Bob and I are putting together a mirror frame kit we bought from Aftosa. I was originally going to paint my own tiles, but we found a seller on eBay (search on Mexican Talavera Tiles) who sells batches of Mexican tile odds and ends pretty inexpensively. You can buy them in various ‘lots’ from 5-100’s. We thought this would be cool for our outdoor garden area. The tiles are gorgeous and I have a bunch leftover that I will make coasters for outdoors too.
I must say, we weren’t terribly impressed by the frame kit. I’m really not sure what they were thinking when they designed this. There is no support for the back besides minimal metal strapping. I mean, we are adding TILES to this, they are heavy! Also, many of the support straps were bent, making the tiles uneven in placement. We had to get a piece of Plexiglas cut so we could glue it in to the frame for support. We glued it and let it dry for a good week. We stacked boxes of books on top to make sure it stayed flat. Sure enough, this worked and we had a nice strong support for the heavy tiles.
The picture above shows the planned arrangement of the tiles. I wanted to be sure I knew the tiles fit and that I had a pleasing design before we started gluing. Plus, the odds and ends tiles I bought aren’t all the same sizes. Be warned when buying tile ends, you are getting leftovers. Some of the tiles are also slightly warped. Testing them first will tell you if you might have problems gluing later on.
Next we applied the tile adhesive and worked away at arranging the tiles a lock at a time. It’s a messy process. About half way through I realized we had the frame upside down, and some of the tiles were upside down. Luckily we were able to fix that before the tile glue had set. (d’oh!)
Now the tile adhesive sets and dries and the next step will be to caulk it. Caulking pics tomorrow! 😉 (Below is the frame with all the tiles in, ready for the caulking.)