If you didn’t already know, this post will show you how inexpensive some materials for mosaic can be. I mentioned in a previous post that some of my favorite (inexpensive) sources for mosaic material are garage sales. This is included in “junking” all together. In this post I am going to show you how to get free (or close to it) high quality tile that can be used in mosaic art.
What you will need for this exercise:
- A phone
- Google (on your phone or the device that you are viewing this post from)
- A vehicle (to go collect your find)
- Pen and paper
- The willingness to ask for free tiles
(Google) First enter “tile stores” in the Google search. If your device has not already detected your location then click the “places” tap in the Google search results page. You will be able to tell if Google knows your location by whether or not it returns local results.
(Pen and Paper) Second you want to write down the names in numbers of all of the tile stores that are within driving distance. This will depend on how far you are willing to drive.
(Phone and willingness to ask for free tile) Third call each tile store one by one. When speaking to the tile store worker you want to be friendly and humble. You can start my informing them that you have funny question. I like to let them know that you are a mosaic artist. Ask them if they have any broken or unusable tile laying around. If you are able to pay, you can offer to buy them cheap. It is uncommon for a tile store to keep partial tiles. However, it in very common for them to have unusable tile. The thing is tiles are usually bought for an entire room. Often a style or color is discontinued. This results in any number of tiles that will never be bought. When you find some available tile at a store, make sure to mark it on the list.
(Vehicle) Lastly when you are done with your list drive to each store that has tile for you (I know you will find at least one) to collect your find.
If you are doing a mosaic as a back splash or part of a floor/wall then any tile will do. If you plan on using shards (like me) then you want to avoid porcelain. These are much harder to break with a hammer.
I recently did this exercise. After calling four tile stores I was given a large box of roughly 100 ceramic tiles made up of a dozen colors for free. In my case, I needed to employ my son to the list for carrying the tiles. I have not decided on a project for my new treasure yet. If you have a mosaic idea for me on how to use these tiles please leave it in the comment area. Subscribe to my RSS feed to make sure that you do not miss the post on what I create with my free tiles.
Here are some link parties that this post has joined (you can find all the places i party at on my link party page) :