Inspiration and DIY Tiling Tips: Creative Uses for Leftover Tile

Photo features Desert Mirage Blend and Butternut Glossy 1 x 1 mosaic on the backsplash and niche. Natural Stone Torreon, honed and chiseled in various sizes in a random pattern on the wall.
 
 

TILING TIPS: CREATIVE USES FOR LEFTOVER TILE

Now that your backsplash is finished, it's time to put the tiling tips you've learned to good use. After all, the best home improvement projects are the ones that keep on giving. With all the leftover tile you have--and some creativity--you can create statement pieces that will add some flair to your new trendy, upscale kitchen.

Repurposing leftover backsplash tile is just as good for the environment as it is for your home's overall design. By keeping your scraps out of the dumpster, you are also "upcycling" them into something you will use on a daily basis.

The rigidness of ceramic tile makes it a perfect material to use to bring an old piece of furniture to life. On the other hand, if you went with a glass tile backsplash when you remodeled your kitchen, the shiny properties of glass are perfect for creating a stunning frame for mirrors or picture frames. The bottom line is that you are only bound by your own creativity when it comes to using old tile to create decor accents.

Whether you're going for a sophisticated or eclectic look, read on to find easy yet innovative tiling tips that will help you turn extra tile into functional design elements for your home.

Revamp Tables and Islands

Leftover tile can add the perfect finishing touch to an underwhelming piece of furniture. By overhauling the top of a table or island, you'll have creative control in executing your dream accent piece. If you used multiple styles of tile within your home renovation project, you can do the same for your tabletop, or you can go with one color — whatever matches your personal style.

Daltile's Jewel Tide™ series includes options like Sunset Path, which has red and orange colors or Silver Shore, which has a more toned-down neutral look. Either of these color schemes make excellent backsplashes, and the leftover tiles will bring new life to your tabletop.

If you finish your table or island, and you're longing to incorporate your leftover tile elsewhere, try following the same process on other, smaller items around your kitchen. By adding colorful mosaic tile to items like breadboxes or knife holders, you can easily create decorative pieces for your kitchen. The trick is to be imaginative without overdoing it. The right subtle additions will serve as the perfect counter toppers.

Revamp Your Rental Property

Landlords are some of the most creative in executing home improvements because to them, every dollar counts. If you own multiple properties, you can extend the life of your materials by saving every piece of your leftover tile from one home's project for use in your other properties.

Say you're planning to install a few kitchen backsplash in your rental homes. If you save the glass mosaics from each job, you may have enough leftover to complete a similar project in another home without having to buy any materials! Even if you don't have enough left over to add a kitchen backsplash, you can repurpose the tiles to install a smaller backsplash behind a bathroom sink.

And the best thing about using tiling tips creatively in rental homes is the colors don't always have to match. You can mix and match colors and textures to give your homes a unique look. In fact, you can draw the attention of potential tenants by using various pops of color within your creations. This versatility will help make your dollars and materials stretch a little further with each new job.

Design a Statement Wall

One of the best ways to really make your backsplash pop is to incorporate the same tile on an adjacent wall. This will help complement the color and style of your backsplash. When your project is complete, determine how many extra tiles you have and measure off the area of the wall you want to use. If you have nooks or shelving within the adjacent wall, this can be a great spot use your extra tile.

It can also be helpful to plan out your statement wall before you begin redoing your backsplash. For instance, let's say you're installing a tiled backsplash of reds, whites, and grays in a random pattern. If you think you'll have enough red tiles, consider using them on your statement wall to give it a bold look that is different from— but still ties into —your backsplash. You can also incorporate a different pattern into the accent wall to really help it stand apart from the backsplash.

Use Leftover Natural Stones Outside

Natural stone tile is a popular choice for many indoor projects around the home. Bathroom floors, laundry room floors and shower surrounds are popular applications for the material because of its functional, durable and striking appearance. And while you can get decades of use out of a correctly installed natural stone tile floor, you can benefit from the same longevity for exterior applications. So why not take its beauty to the great outdoors? Large leftover tiles make the perfect walkway to your garden or around your flower beds. These tiles are easy to lay and look great in various patterns.

And if you have a nearby shed holding all of your garden tools, you should consider sprucing it up with its own walkway or even attached patio area. You'll love resting your feet on a beautifully tiled shed floor after a long morning of weeding the garden.

And you can use smaller tiles for similar applications, as well. Brightly colored leftover mosaics from your kitchen or bathroom backsplash can look great outside around shed window frames, door frames and decorative trim pieces. Think creatively when looking around your shed for inspiration.

Don't be afraid to flex your creative muscles, and make the most of your leftover tile. Tile is one of the most versatile materials for home improvement projects. It's also durable, easily cleaned, and comes in a variety of colors, styles, and textures that will satisfy your artistic side. Experiment with your leftover tile by using it on the surfaces of different statement pieces and for functional outdoor applications, and remember to always pass along your newfound tiling tips to fellow home improvement enthusiasts.