You guys, I am so excited to be writing my first DIY post! But what has me even more excited is that it turned out really great!! Ya know, you visualize how you think something will turn out, but it doesn’t always look as good as you expected. Well, that is not the case with this project! It looks exactly how I imagined! But let me start at the beginning….
I left my son’s bathroom to be the last room to be decorated after we purchased this house.
My son was only five and not old enough to be on his own in the bathroom yet, and there was just so much else to be done,we just ignored it. Fast forward to present day and we’re at Home Depot looking at paint samples, when my son picks out this gorgeous teal green paint chip, and that was how it all began! More about the bathroom redo later, but for now as you can see we started with your basic builder grade mirror. I wanted to go with a clean, contemporary look, and the color scheme I picked was gray and teal with white and silver accents. I decided that wood was too warm, and I thought a tile mirror frame would be a sleek look. After some research I found this great tutorial on Home Depot. While I did refer to the tutorial, my husband has done a couple of tile projects in the past, so I kinda relied on him to guide me through. The supplies from the tutorial are listed below with some changes noted, so let’s dive right in:
SimpleMat tile setting mat (Home Depot)- This was the best product, and eliminated the need for any kind of adhesive.
Grout sealer – Miracle Brand ( Menard’s)
12” x 12” sheets of glass mosaic tile – we used 1″ ceramic tile that we purchased at HOBO (Home Owner’s Buyer Outlet)for $9.99 each. It’s important to use one inch tiles.See the tutorial for how to calculate how much you will need.
25/8” Scotch Blue multi surface painter’s tape(Home Depot)
Fine grit, medium grit sandpaper
Glass cleaner – good old Windex
Mineral spirits – didn’t use
DAP Aquarium Adhesive Sealant – didn’t use
Tools -we had the majority of these tools on hand, so I just noted what we didn’t use.
Masonry or vinyl grout bag – we didn’t have one of these, so we just used the trowel
Small disposable bowl
Latex or nitrile gloves – didn’t use
QEP tile nipper – didn’t need
Utility knife – didn’t need
Safety glasses -since we were not cutting any tiles, we didn’t need to use these, but it is recommended to use during the grouting process.
Small drop cloths
Respirator – didn’t use
Start by checking that your mirror is attached to the wall securely. We have had problems with this mirror in the past, so Mark applied extra adhesive along the upper back of mirror the night before. The next morning I started by cleaning the mirror. It is recommended to use a terry cloth towel and not paper towels to reduce lint being left on the mirror. I used paper towels and Windex, but then wiped the mirror down with a bath towel.
Next you measure and tape off the area to be tiled. The HD tutorial is for a 2″ border but I did 3 inches. I love the chunker look, but I was anxious about the added weight, especially since we had issues with this mirror coming off the wall before. But hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained! For more detailed instructions about measuring and taping off the mirror refer to the original Home Depot tutorial please. I did use the level after applying the tape to make sure my lines were straight. The tape helps to keep the grout off of the mirror and defines your work area.You will also want to apply the painters tape along the outer edge of the mirror to protect the drywall. Then where the tape intersects at the four corners on the mirror cut away that extra tape with a utility knife or just rip it off like I did. Sorry, I don’t have a picture but there are diagrams in the tutorial to help you.
Next cut your tile into strips that are equal to the border size. Mine were 3″ wide and 12″ long. Trim the mat as close as you can to the edges. I found this was a little easier if you use manicure scissors, and angle the tile while cutting so you can get in close. Before you start applying the simple mat, you will want to rough up the area slightly with the sand paper. I really did very little sanding, just a light touch.
Now you will cut up the Simple Mat into strips that are the same width as your border. Follow the directions on the box, and peel off the white backing, applying to the mirror in the area you taped off. So SIMPLE! Some of the clear sheets that are on the glue side came off while applying, so I just started putting up the tile strips. Only lightly press the tile into place in case you need to re-position it. We did a mock lay out before this step to see how much we would need to cut off and to double check that we had enough tile. We started at the bottom left corner, then did up the sides and finished with the top row. We had to cut a few tiles off from the bottom and the top row, but all in all, we had estimated really well on how much we needed. This is all we had left 🙂
It looked so good at this point, I was loving it! And so quick and easy, I think this step only took 15 minutes!! Take a few minutes at this point to firmly press the tiles in place, step back and admire your work:) If you are using glass mosaic tiles or you are creating a pattern that requires that you remove tiles from the mesh backing, then please refer to the HD tutorial for more information.
Grouting is the next step, and this too was easier than I expected. I was a newbie, and not sure how much to apply at one time. See the picture below for an estimate.
The tutorial recommends only grouting enough tile that you can clean off within 30 minutes. So I did the bottom strip first and then wiped it down with a damp sponge, while Mark applied the grout to the sides, one side at a time. Make sure you use enough grout to fill in all the joints and you can smooth the edges with your finger.
I just used warm water and the sponge I was using had a mild scouring surface on one side of it. It is important to wring out the sponge well between swipes, because as it dries it leaves marks behind on the tiles, where the water drips. I did at least two swipes using a circular motion with the soft side of the sponge, and if I felt it needed it, I did a round with the scouring surface. I just keep wiping until all the extra grout had been removed before I moved on to the next section. Once the entire frame had been cleaned, we left the area to dry.
Apply painters tape over the border in vertical strips to help hold the tile in place over night. We didn’t do this, and I wish we had. We had two of the top strips come lose. Ugh. So we did end up using some additional adhesive, but it was not aquarium adhesive, it was just something we had laying around from a prior project. You can seal the grout within two days, but we waited a week, to make sure we didn’t have any more issues.
And that’s it! I’m sorry this post is so long, I wanted to keep it simple, but make sure you had all the details you would need to do the project. I would love to hear your comments, and if there are any questions, please use the comment section, or like me on FB @ everydayez!