Monday, November 19, 2007

Making Tiles

Back on July 4th (was it that long ago!) I posted about how I would like to tile my kitchen. Well, after much deliberation, and procrastination, I changed my mind. I thought maybe I might be going a bit to wild if I tiled the way I originally thought I might like to do.
I decided that a mixed up colored mosaic would probably be just fine and maybe a bit more conservative considering the colors I was using :-)
I had put off making the tiles because I wasn't exactly sure how to do about 120 sheets (each 12" x 12") of mosaics.
Now that we are having family come at Christmas I decided it was a do it "now or never" endeavor. (Good rhyme ) So I looked on line to find out exactly what to stick these tiles to as I make each sheet. The lower cost alternative seems to be contact paper---the kind used to line drawers with. While looking in some of the on line stores specializing in mosaic art I also found a plastic grid, 12" x 12" wide, that holds the tiles in place until you place the contact paper (or whatever you use) to hold them until the actual tiling job. Since it was only 9.95 plus a couple dollars shipping I purchased it hoping that it would make this whole business way way easier. After it got here (in about a week) I went to the store and bought a couple rolls of contact paper. Then the hard part began.
First I had to figure exactly how many tiles of each color I had so that I can makes sure the tiles have about the same percentage of each color. I don't want some to be all greens and others all blue----I wanted it a bit more overall uniformity with all my colors.
Then, I had to soak the tiles color by color to remove the backing paper. I did a few sheets at a time depending on how many tiles per square I needed. Case in only requires 2 little three quarter inch tiles per foot square. But the darker green needs 50. So I only soaked a half a sheet of red versus the many many sheets I needed for my much bigger pile of dark green.
My next step is to count out tiles for each square. I am using a handy chart I made up with one of each color tile taped to a board and the number needed written beside it. I am using 13 colors and it can get confusing trying to remember how many of each since about half the colors are shades of blue or green. As I count them I put them into 10 sandwich baggies I have been using over and over. Fill, make, re fill, make, re fill, make, re fill. A bit tedious to say the least but....each tile would have cost 10 dollars more per tile to have the company do it. Now that is not why I did this though---originally I was only going to have one (just one, not 13) colors of tile. So it kind of snowballed to say the least. However since it takes me about 15 minutes to make one after prepping the tiles (which doesn't take long either) it has worked out o.k.
So I added some picture of my finished stacks, along with the grid we have been using. I have to admit the grid has been GREAT for doing this ---I wish I had bought two so my husband could do it too. It also had one more un intended benefit----it helped us to decide grout color. I would have chosen white however when we viewed the tiles in the black grid we realized that black grout would look much nicer over all. So we will eventually get them up and grout it with black---not white. The one thing I hate about the fact that it looks good with black is that black grout is awful to use. Very difficult to clean off the tiles and I don't look forward to it----but I must persevere for the sake of a beautiful kitchen wall.


Cheryl said...

Wow, what a labor intensive project!!
It looks great though, I can't wait to see how it turns out!

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

Well, it is a BIT labor intensive---but easy to do while watching t.v. so not to bad.
Sorry that I haven't answered some of your comments---I post them, write---then forget to answer you and some of the others. Bad me. I need to do it first before I write. Must be old age setting in on the brain :-D