Home Improvement Projects: the Creative Uses of Tiles

Gustav Klimt would have no idea how iconic and ubiquitous his early 20th-century oil painting “The Kiss” would be. Initially regarded as offensive by the art community, replicas have been made as posters, designs for phone cases, and fashion statements in women’s clothing.

One of the more exciting ways the image of “The Kiss” has been reproduced is on ceramic tiles. Designers and home improvement enthusiasts have created mosaic representations of the painting. Some have replicated the 72-inch x 72-inch image using 324 pieces of 4-inch x 4-inch tiles.

If you don’t know what to do with the leftover tiles you bought from your favorite hardware store in Melbourne, Australia, maybe this idea of replicating The Kiss using tiles could be your inspiration.

Tile Options

You could break up your plain colored tiles and create mosaic pieces. But if you’re creating art pieces with multiple colors, your leftover tiles would probably not suffice to complete your project. You’d have to buy additional tiles, which is, of course, an option.

But some of the best artisan tiles that you could use are produced on both sides of the Mediterranean. Artisans from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Spain, and Italy create some of the more elaborate tile designs in the world.

Creative Ideas

You can give that closet a bright new look by adding tiles on the doors. You’ve probably seen magnets on refrigerators. Here are more ideas on what you can do to your tiles as both decorative and functional pieces in your home:

  1. Coasters. Use plain colored tiles as coasters. Make them more vibrant by finger painting them. If you want to protect your beautiful wooden table from scratches, put a felt adhesive or cloth lining on the bottom side of the tile. Using cork is also an option, which also creates a better grip on the surface.
  2. Tile that plant box. Don’t know what to do with the narrow leftover tiles you used in your previous kitchen renovation project? Stick them on your plant box. Prepare the materials you need, like grout, rugs, or sponges for cleaning. The tiles will add weight to your plant box, so find a more permanent place for your piece when you’re done with the project.
  3. Center table. Here’s where those Mediterranean tiles look good and add a bit of magic to your furniture. You can create a recessed area in the middle of the table, and that’s where you stick the tiles. You can then cover the recessed area with glass. You’re combining three elements in creating one piece: the wooden border of the table, the glass, and the tiles. Your outdoor table will also look good with decorative tiles.
  4. Shelves and bookcases. Open shelves with wooden backing are another project you can work on. You can use Tunisian, Turkish or Moroccan 4 x 4-inch tiles (or similar sizes) to decorate the front side of the wooden shelf. If you have more time, you can do mosaic pieces representing your favorite images, whether it’s the logo of your favorite sports team, a flower design, or painting.

Decorating your bathroom, creating a serving tray, and making jewelry are projects you can work on using tiles. The list is endless, so find a project that fits well in your home.

Share this story:

Scroll to Top