Very basic question about tiles...

solstice98July 20, 2009

I'm hooked and now looking at everything in the house to see how it would look covered in mosaics! The cats won't let me get close and the dogs are hiding their chew toys. DH Jim is afraid to fall asleep on the sofa for fear I'll start covering him with thinset.

For a large project where do you all go to get your tile pieces and glass marbles? Local craft stores? Web sites? Is there an economical way to do this or am I tied to yet another expensive hobby? I'm not sure I can support a quilting habit AND a mosaic habit!

I can find the flattish glass marbles at local discount stores but there must be someplace you can find bags of tesserae and smalti (hoping I got those terms right). I don't know where to start looking.


(If you know of a place in Central Florida, or anywhere in Florida, please let me know. Or Atlanta because I get up there pretty often too.)

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Oh U are hooked! Tiles can be found at Home Depot ,Lowes and tile stores (if theres one locally ask about broken tiles) they may sell them cheap. I scour thrift stores and yard sales for dishes (I break and cut them w/wet saw) and tiles left over from reno jobs (I'm always finding people just want to get rid of any leftovers). I got a large box for $5.00 the other day and ended up with 8 large bags full. Also pull up mosaic supplies and you will find endless sites on-line. Others will probably chime in with more advise. Hope this helps--Good luck

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 9:41AM
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Good advice from CATHY. I, too, use dishes, and either use the wet saw or hammer. I also mix w/stained glass. Hobby Lobby has stained glass, and I buy it ONLY when it's 20/30% off, to mix w/the dishes. Pretty colors aren't easily available in my town, so I buy color wherever I can find it. I was a quilter for many years, but when I got hooked on mosaics, I left the quilting. I have an idea you won't have to worry about TWO expensive hobbies, cuz once you're into mosaics, you'll leave all other hobbies behind. Check tile stores for scraps of their broken tiles, glass stores for mirror. I get tons of mirror for free. Check surplus stores. I just made a haul on designer glass tiles at a surplus store. Also check Habitat for Humanity. I seldom buy bags of tiles from the mosaic supply sites, but when I did, I used Maryland Mosaics and Mosaics by Maria. Mention the Garden Web when ordering from Maryland for a 10% discount. Learn to cut glass and save a bundle.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 10:26AM
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if you have a stained glass store near you,, go and check if they have scrap glass boxes. here the stores sell them for anywhere from 50 cents a pound up to $2 a pound for colored glass. one store near me sometimes has boxes of small pieces that he gives away for free, sizes perfect for mosaicing if youre doing random colors

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 11:33AM
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Slow and krazy are right...I forgot to tell You about the stained glass!! I mix , tiles and glass (and other organic stuff)like (sticks, twigs, rocks, shells, seaglass, costume jewlery, glass gems(half marbles)etc.) to my art so you can use a variety of mixed media!!!! Just go with what you like and you'll find new things every day!!!!!!!!!And your endless will never end!!! I just went down and cut some small Birch rounds to add to a project I just whipped up in my mind for my oldest son and his wife. They love the rustic, organic everything so I am going to make them an art piece for their living room (rocks, pebbles, birch rounds and twigs and whatever else I conjure up in my head ,floral dishes's just taking shape so not sure what the outcome will be yet...But I'll let you know in a new thread as soon as it takes full shape!!!!!!! Hope my back is up tp this!!!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 12:44PM
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You are one awesome bunch and I'm glad I found you! Thanks for all the great suggestions.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 12:51PM
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Don't forget tools...a good affordable rock tumbler from harbor frieght(Slow sent me one) and some tile nippers, The good ones at stained glass stores(round blade) and the regular kind at any hardware store(make sure they have a spring) That's gonna run ya about $50 for all 3 items, but ya can't live without them!!! I look at recyle/used building material places and we have craigslist and usedwhereever online too.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 1:11PM
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Also do not for get safty glass(shower doors, glass sliding doors and so on) it is realy fun to work with.I also use wine bottles I have a great suplie DN works for a wine dest..realy there is no end.Just leave the critters a long OK!!!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 9:12PM
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i will add a question of my own now, dont want to sound like a dummy but what is the rock tumbler for? does that take the sharp edges off glass and tiles? theres a harbor freights not far from me and if thats what it does i might head there this weekend

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 9:19PM
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The tumbler does take off the sharp edges and smooth them. It does best on stained glass as most of the dishes are too heavy for it. I burned two of them up before pulling my small concrete mixer from Harbor Fgt up to my worktable and loading it with dish shards about 1 cup sand and water to cover. Turn it on for about an hour and you will have smooth edges on all your dish shards.
Slow told you about the designer glass tiles we found at a builders surplus store but she didn't tell you about the guy telling me about a scrap pile in the back full of broken tiles and broken cases of tile. I had a ball back there and loaded up. A little clean up and I had a lot of tiles. Some I have reglazed and most I just broke up with a hammer to gather enough tess for the big column I am doing. Yard sales, estate sales and thrift stores are the best places to find dishes and a lot of other stuff. Good luck, I know you will love this obsession.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 10:38PM
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