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20 ideas for recycling tiles

Posted by Direct Tile Warehouse | Tuesday, March 19, 2019


The humble tile. Creator of beautiful feature walls, glossy floors and dream patios. But what happens when the grout dries and you have leftovers and remnants? We recommend keeping a few spare tiles in case you need to replace them in the future, but any surplus can be recycled and remodelled into a fantastic ceramic household item, office accessory, or work of art.

To celebrate the Great British Spring Clean, we want to encourage as many people as possible to have a go at upcycling unwanted tiles (or brand new tiles if something catches your eye). To give you some inspiration, we’ve shared some of our favourite DIY projects from our Pinterest ‘Ideas for recycling tiles’ board.

Why are ceramic tiles great for craft?

  • They are sturdy and have a smooth surface
  • There is a variety of sizes and patterns available
  • Sparkly mosaics, bright coloured metros, shabby chic wood effect – the designs are limitless

How to tile your projects

  • Don’t worry about perfection.
  • If you’re using mosaics or broken tiles, or can get creative with your design, then you might not need a tile cutter.
  • If you’re going to paint your tiles, clean them with acetone first.
  • Making a planter? A coat of sealant is great for the inside to keep it water tight.
  • Don’t forget to stick the tiles in place with adhesive.
  • Tile spacers will help you get an even pattern.
  • If you’re using grout, smear it on the tiles then wipe off the excess.
  • Leave it to dry!

 

Mosaic tile upcycled mirror

Mosaic tile upcycled mirro

Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the best upcycler of all? This is a super simple project that will produce a stunning and unique look.

Fridge magnets from mosaic tiles

Fridge magnets from mosaic tiles

Not only are these incredibly easy to make, they are also great to match with a coordinating backsplash or colour scheme. Simply glue on a magnet and you’ll be beautifully organised.

Flowerpot made from tiles

Flower box made from tiles

You can pick up old plant pots at car boot sales or they’re fairly cheap to buy brand new. Tiles will stick better to crockery, terracotta or clay pots than plastic.

DIY tile napkin holders

DIY tile napkin golders

Create a café feel with a ceramic napkin holder. This design uses just three tiles – a piece of felt, card or paper on the bottom will protect the surface you use it on.

Cheese board made from a tile

Cheese board made from a tile

Simply take a single tile and add vinyl bumpers or felt on the bottom for a stunning way to serve cheese, cakes or canapes. Why not add handles for easy lifting?

DIY bookends made with tiles

The good thing about tiles is their sturdy weight – making them perfect for creating bookends. Stack them together or fix them onto wood and they’re ready to hold your reading material in place.

Mosaic tile lamp

Mosaic tile lamp

All you need to do is attach the mesh on the back of the mosaic sheet to the metal frame of the lamp and hey presto! Lovely lighting for any room.

Birdhouse using discarded tiles

Birdhouse using discarded tiles

Tiles will help create a boutique boudoir for feathered friends. Use mosaics or offcuts to make a little birdhouse with some soul.

Table top made with recycled tiles

Table top made with recycled tiles

Give an old table a new lease of life with some tiles. Go cosmopolitan café with metro tiles or a touch of opulence with mosaics.

Bird bath made from tiles

Bird bath made from tiles

Make bathing beautiful for the visitors to your garden with a customised bird bath. Symmetry, abstract or create creatures and pictures with shards you’d otherwise discard.

Steps embellished with broken or unwanted tiles

Steps embellished with broken or unwanted tiles

Add a touch of glamour to your garden by using tiles on your steps. Tile the full step, edges or add a simple but effective line of detail.

Counter top made from recycled tiles

Counter top made from recycled tiles

Boring bathroom? Spruce up your sink with recycled tiles in all shapes and sizes to create your own unique design.

Making art with broken tiles

Making art with broken tiles

Let your imagination run wild with your leftover tiles to unleash your inner artist. Why not try a nautical design for the bathroom?

Garden feature made with recycled tiles

Garden feature made with recycled tiles

Recycle your tiles in the garden to make a walkway, an interesting feature, highlight a particular area or fill in the cracks!

DIY tile placemats using leftover tiles

DIY tile placemats using leftover tiles

Use one single tile, join a few together or mount some mosaics on a plain placemat – just add some felt or vinyl bumpers underneath and you’ve got a pretty place setting.

Coasters made using upcycled tiles

Coasters made using tiles

Use small square tiles as coasters with felt or card underneath to protect the surface of your table. Leave them as they are, or add paint, wallpaper, fabric, magazine pages, photos or stickers.

Tile place settings

Homemade wedding place settings with tiles

It’s always great when your wedding place setting is also a gift! Simply wrap some paper around them and write on your guest’s name.

Vase made with broken tiles or mosaics

Vase made with broken tiles or mosaics

Vase, utensil pot, pencil pot – the possibilities are endless! Charity shops and car boot sales are great for finding old homeware that you can customise with ceramic.

Beautiful bath upcycled with tiles

Bath made with tiles

Jazz up your bathroom with a tiled bath, or add a splash of homemade delight to your garden and use it as a planter. This look will also work with a Belfast sink.

Chair made using recycled tiles

Chair made from tiles

We’ve decided that our showrooms need tiled thrones like this! You could also try tiling the back or legs of an old chair for seating with style.

If this blog inspires you, we’d love to see your creations! Share your pictures on social media with the hashtag #directtilewarehouse or email them to info@directtilewarehouse. Happy upcycling!

All images from Pinterest

If you are feeling inspired, you can check our great range of floor tiles here:

Floor tiles by location Floor tiles by colour Floor tiles by size
Floor Tile Range Grey Floor Tiles Giant Size Floor Tiles
Living Room Floor Tiles White Floor Tiles Large Size Floor Tiles
Bathroom Floor Tiles Black Floor Tiles Medium Size Floor Tiles
Wet Room Floor Tiles Beige Floor Tiles Small Size Floor Tiles
Kitchen Floor Tiles Cream Floor Tiles  
Anti-Slip Floor Tiles Blue Floor Tiles  
Exterior Floor Tiles Red Floor Tiles  
Outdoor Floor Tiles Brown Floor Tiles  
Patio Floor Tiles Brown Floor Tiles  
Garden Floor Tiles Brown Floor Tiles  
  Green Floor Tiles  

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