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Making A Mosaic Tile Floor

ceramic tile floorThe flooring in my bedroom was an old indoor-outdoor carpet that had been very roughly used.

Dogs, cats and children had made various nasty deposits on it, and dirt and water were always being tracked in from the garden.

It was overdue for replacement, but, lacking the funds to buy a new carpet, I decided to do another shattered-tile mosaic like I had done on the garden tub and entry wall.

ceramic tilesThe attractive thing about using shattered-tile is the cost: free. Well, almost - the tiles were free, but my room is fairly large and it required about $60 worth of ceramic tile adhesive to do the job. I used Portland cement as the grout, since that would match the rest of my mosaic work and be cheaper than actual grouting material.

To gather tiles you need to go to carpet and tile stores and do a little dumpster diving. I only had to go to two different stores and make three separate dives to acquire all the tiles needed to do this job. (I always go in first and ask if it is ok.)

chalk sketch on carpetI started out by sketching my design on the carpeting with chalk.

My furniture is all big, square and dark, so I wanted a design with curves.

When you are using 'found' materials, you have to be flexible with your design. I knew I wouldn't be able to get large amounts of matching tile, so my design needed to be able to accomodate a lot of different colors and textures.

tiles on floorI cut out the carpet in sections so I could transfer my design to the bare slab. Then I laid out a few tiles to see what worked well together and what areas could be covered with a particular tile.

I had to work around the furniture in the room, tileing one section then moving a piece, tileing under it, and moving it back.

What a pain in the behind!

tiles on floorNext I would lay tiles on the floor to fill in the space, then come back and glue them down.

Piece by little piece. You have no idea how many times I had to bend over to finish this job!

Once the glue had time to dry completely, I went back over the section I was working and filled in the cracks with my grout (cement).

Two things you can count on with a project like this: a few cuts from sharp edged tiles, and your room will look like a construction site until you're done.

cut hand

what a mess

It took about a month and a half to complete the job, but I am happy with the results. A floor like this won't work in all situations - there are rough edges I wouldn't want a child to have to play on - but it works for me.

finished floor

Watch the slideshow below to see the transformation:
Previous Image Play/Pause Next Image

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