DIY Tile Tray

I am Courtney Hamby from Hamby Home Décor and I’m excited to have the opportunity to share this simple tutorial with you. You may remember my DIY tile coasters that I shared with you last month and now I’m back with another DIY tile project!

I really love trays and can’t get enough of them! There are so many sizes, materials, textures that you can use for food or to decorate with. I picked up an unfinished wood square tray at a local thrift store for $2 that needed some love but had potential. I had plans to paint and distress it but when I found those awesome blue and white tiles for my coasters it gave me an idea, why not tile the bottom of my thrift store tray so it will match all my blue and white ceramics.

I should preface this and say that I have ZERO tiling or grouting experience but I figured this was a good project to give it a try! If I mess it up, I lose a tray, not a floor or wall. 😉

DIY Mexican Talavera Tile Tray

Supplies Needed:

Supplies Needed for the DIY Mexican Talavera Tile Tray Project

  • Wooden Tray
  • Tiles
  • Glue
  • Grout

How to make them:

Step 1: Prep Tray
Paint or stain tray to your desired color. I spray painted my wooden tray with a flat white paint and primer that I had in my collection of paint.

Step 2: Purchase Desired Tiles
While I was ordering the tiles for the coasters  online from Fine Crafts & Imports, I noticed these blue and white tiles that made a pattern when used together and thought they would work perfectly for my tray. Fine Crafts & Imports has a great selection of Clay-Made Mexican Talavera tiles, especially for my fellow blue and white lovers!
Another thing to keep in mind is the size of your tray. My tray was 13″x13″ which worked out perfectly for the 4″x4″ tiles. I knew I could order 9 tiles and have just enough room for the grout. You’ll want to do the math and figure out how many tiles and what size tiles work best for the tray you’re using.

Step 3: Arrange and Glue the Tiles
Arrange your tiles on your tray. You can use spacers here if they’re needed but I only had one interior tile so I decided it wasn’t necessary. If you had a larger tray, you may want to consider spacers to keep the tiles evenly spaced. I used Gorilla Glue for this project but you can use any industrial grade glue that you may have around the house. Follow the instructions of the glue used and glue each tile in the desired location. Once they are all glued in place, set something heavy on them and let the tiles set and dry. I used catalogs and a canister of flour and let mine sit and dry overnight.
Glueing Tile Tray Project

Step 4: Grout in-between the tiles
I didn’t have any grout on hand so I picked up this small thing of white grout at Home Depot for about $5. Do any prep work necessary for the grout by following the instructions on the grout container (mine required me to add water and stir). Then just spread the grout in all the cracks of the tile. Don’t forget the sides of the tile next to the tray. I didn’t have a “grout float” or any special tool for grouting and didn’t see a reason to purchase one so I just used a paint stirrer and my fingers (which I actually found easier).
Grouting Tile Tray Project

Step 5: Smooth and Clean grout
Using my finger I just smoothed the grout lines to make sure the grout wasn’t bumpy. To clean it I used a wash cloth and gently wiped off the grout on the tile. I had to wash my rag frequently and clean off layers about 6 times before I got all of the grout off the tiles. If you accidentally remove some grout where it’s needed, just fill it back in and clean the tile area around it again. Once the tiles were clean and the grout was smooth you just set it aside and let it dry!
Tile Cleaning Tray Project

That’s all! I actually enjoying tiling and may consider doing more of it in the future! I plan to use this tray for decorative uses only but if I wanted to use it for food I would use a grout sealer first to protect the white grout.
Tile Cleaning Tray Project

DIY Talavera Tile Tray

This blog post was created for the the Landeelu blog. You can view the original post here.

Hamby blog profile picI’m Courtney, from The Hamby Home blog. I am a wife and mother of two fur-babies and marketing coordinator by occupation. I have lived in Alabama my entire life. I have always had a love for DIY and frugal home décor projects and that’s usually what you’ll find me doing during my free time. I am a bargain hunter, trash-to-treasure lover and thrifting enthusiast that’s just trying to create a beautiful home on a small budget.

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Maintaining Copper Tiles

Copper tile is an elegant addition to any room whether you want a few tiles for decoration or to cover a large surface area. offers a number of decorativeCopper Tile In A Bathroom Backsplash
Weathered copper tile in a va

It is important to know the proper way to take care of your copper tile to maintain its attractiveness and the value of your investment. Copper needs particular attention because the metal will definitely change with age and it is up to you to decide whether it becomes more or less attractive.

Seal Your Tiles

One of the best ways to ensure that your tiles retain their luster is to properly seal them. A suitable sealant and instructions on how to apply it can be found at your local hardware store.

Some choose to leave their copper tiles unfinished because they like the appearance of the aging copper. If left unfinished your copper tiles will darken and likely develop a pantina. You may be able to buy pre-aged copper tiles that are already finished. Buying this kind of tile is a good way to attain the aged-copper look without placing your investment in a dangerous position.

Cleaning Sealed Tiles

Cleaning sealed copper tile is very similar to cleaning other types of tile. A wet washrag is adequate to remove everyday dust and dirt. Soap and water may be used to treat a tough stain but it is important to avoid chemical cleaners because they may interact negatively with the sealant that you applied. A well-applied coat of sealant will prevent any dirt or stains from negatively interacting with the actual copper.

Cleaning Unsealed Tiles

Styles of copper tiles
Different styles of hammered copper tiles
Unsealed tiles will age at a much quicker rate. You can clean unsealed copper tiles with soap and water, which will allow them to age naturally. Another option is to apply a copper-cleaning product to the tiles. Be careful about using such a product in the kitchen, as they are often abrasive. Using a copper cleaner will significantly slow down the tile’s aging process, maintaining the original luster for a longer period of time.

Copper tile is an attractive accent in your kitchen or bathroom (or any other room!). With proper knowledge of how to care for the tile you can ensure that your tile will become more appealing as it ages!

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How to Care For a Copper Sink

Think about how many sinks you have in your house. They’re all over the place! Adding a copper sink to your kitchen, bathroom, or another part of your house is a great way to add style and class to your decorations. Now we’ll look at how to effectively care for a copper sink so that it will maintain its good look and last longer.

Copper sinks can add an attractive accent to any room, in a place where people often expect dull porcelain or brushed metal. Copper evolves with time as it reacts with its surroundings. You will notice that with time, your copper sink will look even more beautiful (or worse) depending on how you treat it. Ensuring that your sink improves its attractiveness with age requires proper cleaning techniques.

Copper sinks come into a variety of finishes, the most common finish colors are clear, dark brown, or a custom natural-red. The colors are created as a result of accelerating the aging process of the sink. To maintain that beautiful look of your copper sink, follow these instructions:

  • Cleaners. You do not need to have any specific cleaners. In fact, if you use hard cleaners on a copper sink with a patina (weathered finish), chances are that you will hurt the surface of your sink. Use a soft cotton cloth to clean your sink. Avoid using hard chemicals too as they will damage your sink’s finish.
  • Hard water If you happen to have hard water running through your tap, do your best to keep your copper clean. Dry it with a soft cloth after washing. Hard water gives copper sinks a spotty, unattractive appearance, especially on hammered copper sinks. To prevent this further, apply wax on your sink periodically. This will allow your sink maintain its luster.
  • Acid foods. Avoid leaving acidic foods on your sink surface for a prolonged period of time. Foods like tomatoes, oranges, lemons contain acids that leave a shiny spot on the finish of your copper sink. If this happens accidentally, just wash the sink with soap and water and wait for the finish to recover its patina. The copper will age with time and the spot will gradually blend in with the rest of the sink.

For custom copper sinks with natural reddish color, the maintenance process remains the same as it is for dark and clear brown finished sinks. However, you are advised to apply lacquer regularly to help protect it and slow the aging process.

To maintain shiny and washed finishes on your custom sink, you will need to consistently care for your sink. An acid wash also helps in obtaining a beautiful bright look. Remember to rebuff and clean your sink with a copper cleaner regularly. If your sink is in a kitchen or another place where you don’t want to use copper cleaner, you can also make an organic copper cleaning product with equal parts lemon juice and salt. After cleaning your sink, protect it’s surface with wax coating. If you adhere to these instructions, your copper sink will continue looking beautiful and new.

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Handmade High Temperature Wood Fired Terracotta Clay Floor Tile

This unique handmade clay terracotta floor tile is manufactured in only a few places in the world where the mineral content of the clay mixture and the use of wood firing at high temperatures create clay tiles that are imbued with an array of many colors and have a high resistance to wear.

As beautiful and as strong as the terracotta clay tile is, without proper installation and finishing, the true potential of this product cannot be achieved. Below, information is provided on the salient elements of a successful handmade terracotta clay tile installation. The finishing of this type of tile is covered in another article, “Handmade High Temperature Wood Fired Terracotta Clay Floor Tile – Finishing Guidelines”.

Surface on which tile is to be installed

Handmade high temperature wood fired terracotta clay floor tile should be installed on either a properly reinforced concrete slab or 3/4″ minimum thickness steel-reinforced (expanded metal lath) grout bed over a slip sheet over floor sheathing over wood or metal framing.

Wood Floor Installation

If the handmade clay floor tile installation is on a wood floor, the maximum floor deflection should be no greater than the floor joist span (in inches)/720 for joist spans up to 14′-0″, with the maximum floor deflection not exceeding 7/32″, using total floor dead load, including framing, grout bed, crack isolation membrane (if used), setting compound, and handmade terracotta tile. The steel-reinforced grout bed should be as per the Marble Institute of America’s Dimension Stone Design Manual, Volume 6, Chapter 13, Horizontal Surfaces, page 181, Detail 3 “MORTAR BED OVER WOOD SUBFLOOR”. Grout bed thickness should be a minimum of 3/4″. The isolation membrane should be a 30# minimum building paper.

Crack Isolation Membrane

If tile installation is to be on a slab that shows signs of significant cracking (wide enough in which a business card will fit), the use of a crack isolation membrane is suggested to minimize the chance of the slab’s crack being transmitted into the handmade clay floor tile.

Grout Joint Width

Determine the desired grout joint width prior to tile installation. Different tile patterns and tile sizes employ different grout joint widths in order to maximize the design impact of the overall tile installation.

Thinset Compound Tile Adhesive

Select a thinset compound that has been manufactured specifically for the application intended (interior application or exterior application). Thinset compound should be applied with 1/2″ “V” notched trowel to both the surface to receive the tile (slab or grout bed) and the back of the handmade terracotta
clay tile. The thinset compound should cover 100% of both the surface to receive the tile and the back of the tile. The handmade terracotta clay tile shall be applied to the thinset-covered slab or grout bed on the wood subfloor such that the direction of the trowel marks on the back of the tile shall be perpendicular to the trowel marks on the floor. Move the set tile 1/8″-1/4″ back and forth to obtain full adhesion and to minimize any air pockets under the tile. Visually determine that the fully set tile is as level as possible
with adjacent tiles. Since this is a handmade tile, it has dimensional and leveling variations from tile to tile.

Grouting Joints Between Tiles

Prior to grouting the joints between the tiles, decisions should be made on the color of the grout, the texture of the finished grout, and the amount of indentation of the grout joint, if any. Color charts are available from which grout color selection can be made. Grout texture can vary from a very smooth steel tooled finish to a very rough sack-rubbed finish. The grout can be finished so its full joint width is flush with adjacent tiles, it can be finished with a deep concave indentation, or anything in between.

The tile and its setting compound should be completely dry prior conducting any part of the joint grouting. Prior to the installation of any grout, the tile should receive a coat of grout release compound or at least one coat of the first coat of the selected tile finish. This protects the tile from discoloration due to grout getting on the face of the tile, either during grout installation or grout clean-up.

Once all joints have been grouted, allow the grout to fully dry prior to any additional finish coat application. When the grout joints are fully dry, apply one coat of the tile finishing material to the grout joints so the will have a covering similar to that of the tile that received the first protective finish coat prior to grouting.


At this point, the fully grouted tile is ready for finish coat application.

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Creating beauty with floor mexican tiles

Mexican tile and chair rail moldingFloors are an important part of any house interior. Floor mexican tiles have been extensively and widely used by the home owners to add beauty and zeal to both floors and the overall décor of the house. But once you go to the market there will be plenty of varieties and options of floor tiles available to you in terms of features, designs, look and price bands just making you all the more confused. More important is floor tiles should not only look beautiful but be durable, strong and easy to maintain. Lets take a look at some commonly used and some uncommon kinds of floor tiles.

Porcelain tiles are available in glazed, unglazed and matte finish. Since they are strong, durable, water proof, stain and scratch proof, they are popularly used for kitchen and bathroom floorings.They are popularly used in wet areas like bathroom, kitchens, gardens or fountain areas. Terracotta tiles on floor give warmth and deep colors to the space from pale, peach tones, to rich, burnt oranges and reds.Mosaic tiles are available in different colors, shapes and sizes. You can get square, round and hexagon shape floor mosaic tiles easily in the market. They bring grace and beauty to the floors.tiles are ideally used for outdoor floors as they are frost proof. Known for their durability they are not very expensive and come in many shapes, patterns and designs.

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