Month: September 2016

Writing With Hex Tiles

Custom tile can be expensive. With a little creativity, you can create your own custom one-of-a-kind floor or wall installation that is low cost and high style!

Hexagon tiles are one of the most classic looks in the industry. They have been around for decades, creating looks ranging from simple to complex designs with a timeless appeal. Most commonly, you see these tiles with colorful hexagon flowers or dots to add a simple design element to the living space. However, you can also find where people use these tiles to write words and numbers to create custom designs.

Writing with hexagon tiles is great for expressing your creativity, whether it is for something fun to show your personality or for practical use. Business owners and homeowners alike both take advantage of this exciting project. Hexagon tiles can be a creative way to display your address, business or personal name, and give directions, advice or information.

 

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A mashup of projects submitted by our friend Charlotta

Writing with hexagon tiles requires prep work to yield the best results, but all of this hard work will pay off when you see the final outcome. When you know what you want to write, there is a fun website called Grid Paint which is a Google site that allows you to draft up a hexagon grid so you can see exactly how to arrange the hexagons and how many you should expect to need without having them in front of you. Other than the fact that it is just fun to color in these little hexagons, this will make the installation process run smoother. Don’t underestimate the importance of prep work. Doing the simple legwork can help assure that you purchase enough product for the installation and your words don’t come out lopsided, making it less time consuming overall.

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Screen shot from Grid Paint

 

For the most part, these tiles come mounted on a mesh backing, which allows you to easily remove tiles from the mesh where they are not wanted, and replace them with other colors. We do not recommend that you glue these other tiles onto the mesh, but just place them in in their position around the mesh- mounted tiles. Glue acts as a bond breaker and could cause problems for the installation. Before actually using thinset, you may want to lay these mosaics out to see how they look, if they line up where you want them, etc. before permanently bonding them in place. This gives you one final chance to review your project and see how everything is laid out.  As I mentioned, prep work is key, and in my opinion you can never prepare too much.

Now, you need to choose grout color. Keep in mind that grout can change the entire look of this project, so you will want to plan that choice out before as well. To see how drastic of a change grout can make, check out one of our previous blog posts that highlight the effect grout can have on a final project.

Check out this quick step-by-step guide to successfully write with hexagon tiles:

  1. Decide what you want to create and where you want it to be installed.
  2. Figure out what tile colors and grout color you want for your installation.
  3. Use Grid Paint to layout your work. This will also help with deciding how colors look together and getting an estimate on how many tiles you need. (We always recommend buying 10% overage to account for cuts and future repairs)
  4. Purchase all of the tile, adhesive, grout, sealer and tools necessary to complete the project.
  5. Lay out your design in your space without thin-set to get a feel for final look before permanently installing in place.
  6. Install this tile with the thinset.
  7. Use grout to set the look in place.
  8. Seal your project if desired. (Always seal the grout)
  9. Enjoy your new space!
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An example of one of our grouted boards, inspired by our new Retrovation Bays at select Home Depot stores.

I hope that this was helpful for your next creative tile job. Keep in mind that these tips can be used in other tiling projects as well, not just writing with hexagons. If this helped inspire you to try a project like this, you can use our entire collection of hex mosaics to create your own masterpiece. Do you plan on doing this or have you done this before? Send us pictures and tell us about it! We would love to see them and feature them on our website and social media! You can send these to us at photos@merolatile.com or through our social media. Good luck!