So last Thursday I attended a Home Depot Do-It-Herself Workshop and it was soooo much fun! And I learned some great tips to share with you. The workshop that night was “Inspired by Pinterest: Framing a Mirror with Tile”. And it WAY exceeded my expectations! I was expecting maybe 10 people and one instructor around a plywood table. No no no no… They had a Ladies Night Out theme with a huge set up that was so decked out you forgot you were sitting in the middle of a store. And there was a wild assortment of yummy catered desserts.
Here’s the Home Depot team geared up and ready to put on a show:
Rafael is the store expert on tile and he showed us how to do that project you may have seen floating around on Pinterest using tiles to frame a boring builder-grade mirror, on a budget and in a matter of minutes. You can tile directly on the mirror, around the mirror, or tile the whole wall and hang the mirror on it.
The product that makes this such a simple, easy project is called SimpleMat, a tile setting mat that takes the place of mortar or thin-set. It is a thin piece of paper with a sticky surface on one side that you stick to your mirror or wall, and a two-part epoxy glue on the other side to stick the tile to. I had heard about a similar product from Rhoda at Southern Hospitality, when she tiled her kitchen backsplash using Bondera. The differences seem to be that SimpleMat costs less ($19.97 versus $38.97 for 10 SF) and SimpleMat is white whereas Bondera is grey, so it would show less behind a semi-translucent tile. However, Bondera has tape for the seams to create a watertight barrier if you are tiling walls, and it has grid lines on it to help with positioning the tile. Both have the benefit of no waiting between setting the tile and grouting. Both mention being able to re-position the tile if you put it on lightly, but from what I read online, Bondera seems a little more forgiving with this.
Here is Rafael with the SimpleMat, and you can see the SimpleMat on the wall where he has tiled around a sample mirror.
Here you can see how easy it is to just press the tile into place. Can you guess who that is on the right? Keep reading to find out who the surprise guest was.
Here are the steps (for a more detailed Project Guide, check out the downloadable instructions here):
- Cut the SimpleMat to fit the area you want to tile.
- Peel the white backing off the wall/mirror side of the mat and press it into place where you want the tile to go, either directly on the mirror or around it.
- Using a soft float, press the float across the surface to activate the two-part epoxy.
- Peel the clear plastic off of the tile side of the mat. If you very lightly place the tile, you can re-position it if needed, but once they are firmly pressed they can’t be easily moved.
- Press the tile into place.
- Press the soft float across the tiled surface.
- Tape off the mirror and wall with painters tape to protect it from the grout.
- Using a trowel, grout the tile and you are all done! You can use pre-mixed grout and you’ll have a no-mix project.
They let us all have a turn using the products. Here’s a close-up of the SimpleMat and soft float.
If you are using a completely transparent glass tile, the glue lines of the SimpleMat could show through. In that case, Rafael suggested using a silicone adhesive that goes on and dries clear so it won’t be seen behind the tile. You would also want to remove each tile from the mesh backing because it would also show through. If you skip the grout, the reflective mirror will shine through the lines which might look good with a small glass tile. If you do chose to grout, chose a non-sanded grout for glass tile because it goes in easier and it won’t scratch the glass.
For a really small project, they have grout that comes in a caulk tube, to make this project even easier and less messy.
The SimpleMat can be used on walls, backsplashes, countertops, and even shower walls. To work around outlets, you simply cut a hole out of the SimpleMat and in the grid-like mat the tile is attached to. If you choose to tile the whole wall and hang a mirror from it, they have drill bits specifically for glass and ceramic tile.
After seeing SimpleMat in person, I was thinking I really could re-tile my backsplash and have it come out looking good, until I realized I don’t have one of those huge wet tile saws for making cuts. But then Rafael surprised us again by bringing out a small diamond cutter made for small jobs with prices that start at only $19.97! Hello! This has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me and my DIY plans with my home.
With one of those basic rectangular builder-grade mirrors, chances are you will not have to make any cuts in the tile, or you may be able to vary the spacing between each tile to avoid having to make any cuts. But depending on the area you plan to tile and the tile you chose, you may need to make some cuts, and one of these small diamond cutters is all you need to finish the job. Here are the two basic tile cutters he featured: QEP 14″ Tile Cutter and the Rubi Practic 21″ Tile Cutter.
After the demonstration, they raffled off some really great prizes including three large house plants, a HUGE wood framed beveled mirror and this mirror that Rafael tiled for the project:
If that wasn’t enough, we got an even better treat! For this event, the store I went to teamed up with Amy Anderson of Mod Podge Rocks, and the audience got the benefit of a second tutorial on using Mod Podge to make tile coasters decorated with scrapbook paper, printed napkins, sheet music or book pages. Amy brought every Mod Podge product under the sun along with some example of projects she has done.
She showed us how simple it was to make beautiful decoupaged tiles, which I would use in a grouping for wall art, or a nice housewarming gift of a set of decoupaged tile coasters. All she did was paint a medium coat of Mod Podge on the tile, press a piece of scrapbook paper to it, let it dry, and then paint another coat over the top to seal it. If the tile will be used as a coaster, you’d need to add a clear acrylic sealer over the top to make it waterproof. Everyone had fun getting messy.
Here is the one I made, along with my favorite coffee mug. It adds a little fun to my desk and it’s a reminder of the good time I had that night.
They told us we could make as many as we wanted and I wish I had time to make more, but I got sidetracked talking to the window rep about putting new windows in my house.
I didn’t realize Mod Podge is headquartered in the Atlanta area. They sent a whole team to showcase their product and gave each of us a bottle of Mod Podge to take home. Amy raffled off three huge goodie bags full of craft supplies. And everyone went home with a cute reusable shopping bag from Home Depot to put our other giveaways in. Better still, YOU have a chance to win a $100 Home Depot gift card by entering Amy’s giveaway (I think it ends March 13).
Can’t you tell we were all having fun? If you haven’t been to one of the free Do-It-Herself workshops at Home Depot, I would definitely recommend it! They are offered on the third Thursday of the month and they post the topic for the month here. The next one is March 21st and it is on how to install a dimmer switch and energy efficiency using dimmers and sensors. Store #106 in Kennesaw will be raffling off outdoor motion sensing lights and HGTV will be there with other giveaways! Check with your local store to see what kind of special goodies you can expect. Amy has a Pinterest board just for these workshops here. I’ve already got the next one on my calendar. And whenever I get around to tiling our plain old mirrors, you know I’ll post about it.
(This was NOT a sponsored post. I just liked it and wanted to share.)