top of page

DIY Recycled Mosaic Tiling: When Creativity Meets Budget-Friendly Projects

During my 20s, when I lived in a remote part of Maui, I learned to be resourceful. With limited funds

and no access to a tile saw, I had to find creative solutions for my tiling projects. I've always enjoyed the process of creating something unique using materials I already had around me.

Find local professionals to help you with your project.

There's something about tiling that captivates me. Masonry work, including tiling, is known for its durability and longevity. In tropical regions, where mold and decay are common, tiles offer a practical solution to combat moisture-related issues. To make the most of the leftover tiles from previous remodeling projects, I decided to embark on a DIY recycled mosaic tiling project.

Although occasionally I could borrow a tile saw from a neighbor, it proved cumbersome for sites situated on slopes due to their weight. Instead, I chose to avoid cutting tiles altogether and opted for breaking them when necessary.

Whenever possible, I prefer to leave larger tiles intact to save time on reassembling them. However, breaking tiles into smaller pieces allows for easy filling of areas that require irregularly shaped tiles. I believe it adds a subtle ornate detail to the overall mosaic.

When my supply of tiles from the barn ran out, I avoided buying new ones. There are numerous sources for free or low-cost tiles available locally. I frequently visited Habitat for Humanity, where I often stumbled upon hidden tile treasures. Additionally, websites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace offer platforms where people give away their leftover tile scraps.

Although time-consuming, this method of tiling is incredibly rewarding. While the outcome may not always be flawless, it adds character to any space, especially when used in contrast to more polished areas of a home.

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Collect leftover tiles from local sources such as Habitat for Humanity, thrift stores, and online platforms like Facebook Marketplace.

  2. Choose colors that visually complement each other, and consider using an accent color for added appeal.

  3. Place your tiles between two towels or sheets on an unbreakable surface, such as a plywood or concrete floor.

  4. Use a hammer to break the tiles through the towel or sheet until you have pieces of the desired size for your project.

  5. Install the broken tile pieces as you would with any regular tiles. While tile spacers can be used, I often find them unnecessary.

Helpful Tip:

Try to acquire tiles of similar thickness. Tiles come in various thicknesses, and when working with recycled tiles, it can be challenging to achieve a perfectly flush surface. While there are advanced tools available to address this issue, don't worry if you don't have access to them. Embrace the unique characteristics of your mosaic. Any discrepancies in height can be concealed when the grout is applied.

I hope this article has sparked your creativity and inspired you to embark on your own mosaic tiling project. Remember to enjoy the process and have fun with it. Embrace the beauty of imperfection and create a space that truly reflects your unique style.

15 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Screen Shot 2023-10-21 at 7.03.29 PM.png


I love all things natural. I love building places we can call home and in turn be our most authentic selves. 

Although I specialize in architecture and interior design, I appreciate all forms of design where form and function are in balance.

My hope is to inspire others to find eco-friendly options valuable and beautiful. 

This is where eco meets elegance... 




Get the tools and wisdom you need for your next home design project! 






Designing a sustainable home is no easy feat. It takes a whole team to get the job done right. Whether you have a project your working on now, or are thinking of developing a holistic property in the future, we've got you covered!

  Lets start the conversation!

Until next time, 

bottom of page