I hope you all had a good weekend and are hanging in there! Today, I have a fun post that is equal parts home / interior DIY and a personal thank you note. While this post isn’t sponsored, Lowe’s started a #BUILDTHANKS initiative asking their partners, the DIY community, friends, and families across the world, who they were thankful for during the global efforts surrounding COVID-19. Of course, I was more than proud to join their efforts to say thanks and share the groups of people Emmett and I are especially thankful for during this difficult time. The challenge was to DIY a thank you message using items we already had at home, then display the thank you note outside of our home for the community to see. I’ve been wanting to test out “tile text” for awhile now. I thought it would be a fun way to take a stab at it before trying it someplace inside our home. Emmett and I had actually planned to put together a puzzle last weekend and joked that this mosaic tile project ended up becoming “our puzzle” and weekend shelter-in-place activity… which arguably was more fun! Click through for the tile DIY, examples of how to use mosaic floor tile type in an interior setting, and for a special video message from Emmett & myself thanking some pretty spectacular people!
First of all… the big THANK YOU! Emmett and I would like to thank those on the front lines- especially those in healthcare. They don’t have the luxury of staying home and social distancing like many of us. They show up every single day, putting themselves at risk, in high-stress situations to care for others. Their kindness and dedication does not go unnoticed. I’ve mentioned this before, but Emmett & I come from families containing many healthcare professionals. From our sisters and cousins to grandmothers, aunts, and even Emmett’s mom (who works in a nursing home)… and all of our friends out there in healthcare, we love and appreciate you all!
We also want to thank a group that doesn’t seem as obvious… those who continue to work in transport and delivery. Without you, our world wouldn’t continue to turn during this crazy time. Thanks to people like Emmett’s dad- who is a truck driver, making countless deliveries… the truck drivers, local Prime, FedEx, USPS, UPS drivers, and delivery people of all kinds also deserve a giant thank you. Because of these people, we can continue to stock food, supplies, necessities, and order carryout to support small businesses in our communities.
Ready to dive into the tile type DIY? I’ve seen a lot of tile typography in bathrooms, entryways, and mudrooms. I love the personality and eclectic nature it adds to a home. I’ll share some of my favorite examples at the end of this post, so keep scrolling for those! Here are the supplies and tools you’ll need…
SUPPLIES + TOOLS
- mosaic tile, in two contrasting colors (we used this black and white penny tile)
- tile mastic
- v-notch trowel
- grout float
- utility knife
- sharpie marker
- sponge, for grout cleaning
- small bucket
Step 1 // Determine your text color and separate. I decided to create white lettering against a black background. Therefore, Emmett and I began removing the white penny tile from the woven backing. The tiles peel right off! We dropped them into a plastic container for safe keeping once they were removed from the mosaic sheets.
Step 2 // Begin laying out your type. After determining what you plan to spell, use the tiles in the container to layout your type. We simply sat the white tiles directly on top of the black mosaic sheets to determine the position and placement of our letters and word.
Step 3 // Mark the placement. Once you have your word set and you’re happy with the layout, use a sharpie to mark the contrast tile placement. I put a dot on each black tile that would need to be removed and replaced with the white penny tile.
Step 4 // Cut out the marked tiles. Once you’ve marked all of the tiles, use a box cutter or utility knife to cut the mesh and remove the dotted tiles.
Step 5 // Continue cutting and photograph the final layout. As you’re cutting the letters and removing tile, be sure to leave any counters or negative space (the shapes in the center of each letter) in place. While these are loose, it’s important to remember what shape goes where. Once everything was cut out, we took an aerial photograph with my phone to remember the layout. This will make an easy guide for reassembling later.
Step 6 // Install the tile. Obviously, since we were making a thank you sign and not installing tile on our actual floor, you’ll see plywood backing instead of cement board, but the process remains the same. Using mastic and a v-notch trowel, begin installing your adhesive and tile.
Step 7 // Fill in the gaps. Press the background mosaic sheets into place, then begin filling in your letters with the loose tiles. Try to keep them consistent in spacing!
Step 8 // Repeat this process. Continue pressing the tiles into place and filling the negative space until your floor (or sign, in our case) is totally complete.
Step 9 // Press the tile evenly. Next, using a clean grout float, evenly apply gentle pressure, pressing the tile into the mastic to secure it. All that to dry and cure for 24 hours.
Step 10 // Grout. The last and final step for this tile installation is grouting. Using a float and your preferred grout color (ours was left over from the basement shower floor), press the grout in between the mosaic tiles evenly. Follow the instructions on your grout product, wiping in between, and cleaning all of the grout haze to finish.
That’s it! Tile type is really no different or more difficult than installing regular mosaic tile. It’s pretty easy and just takes patience. As promised, I wanted to share a few fun examples below…
Would you ever spell something in your floor tile? Would it be some quirky & eclectic, or something more practical- like your house numbers or street name? Do you like the historic, typographic look? I kind of envision our house numbers in the entryway / foyer… but I’m still trying to decide.
On another note, I’d love to hear and see who you’re thankful for. I can’t wait to scroll through the other #BUILDTHANKS projects to see what fellow designers and DIY enthusiasts came up with. This was a nice, light-hearted renovation break for Emmett and I. We also loved having the opportunity to share how thankful we are. I hope you all have a wonderful day!
*I want to personally thank Lowe’s for helping us support struggling families in our local community. They generously donated to deserving families I sent over, for my participation in this project. I’m thankful to work with such caring brands! #LowesPartner