How to Create a Mosaic Wall-hanging with Ceramic Tile

What You'll Need
Piece of plywood
Tile nippers
Safety goggles
Tile adhesive
Flexible rubber scraper
Grout sealer
Assorted pieces of tile
Pencil, permanent marker or crayon
Tile adhesive

If you would like to create an unusual and one of a kind focal point for a room a ceramic tile mosaic wall hanging may be exactly what you'd like. The materials you need for this project are easy to find at any do it your self home center or hardware store.

Step 1 - Plan Your Design

A ceramic tile mosaic takes a bit of planning in all stages of the project for it to produce a good result. Think about the size of plywood board you need for the backing board for the tiles to be adhered. Consider the weight of the board, plus how much it may potentially weigh once it is covered with tile and grout. Think about how you will hang it and if the wall you are supporting it on can support it. Also consider the total weight when buying hanging materials such as wall screws or toggle bolts and hanging wire.

The next thing to consider is what colors you want to use in your design and purchase enough tile to finish it. Figure square inches of board to size of tile before breaking them. Tile can be purchased from numerous sources including do it yourself centers, tile stores, flea markets and overstock stores that specialize in tile. You will find that remnants of tile may be purchased rather inexpensively.

The actual design can be a drawing that you make free hand or you can use tracing paper to transfer a drawing or pattern such as used for a stain glass window to your wood. You can use wallpaper patterns, coloring books or patterns in rugs for inspiration.

Step 2 - Creating the Mosaic

Put on your goggles and wear your gloves. Pieces of tile are sharp and flying pieces can injure your eyes or possibly blind you. Lay your tile pieces on a hard surface such as a sidewalk and hit the with a hammer to crack them into pieces. Discard sliver and very tiny pieces as they can't be used. Keep your colors and patterns sorted into individual piles.

Draw the design onto your plywood backing board with your marker or pencil. If you are working on a surface that can be damaged, cover it with plastic and lay the board on top.

Starting in the center of the design, choose the color of tile you will be using and 'butter' the back of it with tile adhesive. Put the tile onto your design where you want it and wiggle it slightly to adhere it. Some people who create mosaics like to lay all the tile into the design then pick them up, put adhesive on them, then return them to the board. Either way works well.

Continue this until the entire board is covered then allow the adhesive to dry at least 24 hours or per manufacturer's instructions.

Step 3 - Finishing the Mosaic

Scoop up tile grout with your flexible rubber scraper and spread it over the tiled area working it well into the crevices between the tile pieces. Make sure there are no air bubbles. Remove as much as possible with the scraper then use a wet sponge to wipe away extra grout. Be sure to remove all of the grout that is on the tiles. You will need to rinse your sponge often. Allow the grout to dry overnight and then seal with grout sealer.