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Crazy Things You Can Totally Use as Tiles

updated May 1, 2023
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(Image credit: Frankie Magazine)

What is tile anyway? As it turns out, it doesn’t have to be something you buy from the hardware store. With a little ingenuity, pretty much anything that’s hard and nonporous and relatively flat (and some things that aren’t) can become a tile. Case in point: these five projects that will have you looking at everyday objects with new eyes.

Above: It’s not that unusual to see mosaics made from broken dishes, but this tiled step adds a quirky twist to this, with the handle of a broken teacup peeking playfully out from among broken bits of china. Photo from Frankie Magazine, via SF Girl by Bay.

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(Image credit: Marie Claire Maison)

And then there’s this sculptural wall of pottery spotted on Marie Claire Maison, which takes mosaics to an entirely new level.

(Image credit: Dezeen)

Spotted on Dezeen: a store installation with a wall covered in hundreds of dominoes. Clever.

(Image credit: Pretty Purple Door)

You’ve seen penny tiles, but what about a tile floor made from actual pennies? There are actually quite a few people doing this, and some of them, like Kelly from Pretty Purple Door, have even used the variations in the colors of the pennies to create eye-catching patterns.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

And then there’s nickel tile, spotted in this DIY Seattle bathroom renovation. Costs five times as much, obviously, but maybe a good option for you if you really like the color, or just really like Thomas Jefferson.

(Image credit: Wet Dog Tile Co.)
(Image credit: Wet Dog Tile Co.)

Wet Dog Tile Co. uses things like starfish and shells as part of its custom tile installations, with beautiful results.