a lacquer to waterproof your brand new coaster. To make them scratch-proof, we suggest pasting material to the underside of the tile.
Not a frame as such, but a photo base at least. Created in much the same way as a coaster, simply print out your chosen photos, and paste them on using Mod Podge. If you prefer, you could even make a photo collage of several snaps. What’s nice about these tile photos is the truly personal touch that will accompany your favourite memories. Even better, these make ideal gifts which show an immense amount of thought, along with the handiwork put into crafting them.
As you might imagine, creating stepping stones isn’t just something you can cook up in your kitchen – although you’ll need a few items from your kitchen to make this happen. Grab yourself a good-sized cake pan, some vegetable oil and a bit of concrete mix. Mix up the concrete in a bucket and oil up the cake pan before spreading the concrete out evenly inside it. Now place your broken tiles onto the setting concrete into the pattern you desire. This will definitely brighten up your garden, but if you’re worried, this helpful guide to creating stepping stones and other items for your garden should see you right.
Wine Bottle Vase
The wine bottle vase is perfect for impressing your guests, with the added bonus of the pride that comes from knowing you created it yourself. Just get hold of an empty bottle and cut or break your old tiles down to a small size. Glue the tiles onto the body of the bottle – you can go all the way up to the bottle neck if your tile pieces are small enough, but you might find the tiles far more fiddly to apply. It doesn’t have to be a wine bottle; square-shaped whiskey bottles are also ideal, and old jam jars can make really unique tea-light candle holders once they’re all tiled up.
It’s probably the classic design – we’ve all seen it. Tiles are great for table-tops as they’re hardy and easy to clean, and with old tiles you can have total control over the design. That’s crucial, since it’s the place where family and friends gather, and also makes a fantastic talking-point. In fact, the mosaic pattern can be applied to more or less any item of furniture. We’ve already seen how it can be used to decorate vases and stepping stones, and it certainly doesn’t end there. Favourite designs also include actual photo frames, mirrors and the surfaces of dressing tables. If you’re feeling uber-creative you might even consider creating your own artwork from leftover tiles and framing them on your wall.
Ultimately though, the choice is entirely yours. That’s the true beauty of upcycling. Now you’re all set to give your kitchen or bathroom a fresh facelift and get creative with the leftovers. If you need porcelain floor tiles or wall tiles, just contact our friendly, professional team on 01772 550900 or pop into your local Tile Mart showroom and we’ll be happy to help.