How to Turn Concrete Pavers into Mosaic Pavers

Decorate patios and walkways with mosaic designs.
Decorate patios and walkways with mosaic designs. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Creating mosaic patio pavers allows you to design visually interesting accents to a patio or to create an entirely personalized patio or garden path. Manufactured concrete patio pavers come in a range of colors allowing for a limited amount of imaginative or original outdoor themes and decor. Adding tile to manufactured concrete pavers provides you with an artistic vehicle to express flair and style.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper or cardboard
  • Paver
  • Scissors
  • Towel
  • Hammer
  • Tile nipper
  • Wire brush
  • Paintbrush
  • Tile adhesive
  • Small trowel
  • Mortar rake
  • Unsanded or sanded grout
  • Plastic container or bucket
  • Rubber kitchen spatula
  • Sponge

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Lay down a sheet of paper or cardboard large enough to accommodate your paver. Set the paver on top of the paper and trace around it with a pencil. Cut out the paver shape with scissors. Draw your mosaic design or trace a coloring page onto the paper.

Spread out a long thick towel and place an unglazed tile on top on one side. Flip the other half of the towel over the tile. Strike the covered tile with a hammer or mallet to break it into small pieces. Remove the pieces and set aside. Repeat with other tiles you will use. Keep tiles grouped by color.

Fit broken tile pieces into the drawn design. Use a tile nipper to size the pieces and allow them to fit into the design if necessary.

Rub the surface of a paver with a wire brush to rough the face up slightly. Brush away the dust with a wide paintbrush.

Apply a 1/4-inch layer of thin-set tile adhesive over the face of the paver with a small trowel. Position a small mortar rake at the edge of the paver and pull it through the thin-set to make recessed lines in the adhesive.

Move broken tile pieces from the paper or cardboard drawing to the tile. Press each piece of tile into the adhesive until you transfer all tile pieces. Let the thin-set cure overnight.

Mix unsanded tile grout and water in a plastic container or bucket according to the manufacturer's instructions if broken tile pieces are 1/8-inch or less apart. Mix sanded grout if the tile pieces are greater than 1/8-inch.

Scoop up grout with a rubber kitchen spatula and spread it over the mosaic design while pressing the grout into the spaces between the broken tile. Continue to spread the grout over the mosaic design until all pieces of broken tile have grout between them.

Wipe the mosaic tile design with a wet sponge to clean grout from the surface of the design.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear safety glasses, gloves and a dust mask when creating mosaic pavers.
  • Use bullnose tile pieces to create a frame or border.
  • Make simple geometric designs or intricate pictures.
  • Consider using sea glass, broken terra cotta pots or stones to create a mixed-media mosaic paver.
  • Seal the mosaic tile grout after three to four days to protect the grout from stains; or leave it unsealed to develop a weathered look.
  • Do not set broken pieces with sharp edges facing up.
  • Set your mosaic pavers slightly deeper than plain pavers to avoid tripping hazards on your patio or walkway.


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