This tile job improved the appearance and cleanliness of my old cement kitchen counter. It was made with free discarded tiles from friends and the local hardware store. The darker grout looks good with the lighter tiles, and the color helps camouflage the mold that invariably grows on damp surfaces around here.
Step 1: Bust up some tiles
Tiles are made of fired clay with a thin layer of colored glass on the surface. You have to be a little careful of cuts when handling them. It is wise to sand the edges of all the pieces you are going to use. I did that after laying out the pieces on the counter, so I didn't end up sanding lots more pieces than needed.
This is not rocket science. It's probably a good idea to wear eye protection, although I didn't notice many fragments flying around as I broke the pieces.
Step 2: Lay out the tiles
I had a limited number of patterned tiles to work with, along with some white and cream colored tiles. To make sure I didn't run out of any of the tile types before reaching the end of the project, I spread them out in a random pattern over the whole surface before starting to glue things down.