8 Cool Uses For Leftover Tile

It’s almost inevitable that you will have leftover tile after a flooring project. And, since you can’t just return them to the store, you’re stuck with the odd angles, shards, and full squares of tiles that remain. Before you drag them to the curb, tap into your inner-artist, and repurpose them in one of these easy, fun, and even functional art pieces.

1. If they’re small enough and colorful, use leftover tile pieces in a mosaic that can form an eye-catching centerpiece for a tile backsplash, fireplace mantel, or become it’s own work of stationary art. No matter what size the leftover tile pieces, you can easily break them down to mosaic-friendly pieces by placing them over a concrete slab and under a dishcloth. Then take a hammer, and smash away, right in the center. This is also a good way to let out any lingering frustrations over your original tiling project.

2. If the tile pieces are larger and smooth, lay them as an outdoor walkway or use them as steppingstones. Slate, natural stone, and even marble look great in the garden, and can even embellish fence borders.

3. Using superglue, leftover square tile can be repurposed as unique flowerpots. Just remember to drill a hole in the bottom for drainage!

4. Leftover tile perfectly adds spunk to an existing or ruined wooden furniture top! Choose your design-a mosaic, or whatever shape your leftover tile forms–and draw it out on your coffee tabletop, kitchen island, end table, or potting bench. Sand down the surface to remove any existing finish. Break down the tile to small chunks, if they aren’t already small and make sure the pieces that you lay are the same thickness. Caulk your pieces one by one into the wood, starting on the outside and working inwards, following the design you laid out. Add grout and let the surface dry. Use a tile scrubber to clean and add a glaze to prevent staining. Behold, your new art masterpiece!

5. If you have children, big square tile makes a great at-home arts and crafts project. Add paper, shapes, and embellishments with mod podge. Or paint the tiles directly with original artwork or handprints. You can arrange the artwork around your home.

6. Donate the extra tile to your child’s art teachers or local artists; both may appreciate tile scrap donations for their own work. Some Goodwill or Salvation Army stores accept large donations of leftover tile for other deal scavengers to repurpose in their homes.

7. Leftover tile can also make great drink coasters. Just put some chair-felt pads on the bottom, sand any hard edges, and you’re ready for guests and cold beverages.

8. If you have leftover peel-and-stick vinyl tiles, these can transform into flair almost anywhere in your home. For example, in the bathroom, peel away as many as you like, place them at a “diamond” angle, and affix a hook to the tile. Now, you can hang towels, hair rubber bands, or other décor. In the kitchen, do the same for potholders, utensils, or handy keys.

Always err on the side of caution when purchasing tile: it’s much better to end up with extra then to run out early. Plus, tile breaks in shipping and you can cut incorrectly. If you end up with leftovers (which you will), just dip into your artistic side and spice up your home with material right at your fingertips.