This project, my first attempt at a tile mosaic, and a way of using up some surplus tile left after tilling the basement floor. The mosaic looks complicated, but is not. I installed it in the foyer of our bungalow (raised ranch) centered under a hanging lamp. In the following steps I will show you what I did, including a couple of mistakes I made, (hopefully not showing up in the above final product.)

To do this project you will need the following tools:
  • A  wet diamond tile saw. (Purchase from Home Depot for about $50, or rent from a tool store.)
  • 1 bag of tile cement referred to as Thinset
  • 1 bag of sanded grout, colour to match adjacent tile
  • bag of plastic tile seperators (1/8 inch and 1/4 inch thickness cross shaped.)
  • A piece of wall board/ gypsum board/ plywood, measuring 40 inches square (big enough to hold insert.)
  • blank paper to cover the board and on which you will sketch your design
  • Protractor
  • Compass made from stick about 20 inches long
  • a roll of clear plastic shelf protector (sticky.)

Skill set required:
Do it yourself skills with no fear trying new methods
Patience, plus measure twice cut once attitude! You need this one in spades.

Step 1: The design

I was interested in doing mosaics in general, so I spent a lot of time at the library reading about techniques, new and archaic. I also spent a lot of time on the internet checking out tools and materials and examples of mosaics both in design and implementation.
In the end I chose a design that could be implemented WITHOUT specialty tools and which could be implemented using nothing beyond straight line cuts and 45 degree cuts on the wet saw. Last, but not least, I wanted a simple design that I could implement using my supply of left over 3/8 inch floor tile.
To be clear, mosaics are usually constructed from small pieces of material. In ancient Rome, the tiles termed tessara were made from cubes of limestone, typically 1" on a side. Nowadays, the tessarae are made from virtually any shape and size and material, including semi-precious and precious stone, glass, marble, and ceramic . However, the people who design and construct mosaics still tend to use pieces of 1" or less in surface area. THIS PROJECT IS MADE WITH BIG PIECES!
The design I am using is not original to me. I did change the design, including using BIG pieces instead of tessare, but otherwise the basic design is pretty generic. If you just love it and want to start producing these, please check for any copyright. This instructable shows how to construct, not how to design.
 In order to build the inlay, I did a fairly straight forward analysis of the design.  The pic here is from an AutoCad image I created simply by copying each element in turn using a repeat copy tool. The basics are straight forward, 36 outer elements into 360 degrees gives a 10 degree subtended angle, the 18 element set is twice that or a 20 degree subtended angle. The circumferances, are chosen arbitrarily but selected to give a pleasing pattern. The entire inlay uses a 1/8 inch grout line.
Would be fun to do this with peel and stick laminate tile pieces X3
Looks Great! It really changes the look of the place, well worth the work. Nice Job!
fantastic - faved!
Beautiful! and great instructable too!
I always imagined this to be hard, but with the clear directions, I feel <em>I</em> could even do this!
I feel like this could be the slogan for Instructables.
Thanks, I am pleased you found the instructions useful. I hope you do take a crack at it. It is not the purest appproach to mosaics but I sure enjoyed making it.
Amazing work!
Thank you
Awesome. I love all the tips on how to fix things when they go wonky and how to properly do it from the beginning. :)
Coming from a Pro like yourself with 92 contributions, that is great praise! I have found making mistakes when you first try a technique is one of the best ways to learn. The mosaic techniques I read about were scaring the liver out of me. This project put the tasks into perspective. Many thanks for your comment
Great project! You must be a patient and persistant craftsman. Your work shows it.<br><br><br>
Many thanks for your comment
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wow, great workmanship!
Again praise from another Pro. You guys are awesome, and I really value the comments. Thanks
All you Pros with multiple entries making kind remarks is very encouraging. Thanks
wonderful :)
Thank you.
Thank you

About This Instructable


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Bio: This picture is how my daughter painted me; old and grumpy. She and the other kids think this picture is funny. My wife agrees
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