Installing a beautiful backsplash can really transform the look of your kitchen or bathroom. However, it’s not uncommon to end up with extra leftover tiles. Rather than tossing them out, there are many creative ways to use up any remaining backsplash tile.
Use Them for Accent Walls
One of the best ways to utilize leftover backsplash tile is to create a stunning accent wall. Select one wall in the kitchen, bathroom, or any other room in your home. Then use the extra tiles to cover just that single wall.
This is an easy DIY project that can completely change the look and feel of a space. The pops of color, shape, or pattern from the backsplash tile make for eye-catching focal points.
Create a Mosaic Art Piece
You can make custom artwork out of leftover backsplash tile. Purchase a board made of wood, metal, or other material to use as your base. Then start arranging the tile pieces into any mosaic pattern you desire.
Some ideas include geometric shapes, your initials, abstract designs, animals, flowers, or any other image you can dream up. Once your mosaic art piece is complete, seal and hang it indoor or outdoors.
Build Planters or Plant Trivets
Turn spare tiles into charming planters or trivets for your houseplants. Simply adhere the tiles to the inside and outside of basic terracotta pots. You can create stripes, geometric patterns, or full mosaic designs.
For trivets, attach four tiles to create a square or circle shape. Add felt pads on the bottom to protect your countertops. Then set your potted plants on top of these functional works of art.
Make Jewelry and Accessories
Did you know tiles can become jewelry? Break or cut the tiles into smaller pieces using tile nippers or a glass cutter. Then visit your local craft store to purchase jewelry findings, like loops and chains. With some glue and creativity, you can fashion beautiful necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and more.
Add a Backsplash to Furniture
Leftover tile is the perfect way to give boring furniture an instant facelift. Consider adding a backsplash-inspired wall to the backs of kitchen islands, bathroom vanities, dressers, or media consoles.
This DIY upgrade adds personality, color, and visual interest to plain surfaces. Match the tile color and style to your existing backsplash for a cohesive look.
Create Coasters or Trivets
Keep your tabletops protected from scratches, stains, and heat damage by creating custom coasters and trivets. All it takes is some leftover tile, cork, felt, or foam pieces cut into squares or circles. Simply adhere the materials together into stacked layers.
Make a set of coasters by using four same-sized tiles or mix and match colors and patterns for fun variety. For trivets, attach four to six tiles to create larger pads for handling hot pots and pans. Add cork or felt on the bottom to prevent sliding.
Design a Backsplash for Outdoor Kitchens
Bring your leftover backsplash tile outdoors to give your barbecue area an indoor kitchen vibe. Use mortar to install a stunning backsplash along the wall behind your grill or around your bar area.
Make sure to choose exterior-rated tile and grout. This material can withstand all weather conditions. Then get ready to enjoy your newly upgraded outdoor cooking space.
Build a Memo Board or Family Photo Collage
Make an organized memo board for reminders, pictures, notes, and more. All you need is a board, leftover tile, adhesive, and embellishments like ribbon or paint.
Arrange your extra backsplash pieces to cover the board however you wish. Fill in any gaps with coordinating grout or caulk for a seamless look. Add hooks, chalkboard paint, and other decorative elements. You can also create a family photo mosaic collage using this same method.
Design Decoupage Furniture
Breathe new life into tired furniture like side tables, nightstands, or dressers by decoupaging them with leftover tile pieces. This involves gluing various tiles and grout to furniture surfaces in decorative patterns.
Seal the tiles once dry for a smooth finish. Try a geometric tile pattern on tabletops or go for full mosaic coverage on the sides and fronts of drawers. The options are endless with this budget-friendly upcycling project.
Add Tile to Picture Frames
Personalize plain picture frames by adding leftover backsplash tiles as embellishments. Consider framing a single large tile in the center as the focal point. Or use small pieces to create a mosaic border around the edges.
This easy craft project completely transforms the look of basic frames. Make one for your kitchen to display your favorite recipe. Or create matching sets to show off family photos in a tiled surround.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kinds of tiles can be reused as leftovers?
Almost any type of backsplash tile can be repurposed creatively. This includes ceramic, porcelain, glass, marble, and stone. As long as the tiles are in good condition without cracks or damage, they typically can be reused in DIY projects.
How should I cut or break tiles?
Use a glass cutter for glass tiles. A wet saw works best for cutting ceramic, porcelain, and stone evenly. Nippers can snap off smaller pieces. Breaking tile with pliers takes practice but avoids uneven edges. Always wear safety goggles.
What is the best adhesive for tiling projects?
Thin-set mortar provides the strongest bond for most surfaces, especially when grouting. Construction adhesive or silicone work for small DIY projects without grout. Always check if your adhesive choice is safe for the tile material being used.
Can I make an outdoor project with indoor tile?
Porcelain or ceramic tile rated for indoor use only should not be used outside. Exposure to weather extremes can cause the tiles to crack, warp, or deteriorate over time. Opt for tiles labeled as outdoor, exterior, or freeze/thaw resistant.
How do I avoid a piecemeal look with leftovers?
Plan out patterns and placements in advance for a cohesive look. Mixing varying tile styles together risks a haphazard aesthetic. Maintain color consistency and purposefully blend coordinating tiles, shapes, and materials.
With a bit of planning and creativity, those leftover backsplash tiles can be transformed into amazing home decor projects. Accent walls, mosaics, planters, accessories, furniture decoupage, and many other DIY crafts are great ways to use every last piece. Just be sure to choose an appropriate adhesive and sealant for any indoor or outdoor ideas you bring to life.