Our flooring situation after we swapped the 30” deep built ins with our new, home-made 8” ones, was daunting, to say the least. The best solution we could come up with was to use tile to create the look of a hearth spanning the room. This was the most expensive part of our project because we needed something specific, narrowing our option field to pretty much one item. I wanted a 3 x 6 clay in multiple shades of red and brown that had the appearance of brick, and the only thing that fit the bill was $17 a square foot. At one point I lost my mind and started researching DIY tile making, but when I mused, “Where can we find a kiln?” my husband was wise enough to veto me and turn to the professionals.
- Hardy-backer (as a base for the tile)
- Oscillating Multi-tool (jigsaw, circular saw, etc. will fit the bill, too-this is for cutting your hardy-backer)
- Tile thinset
- Tile Spacers
- Wet-saw (I highly recommend renting one from Home Depot)
Then I lay out the tiles in the pattern I’ve chosen. We did a staggered brick pattern, using 1/4” T-spacers. One quarter inch is about as thick a grout line as you can do, which we needed to get the look of brick mortar.
After my tiles were laid I decided it looked a little too “patterny”:
I used a paddle bit (not the best tool for the job, but it was laying on the floor next to me) to pull a few tiles up and rearrange them. As long as it’s still wet this can be done. I added more thinset on the back sides of the tiles I was moving before I laid them back down.
Then I number each tile with a coordinating number to the space it will be laid, so after they’re cut I know where everything goes.