Mosaic tiles, pieces, etc...

soonergirl1968June 23, 2010

This is probably a VERY amateur question (but I am an amateur :) What do you guys use for outdoor mosaics? I've been looking online and in stores for mosaic tiles and they are EXPENSIVE!! I still have some pebbles from my enormous pebble mosaic but I would like to use tiles, too. I have a tendency to go overboard with my projects and make BIG things - if you're going to be a bear, be a grizzly!

When I try to calculate the area of tiles I will need, I'm floored at the cost. I figured you all might have some "secret" source or an alternative I can use. From what I understand, many ceramic type tiles and plates shouldn't be used outdoors? (I'm in zone 7b - hotter than Hades in the summer and lots of ice in the winter) Any economical suggestions? Thanks!!

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There is a tile shop here in Austin that has what they call a tile graveyard where one can go and dig through tons of tile, some of it very expensive porcelain, and get it for free or very little. Otherwise, garage sales, and if you have Craig's List in your area, check the free section. I just got back from teaching a workshop at the nearby elementary school and they have crates and crates of beautiful swimming pool tile (mostly cobalt blue) that was donated to them by a swimming pool company. Once I stopped at the site of a house that was being built (I saw a pile of tiles outside). I asked if they were throwing it away and they were so I loaded my van up. Also you might check with designer showrooms; it's amazing how people throw stuff away to make room for new stuff. I myself have not been there yet, but my friend bought some great stuff at Habitat for Humanity.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 4:41PM
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Yup, I scrounge!!!lol! Most flooring stores have a free bin and I go thru it and pick out the glass tiles, porceline, slate...also porceline dishes can be used, I have even like a certain color of glass vase and smashed it just to add it to my "creation" I am learning to bring certain pcs in for the winter just to give them some protection,,that's stuff that ain't too big! For me it's the thrill of the Hunt!lol! Scrounging for "stuff"!!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 1:26AM
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if this looks anywhere familiar, you're in the right place....

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 1:33AM
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Thrift stores - Goodwill, Salvation Army, estate sales - any place that sells dishes, surplus stores. FLAG and I hit upon a surplus outlet last year and found wonderful designer glass tiles for a song. As stated above, tile stores toss out their showroom tiles when they show new designs. One of my local glass shops gives me mirror glass for free. Like CALAM said - once you start scrounging, it becomes part of the obsession of mosaicing. Re the porcelain tiles, I live in NE TX, and only this past winter when temps dipped well below freezing experienced a bit of bad luck. The wonderful, colorful dishes my DD buys for me at World Market in Dallas showed a few spots of paint loss.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 6:30AM
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Thank you!! I hit some thrift stores again last night and plan on checking out some tile stores this weekend. Maybe I'll get lucky!! I checked Craig's list for free stuff and didn't find any tile but I did find someone who is giving away a full bottle of Salon Selectives shampoo and a half a bottle of Vo5!! What is wrong with people??? LOL

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 10:11AM
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I just checked the free section of Craig's List, and 30 minutes ago someone posted a large lot of old windows (you can build a greenhouse with them, or mosaic glass-on-glass and make beautiful windows) so I emailed him right away and he just answered back, "Taken . . . " DRAT! You have to move fast when it's free and first come first served. Darn it!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 10:55AM
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Silva and you know about "freecycling"? There are freecycle groups all over the nation. They operate on the principle of keeping things out of the landfills and sharing what you don't use around to others who need/want it. I belong to two in two cities close to me. I have gotten bowling balls, tiles, rocks etc. I have given things that I don't need to others who have been happy to get them. Save the universe...recycle. I think will take you to a map and you can pick the city near you. Awesome way to "scrounge".

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 3:16PM
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Thank you so much, gardencrone! I will check that out.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 5:17PM
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Thanks Gardencrone! I looked it up and bookmarked it for future reference! :)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 5:43PM
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Dumpster diving! Good one Strawberry! Had my morning chuckle!!!heh heh! Am I the only one who is curious on What came out of that Dumpster?!!! I caught myself looking at all the recycle piles that are on the side of my road on my way home from town last night(this am is recycle day) we have curbside plastic/paper/metal/compost recycle, I love it, less in the landfill. Saw a farm throwing out a perfectly good old pitch fork pc(no handle)...might have to go back for it...hmmm

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 9:42AM
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pitch fork with no handle is great for signs around least that came to mind, the same as a fork can hold a card in a

I a Boo, next to a ghost, for Halloween, or something for Thanksgiving or you know what I mean.

I passed up an old vintage french fry maker at a gs a bit was missing an important part but I just may go back and get the thing anyway, just to hang it on the kitchen wall for conversation piece...

that's what my entire house is...a conversation 'peace'...

I'd take pictures of the things I got but then I'd have to unload the van and I don't have the energy for was enough to stuff it all in.
I even stuffed an old tire, where the rims had been cut off, to make it more of a circle, than a tire.
I thought..."heck, I don't have any lawn and don't really want any but if I fill it and toss grass seed in it, then that could be my one little patch of lawn in the yard"

"dumb but a fun dumb"

oh, that could become my new mantra..

say it fast a couple of times :)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 6:04PM
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I could hear the lone ranger music to that!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 6:33PM
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local craft stores each week (either hard copy or online) and they will sometimes have all mosaic supplies on sale. Most have a weekly 40% off coupon, and will take competitor's coupons (but you have to go to a different cashier). They sometimes have better sales (like 20% off everything) around holidays.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 8:43AM
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Thanks, Phish. I wondered about that!! I will certainly start checking the big hobby stores!! :)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 6:39PM
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I have plates, plates and more plates I need to unload lol. If your interested let me know.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 2:57AM
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