Ideas Left Over Tiles

Fun Filled Ideas for Your Left Over Tiles

Congratulations! You’ve just completed the tile work in your house and the feeling is just great.

Hey, what about the leftover tiles?

You’re now left with assorted and different sized tiles that you may want to throw in the trash. But wait, we have some fun filled-ideas that you might want to consider before you get rid of them. These assorted tiles could be used in different rooms and areas of your house and still add value, despite being left over.


Tile Coasters

The easiest and most familiar use of small square tiles is a coaster. You probably have to do nothing but can start using these 3” x 3” or 4” by 4” sized tiles as coasters. Totally scratch resistant and easy to clean, place your tea or coffee mugs and stop worrying about the spills. Just wash these coasters under running water, wipe them clean and they are ready to be used again.


In case your tiles are rough and not glazed at least on one side, you might want to provide an even surface on the bottom side. This can be easily done by sticking felt or cork sheets. Cut the felt or cork sheet slightly smaller than the size of the tile so that they are not visible. Stick the felt or cork sheet firmly using glue and allow it to dry. Once stuck, they should last for their lifetime. Set of four or six such coasters in a ribbon wrap could be a nice gift idea for someone.

Simply ageless and classic, I must say.


Tiled Serving Tray

Converting a normal average wooden tray into a fancy and chic tiled tray could be another interesting idea. You will need just four simple items that are tray, tiles, glue, and grout.

Find a tray in the house that is square or rectangle. Needless to say, only square or rectangular glazed tiles would fit the bill. Any other shaped tiles would require cutting and smoothing which is possible only by using specialized tools and skills.

Place your leftover tiles in the tray to create the desired design and count the total number of tiles required. At this point, it would be a good idea to click a photo using your cell phone to remember the final layout of the tiles.

Clean the tray surface, apply adequate glue on its surface and also to the lower surface of the tiles that would rest on the tray. Fill the spaces in between the tiles with grout and remove all dirt and excess grout. Allow it to dry naturally and voila, you have a brand new tiled tray!

Ceramic tiles are scratch, heat, spillage, and stain resistant and hygienic too. Serve your meals in style and win admiration from guests.

Get detailed DIY instructions here.


Tiled Table Runner

Instead of a simple fabric table length runner imagine a tile-based table runner. We all use a table runner along with different trivets to place hot serving wares on tables. What if we could use a single tile topped runner along the full table length and eliminate the need of multiple separate trivets? This is how you could make this happen.

You would require felt, scissors or craft knife, glue, and tiles. Please note that for this tabletop runner, you should consider small sized any shape tiles.

Cut the felt to the desired length and breadth in proportion to the size of the table. Arrange the tiles in the desired pattern and then turn individual tile upside down in its arranged place. Apply the glue to the tile side that would be glued to the felt and also apply a thin layer of glue to the felt below the tile. Then turn the tile upside down so that the glued surface of the tile is stuck to the felt below and the desired non-glued side of the tile is facing up. Repeat the process until all the tiles or tile pieces are glued to felt. Spread the runner out on a flat surface and place some weight throughout its surface so that pressure spreads the glue uniformly and the bond is strong when dry. Leave it for a few hours so that the wet glue dries up and the bond is permanent. Cut any extra edges of felt that maybe extending beyond the edges of the tiles.

Ceramic, porcelain or any light tiles with sizes less than 4”x 4” will work well to create unique designs. Also, different shaped tiles as circular, hexagonal, trapezoid or octagonal tiles can also create mosaic type runner. Try to use smooth surface and glazed tiled so that the serve wares can rest on this tiled runner without any tilt.

There, you now have water, heat, scratch, and stain-resistant tiled runner and you can stow away the trivets. By the way, did I mention that this tiled runner is dishwasher friendly?


Tiled Table Top

Stretch your imagination even further and you can also create a fixed tiled table top, similar to the tiled table runner, described above. However, this would require a little more work and creativity but the results can be stunning. Consider the following points while creating a tiled tabletop.


  1. Layout – The tiled surface could be either all across the top surface of the table or in the center of the table, in proportion to the shape of the tabletop. If the table is square, rectangular or circular, the centered tile top would be shaped accordingly. For example, a 4 foot by 6 foot could have a 1 foot by 2.5 foot or 3-foot centered tile top.
  2. Tile Type – Selection of the right tile type can make all the difference to the tabletop. Depending on the usage purpose of the table, the tile type should be selected. For example, a center table in the drawing room can have a full surface tiled treatment, whereas the dining table would look better with a centered tile treatment that would double up as a table runner.


Select tiles that are durable, smooth surfaced, scratch resistant, burn resistant, non-porous, hygienic and eco-friendly. Ceramic and porcelain tiles should be on top of your list. 

  1. Tile Size – Avoid large sized tiles. Choose small sized tiles. Smaller the size of the individual tile, more freedom you have in terms of creativity. Think mosaic art and visualize how much more you could do with smaller pieces than larger ones.
  2. Tile Pattern – Since you already have selected certain kindly of tiles for your main tiling project, the tone and theme in your house is already set.  Now you’re creating something out of leftover tiles. Be imaginative and try new placement patterns for the leftover times to give them a new character.
  3. Table Top Type – Most of the table tops that we’re trying to redecorate using leftover tiles would either be wooden or glass, or a mix of both. So depending on the tabletop type, new tiled tops could be created.


If the tabletop is wood, tiles could be simply glued in desired patterns on the surface. Use high-quality glue that is used for wood bonding and that should be fine. Apply the glue to the bonding surfaces of the table and tiles. Fill the in between the tiles gaps with grout to seal it and remove dirt and extra grout after finishing the tiling. Place some weight so that the glue spreads evenly and leave the tiles to dry overnight. Once dried, the new look table is ready for appreciation.

If the tabletop is glass, a little extra care must be taken, while applying pressure on the glued tiles. It is best to remove the glass top from the table and have it placed on a flat surface as the floor, for the duration of this project.

Get design ideas here and DIY instructions here.


Tiled House Numbers

Another interesting idea to add to your house decor is house numbers written on tiles. Consider printing one digit per tile. Choose standard white 4” by 4”glazed ceramic tiles and print your house number on these. You can stick them on the walls using a strong glue or slide them in a bracket. Check out these bracket design ideas here.  The project is pretty simple to do as is requires selecting either plain white subway square tiles or white tiles with interesting designs on it.

Being ceramic, the tiles are almost indestructible and can easily withstand the harsh extreme climates. Easy to wash and wipe clean, these tiled numbers will increase the aesthetics of your and make it stand tall in the neighborhood.


Tiled Plant Box

If you are a plant lover and have plants growing in plant boxes then this is a project for you. To do this project you will need the following items.

  • Wooden planter box
  • Thinset mortar or wood bonding glue
  • Mosaic tiles or any other type of ceramic tiles (less than 4" by 4")
  • Grout
  • Sponge brush
  • Large sponge to rinse off excess grout
  • White plastic putty knife
  • Painters tape

Apply the wooden side surface of the planter with wood bonding glue or (or mortar if using mosaic tiles). Also, apply the glue to the underside of the ceramic tiles. Paste the tile on the glued sidewall of the planter. Apply pressure on the stuck tile so that the bonding takes place perfectly. Repeat the process for the rest of the tiles. Fill the in-between gaps of the tiles with necessary grout and use the sponge to wipe clean any excess dirt and grout. Allow the tiles to dry overnight. Next day, apply the wood edges with the wood paint of your choice. Using contrasting colors will make it stand out. If there are any spills or stains on the tiles simply wipe it clean.

There you have your project complete.

For detailed DIY instructions, click here.


Tiled Bookshelf

This is another interesting project where you can use your left-over tiles. Though you can use any type and size of tiles we recommend using smaller tiles. Identify a bookcase, preferably with removable shelves. The items you would need for this project are as below: 

  • Leftover tiles
  • Tile adhesive
  • Grout

Remove the shelves from the bookcase. Apply the adhesive uniformly across the inner walls of the bookcase on which you wish to paste the tiles. Also, apply adhesive on the underside of each tile or tile mesh. Apply pressure on the tiles for some time and fill the in-between tiles gaps with the grout and wipe any excess grout and dirt. Allow it o dry overnight. Next day you may put in the shelves in case the bookcase does not have to be painted. In case you wish to paint the bookcase just go ahead and paint it with the wackiest of colors that you have in mind. Do not worry about the stains on the tiles as they can be cleaned easily with moist cloth or sponge. Allow the paint on the bookcase to dry.

Go ahead and place your favorite books on the shelf along with your best souvenirs and trophies.

Get more DIY ideas here.


Tiled Cabinet Door

This project is very similar to the bookcase project with the only difference being that instead of pasting the tiles on the inside, this time we will paste the tiles on the outer surface of the cabinet door. Items required are as follows: 

  • Leftover tiles
  • Adhesive glue
  • Grout


As recommended before, smaller tiles look more attractive and are easier to handle. Check the surface of the cabinet door and make sure that the adhesive glue has good bonding properties with the material of the cabinet door. 

Apply adhesive glue to the surface of the cabinet door and also to the underside of the tiles. Paste the tiles on to the glued surface of the cabinet door. Apply pressure for some time so that the tiles can bond with the surface of the cabinet door. Repeat this process until all the tiles are pasted. Allow it to dry overnight. Next day fill the tile gaps with grout and remove all dirt and excess grout.

Simple and easy. Wasn't it?


Tile Art on the Wall

This is a very beautiful project and limited only by your imagination. While there are many ways to do this project, I would share a few of them here.


If you already have pre-printed or pre-designed tiles then select four such individual tiles with size not exceeding 4” by 4”. Find an A4 size transparent glass piece. Make sure it does not have sharp edges as it might cause you injury. Place the four tiles on the glass piece in an arrangement that looks artistic. Now remove one tile at a time. Apply adhesive on the underside of the removed tile and also on the top surface of the glass on which it was placed. Place the removed tile back in its original place so that it is now glued and pasted to the glass surface. Repeat this process with the balanced three tiles. Place the glass piece with pasted tiles on a flat surface. Put some light weight on the tiles so that the tiles bond well with the glass piece. Allow it to dry overnight.


Next day, the glass piece with four tiles is ready to be photo framed. Before framing, remember to clean the entire glass and the tiles with alcohol so that no dust remains on the surface. Once framed, your piece of art is ready to go on the wall and be admired by all.


Another way to create tiled art is to select the four pieces of white or shaded ceramic tiles but with no pre-printed design. Now you can be the artist who can draw the impressions that would go on the wall. Simply clean the four ceramic tiles with alcohol to remove any grease or dirt. Since ceramic tiles are stain resistant, you would require a glass medium to mix with acrylic paint so that the paint adheres and stays on the non-porous surface on the tile. Once your painting is complete on all the four tiles, use the same method of pasting the individual tiles to the glass sheet. Once the adhesive dries and the bonding between the tiles and the glass is complete, clean the surface of the glass only, to remove and speck of dust. Avoid the tiles as it may damage the painting.


Frame the tiled glass sheet and it is now ready to go on the wall.


One word of caution here would be to keep the size of the tiles small or else the total weight of individual tile could be too heavy and may come off the glass.


See similar creation here.


Magnet Tiles

For this project, find a few white colored glazed ceramic tiles. We are going to make tiles that can be stuck on the iron surfaces, with the help of magnets. These tiles can be written over with dry erase board markers and can be used for small reminders in the kitchen, or as kids’ drawing boards etc.

For our project, we require: 

  • Glue
  • Magnets
  • Dry erase markers


Try to keep the size of the tile no more than 6” by 6“ or else you might find the tile slipping down due to its own weight and insufficient pull of the magnets.

Find magnet strips or pieces of magnets. If the tiles are not too heavy you may consider pasting magnetic rubber strips all along the under surface of the individual tile. You may use the same magnetic lining that used in the home fridges or use neodymium magnets, one in each corner of the tile. Allow the adhesive glue to dry before use. Remember that the magnet must hold on to the underside of the tile well or it will peel off.

That’s it. Just stick the tile to your refrigerator or any other iron surface. Use the tile for writing small notes, dates, reminders etc. using the dry marker. Erase the tile and reuse it for the lifetime.

One word of caution would be to avoid heating the magnets with a hot glue gun as the magnets may lose their magnetism. Read here to get tips on how to work with magnets.



There are many more ideas and projects that can be done with left-over tiles, beyond the projects mentioned above. Run your imagination wild and let us know of any new project that you may have completed and want to share it with others.