Hi there! It’s a doormat – could you guess it from Thursday’s sneak peek?
Gus and I inherited an doormat with a “C” on it when we moved in so we figured there was no better way to start sprucing up the house than by starting with a friendly doormat. Ours is made from ceramic tile and a lot of elbow grease put forth by both husband and wife. Here’s a look at how she welcomes our friends these days…
Would you like to create your own stomping ground of happiness? Well, here’s the tutorial if you’re so inclined. All of the supplies can be gathered from your local Lowe’s or Home Depot and this project ran about $30 include the cost of supplies. If you have a few of these things on hand, it may be even less pennies from your bank account.
That’s the general overview and here’s the nitty gritty…
For the doormat base –
- 1 piece of Tile Backerboard cut to 20×30″ (or your desired doormat size) – the people at Lowe’s cut me a piece from a damaged larger piece so the part I used only cost $2.00
For the design and transfer –
- This anniemade PDF template for the “hi there” design which you’ll print as 11×17″ (or on smaller sheets taped together to make an 11×17″)
- 1 dark crayon
- 1 black sharpie
- 1 pen
- A few pieces of painter’s tape
For the mosaic tiling of it all –
- 4 6×6″ Black Ceramic Tiles
- 12 6×6″ White Ceramic Tiles
- A hammer
- A box lid or other space for crushing tile in
- 1 tub of Ready to Use White Unsanded grout
- 1 tub of Ready to Use White Sanded grout
- Trowel or knife to spread the grout with
- Tile and grout sponge
- Tile and grout sealer
- To begin, set up your workspace in a well ventilated area. We worked outside on a card table.
- DESIGN TRANSFER: Set your tile backerboard out and ready to go. Using your dark crayon, color the back of the printed “hi there” design copiously- covering the entire back of the words in dark crayon. Turn your design over and tape in place on your backerboard exactly where you’ll want your design to be on the doormat. Using a pen, press down hard on the outlines of the letters and go over both words. This should push the crayon to the board itself, giving you a faint outline. Remove your paper and outline your faint markings with a sharpie so it’s easier to see. Doesn’t matter if you have to redraw a line or two – you won’t see this part later.
- THE FIRST TILE – BLACK: Smash up your black tile into tiny pieces. We used a hammer along with a screwdriver. Using a plastic knife, spread a generous amount of Unsanded grout on the back of your pieces and begin to fit them into the words you’ve just outlined in sharpie.
- THE SECOND TILE – WHITE: Smash up your white tile into about 3-4 large pieces. Using a larger trowel or knife, spread out plenty of unsanded grout onto your backerboard and begin to place your tile. I recommend using the rounded edges around the edge of the doormat wherever possible. Once your edges are completed, work your way into the center and around the letters by smashing the white tile into smaller pieces.
- GROUT TIME: Allow your tiles to set overnight before doing this next step. When ready, use a trowel or knife to spread the Sanded grout into all the crevasses left by the tile. After we completed our board, I went ahead and sponged a lot of the excess off but I’ve read it can be best to wait. Some of our grout sunk and left a few holes, but I like how it turned out.
- SEAL THAT BABY: We’re lucky in that our doormat doesn’t reach the rain but we are still going to seal it with your standard tile and grout sealer to help protect it from the elements.
And there you go! It was a lot of work but it makes both of us smile when we leave the house and return each day.
I also have to note that 1) I’m sure there’s a lot more professional ways to do tile – this is just the way I wanted to tackle it and 2) I know that this is more of a decorative doormat. This doormat probably wouldn’t fair well in a snowy or extreme weather climate and I haven’t completely removed the tile film because I don’t want the mat to be too slick when it does rain.
Soooo yeah… Happy tiling!