How to Make Tile Murals

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Funky tile murals add an intriguing touch to any surface, from a bathroom floor to an outdoor wall. Once you get started on a mural project, you'll start to see inspirations for materials in everything from marbles to mirror tiles. Whether you're making a small decorative table or a giant sculpture, the basic process is the same.

Things You'll Need

  • Cement board
  • Tile
  • Tile adhesive
  • Grout
  • Large sponge
  • Bucket
  • Pencil or marker
  • Use cement board as the backing for your tile mural. It can be tempting to use other surfaces for convenience or cost reasons, but wood and other materials warp too easily to stand up to the mural process. Most craft stores offer a broad selection of tiles for murals. Choose smooth, glossy tiles; they will make the grouting step much easier.

  • Draw a simple design for your tile mural on the board. This is an especially important step if it will include recognizable images.

  • With this outline as a guide, begin to glue pieces of tile to the board using tile adhesive. Leave about 1/4 inch of space between all tiles. Use different colors of tile to make an eye-catching design. For example, if your image is a tree, use only green tile inside the tree shape, and other colors outside the outline. Wait for the adhesive to dry thoroughly.

  • Apply grout between the tiles. Be generous with the grout, since you'll be wiping some of it off later. You want to make sure the gaps are filled completely.

  • Immediately wipe the surface of the tile mosaic with a dry sponge to remove some of the extra grout and smooth the surface.

  • Continue wiping the surface with a damp sponge, rinsing to remove extra grout from the sponge whenever necessary. Wipe until the tiles are all clean and the grout is relatively smooth.

Tips & Warnings

  • It's important to wipe the grout well while it's still wet, so if your tile mosaic is large you may have to complete the grouting process in sections.
  • Make sure to clean the tile well before the grout dries, or any grout remaining on the tile will stick and be very difficult to remove later.

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