Creating a real tile mosaic on almost any surface top is easy. The first step would be to look in a tile shop and see what is available. Then decide on a pattern you want. After deciding a pattern or design, sketch your pattern on the surface you are going to tile over.
Mosaic Countertop Tips
The first step is to prepare the surface making sure the tile will adhere. You do this by scoring the surface with a utility knife then coating the surface with a mixture of watered down white glue.
Next you take tile cement, commonly known as thin set or mortar, and spread a thin coating over the surface. Place your tiles in the cement according to the pattern you drew. After the cement has set, (don’t be in too big of a hurry) fill the gaps between the tiles with tile grout. Most people think grout is available only in white but if you look in a hardware store you’ll find many different colors of grout available. You apply the grout by simply troweling it over all of the seams between the individual tiles. Then wipe away the excess with a sponge.
Have you ever been in a cafe, restaurant or a friend’s house for that fact, and admired the mosaic tile on the tabletops or walls? Well, it’s not that hard to bring that look into your own home. Where’s a good place to add a mosaic in your home? Kitchens and bathrooms are the obvious choices but end tables and patios have become favorites too.
Consider embellishing a coffee table purchased from an unfinished furniture store. This is a great little week-end project. All you have to do is add a coat of paint and then make a small mosaic on the tabletop using some different size tiles or even broken tile pieces. This same technique works equally well for a larger area like this as it does for a small accent table.
Before starting this project, there are some things you should do first to be prepared.
Take some time researching what you want to do before you start laying tiles down. There are tons of books on ceramic tiles at your bookstore or library. A recommendation is to just thumb through them to get some inspiration for your design. Once you have a basic idea of what you want to do, it’s always a good idea to draw a sketch of your design.
Then you will want to place the actual tiles on the countertop, starting from the center and working outwards, to make sure your pleased with your design. Once you have everything in place, take a magic marker and mark the tiles’ location.
Before you cement the tiles in place, you have to prepare the tiles for the mosaic sections. How do you do that? This is where you can get some aggression out. Take a mix of tiles, wrap them in a towel and give them a whack. This is the simplest way to get the broken pieces of tile you’ll need for the mosaic. For the border mosaics you are going to need some smaller pieces of tile. For the smaller pieces you use a tile nibbler to break off pieces the size you need.
To cement the tiles in place, use mortar that you can buy at any tile store or home improvement store. You just trowel the mortar on about 1/8th inch thick. Then use the edge of the trowel to score the mortar. Then just put your tiles in place. For the mosaic sections you use the same process. Take the different pieces of tile and arrange them however you like. Try and keep the spaces between the tiles to 1/8th of an inch.
How do you finish the project? You have to grout the tiles after the mortar has set up or dried. Remember, tile grout is available in many colors, not just white. Next smear the grout over the top of the tiles filling in the seams. To clean the tiles, wipe off any excess grout with a sponge. Let it dry overnight and you’re done so sit back and admire your work of art!
Not all of us are “do-it-yourselfers”. And not all of us have the money to finance on classy furniture. However, each one of us can use some imagination to bring out the beauty even from the most shabby and old looking objects we can find around us.
So what one can really do is to think creatively. To use things in some ways they were not intended to. Or to buy relatively cheap items which when enhanced can really take their effects in beautifying your home.
Here are some home decoration tips that can benefit you in a fashion that you would save considerable money:
Take that freshness from your house and start by thorough clean up. This technique is sure a simple method yet when used, your house will take a new sight again. Also, consider your lightning. Often, poor lightning spoils the loveliness of the house (even if your furniture cost lots of dollars to produce).
Add interest to your room by using splashes of colors. These don’t always have to match your household furnishings but be sure that colors are in good combinations.
Change the looks of your house with gallons of paints. Paints can be applied in every corner and every wall of the house. For flooring, paints had been used for a number of years now to hide imperfections, scratches and the likes. You can make a good deal of use from them if you applied your floor with paints and patterns.
Too few people may have knowledge of this but did you know that wallpapers (not the vinyl type) could do great for your floor? Paste them with wallpaper glue and coat with around 5 layers of polyurethane. Looks amazing and will hold up well for years. Plus, the savings that it guarantees.
Paint can also work well with metal and wood furniture. Yet keep in mind a plan that will balance painted walls and floor with your household items. (Unless, you would want to make a circus tent out of your home.) The trick here is to limit your choice of color with only two to three palettes ( a deep one and a light one may do!).
Seek treasures! Go to garage sales and see what you may find. There are good reasons why you should buy. The primary of which is that you save largely for furniture that could have cost hundreds of dollars when bought from furniture shops, only that they are far older than what you may buy from the shops. Besides, there are lots to choose from a garage sale. While everything may date back to several years ago, you can still make precious items from them.
Fabrics can add character to home decorating. Set the theme with your sheets starting from the bed to the walls. However, you may also prefer choosing a variety of fabrics to create unique designs. Be careful though not to trip on over designing. Nonetheless, it would be a good idea to echo something on your wall that will relate to your over-all fabric concept.
If you want some touches of nature into your home, you can place a selection of plants that will not outmode your entire house arrangement.
As you can see, the trick with home decoration does not solely depend on the budget that you can outline for your project. But on your ability to think creatively and to put that thinking into workable home decoration plans.
Woodworking plans are an essential component of any project. Wood working patterns and scroll saw patterns are needed to plan a project and create accents in your piece. Good plans give step by step instructions, diagrams and illustrations to guide you through from start to finish. You can buy plans, find them for free on the internet or make your own plan.
Finding Woodworking Plans
Free woodworking patterns can be found on the internet. Many are free, but others need to be purchased. You can search for general plans or for specific projects. Patterns are available for everything from a simple box or bird feeder to elaborate furniture projects. Several websites offer plans for making children’s toys and decorative items. Enter the project you are looking for in your favorite search engine or just enter free woodworking plans.
There are books available that are devoted to wood working patterns. You can find these at book stores, on the internet or in your local library. Often, woodworking magazines will contain plans for a wide variety of projects. Purchase a few of these at your local news stand. After you have found one you like best, you may decide to subscribe and receive new plans month after month.
If you are new to woodworking, it’s best to start of with a simple pattern. This will help you learn to read and follow the plans. As your skills increase, you can move on to more difficult projects. Start off with a simple toy or bird feeder before attempting to make a dining room set. Look for detailed and thorough plans to help you create your project.
Good plans include detailed instructions. The instructions should take you step by step through the entire project. Look for plans that have detailed diagrams as well as illustrations of the project at each stage. Print out your plans and keep them in a binder. This will help keep you organized and prevent pages from getting lost or damaged.
You can follow the plan step by step or you may decide to make a few changes to the plan. Changing a few details is a great way to make a generic plan more personal and original. For example, you can change certain designs or accent pieces and give the project a whole new look. Another option is to paint the finished product, rather than staining.
Creating Woodworking Plans
Once you become more experienced, you may decide to try to create your own plan. Start by sketching how you want the finished product to look. The first sketch doesn’t need to be too technical or detailed. You will add the details and dimensions later. Once you have made your original sketch, determine the dimensions of the total finished product.
Determine what type of wood you will use in your project and how much wood you will need. It’s important to use accurate measurements when ordering the wood to avoid running out before the project is finished. Determine what other materials you will need to complete the project. This will help you estimate the total cost.
Create a detailed list of all materials needed and the quantity of each material. Include items such as paint, stain or polyurethane. Consider the tools that will be needed to complete the project. Do you have all that you need? With this information, you can then determine the overall cost. Take this list with you when you go out to purchase supplies.
You will then draw a more detailed sketch of your design. Create diagrams like those found in woodworking plans on the internet. Draw each stage of the process in detail. Write out detailed instructions that will take you step by step through the project. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you don’t skip any essential steps along the way.
Kitchen islands add a decorative element to the kitchen. They also add extra work and storage space. Space to store things and prepare meals is often lacking in kitchens. An island is the perfect solution to these problems. Some offer additional areas for cooking or an extra sink for cleaning up. There are designs and features to fit every lifestyle.
Choices Available in Kitchen IslandsThe simplest kitchen islands resemble a table. They have legs and a flat counter space for cooking. These are functional for preparing foods and serving meals buffet style. In addition, they add a design element to the room. The draw back of these islands is they don’t add additional space for storage.
Another simple design involves a simple flat counter area with storage space underneath. These are generally drawers and cabinets. They can be built to match the surrounding cabinets in your kitchen. This gives additional storage space under the island, rather than the wasted space of a table top design.
More elaborate designs include custom built islands. These can include a sink, cook top, warming oven, small refrigerator or dishwasher. A granite island top or other solid surface will allow you to roll dough and prepare food right on the counter, without a cutting board. Bucher block allows you to cut right on the counter. You can have any combination of these features included in your island. The design elements of a custom built island are flexible, as it is built to suit your specifications.
Multi level islands offer more flexibility and design choices. They have a smaller overall work space, but allow you to incorporate a variety of functions. These are generally larger islands and may include areas for food preparation and separate eating areas. You could have a sink or cook top on one side with a flat counter on another level.
Measuring for Islands
The sizes of kitchen islands vary widely. You need to be sure the one you want will fit your space. Measuring the area is one way to determine how much room you have. This can be hard to get a feel for with just two dimensional measurements. A better way is to place a piece of furniture or boxes in the size of the island in the center of the kitchen. Leave it for a few days and see how you feel about it.
When taking measurements, make sure you have at least three feet of space around the island. You want to have room to move and easy access to your appliances. Make sure you can open all the appliances and have room to work with the island in place. You don’t want to open the dishwasher and hit the island or open the oven and not have room to manuever when cooking a meal.
If space is too limited for a large island, consider a portable one. These are often on wheels and can be moved out of the way when not in use. They are great for adding additional workspace when needed, but are portable. They won’t be in the way when not needed. The down side of these is you will only have additional work area. You won’t be able to add features like a cook top or extra sink.
Everybody is on a budget which often means that we cut corners just to save a buck or two. More often than not these shortcuts can end up costing us much more than it was worth to begin with and nowhere is this more true than in the home improvement industry.
Builders, plumbers, electricians and other household industries have developed a very bad reputation over the years for delivering less than the best service. However, I don’t believe that all of them are entirely to blame and that homeowners often turn on these tradesmen as a result of their own frugality.
My Grandfather always used to say “If you buy cheap, you get cheap.” This does not necessarily mean that you need to opt for the most expensive home improvement products and services. Neither does it mean that you will be getting the best when you pay the most.
There is a happy medium where you will find fair quotations for good reliable labor as well as the products you need for your home improvement. There are also ways in which you can take control of your home improvement needs to make sure it is done right the first time.
Word of mouth is still the best way to market a good product so make sure that you choose household products that are well known and have a good reputation in the industry. Be sure to ask any tradesmen for any references they may have and check on those references to ensure that they are fair.
Be sure to check up on those references in person. In other words show up at jobs previously listed by the tradesmen, checkout the quality of their work and ask questions such as whether the project was completed on time and whether the relevant tradesman was professional and courteous in his or her dealings.
If you can’t find reliable references take a walk around your neighborhood and find properties that have recently been renovated and look in good shape. Pop a note into the postbox and ask if the homeowner would be willing to contact you with the name and contact information for their contractor. You will be surprised how often people are willing to forward details of a job well done.
Don’t just accept the first quote that you are given. Compare at least three quotes and make sure to take into account any guarantees for products and labor as well as value added services that may be included in the quote. For example, if you are buying carpeting find out if the installation is included in the quote.
Last but by no means least, don’t attempt any home improvements yourself if you don’t know what you are doing. This is especially important for the plumbing and electrical in your home but can have just as many disastrous consequences for a building project.
Take control of your own home improvement and make sure that everything is done right the first time.