Decorate a precast concrete bench with tile to accent your landscape.
Garden benches come in many sizes and styles, most of them quite plain. But with just a little investment of time and cash, you can turn an unadorned bench into an attractive backyard accent.
Choose a bench whose style matches other features of your landscape. Most large home centers offer a wide selection with various embossed patterns. Perhaps the simplest of models -- those with flat, plain legs -- offer the greatest creative potential. Tile the legs in addition to the seat and back of the bench for a contemporary addition to your landscape.
The treatment of the edges affects the amount of time you need to devote to this project. If you select a field tile for which bullnose (for the edges) and down-angle trim tile (for the corners) is available, the job will go more quickly. If you have to set field tile on the edges, you will need to round them with a masonry stone. Squared-off edges invite chipping. If possible, purchase tile that fits the bench seat without cutting.
Two to four hours, depending on whether you have to round the edges
Tape measure, rubber mallet, beater block, snap cutter or wet saw, notched spreader, grout float, chalkline, pencil
Measuring, mixing mortar and grout, setting tile
Spray-wash the surface to remove dust
Field tile, bullnose tile, down-angle trim tiles, latex-modified thinset mortar, grout, scrub pad, sponge, rags
After the mortar has cured (overnight), grout the tiles with a latex-modified grout (sanded or unsanded). When the grout is just hard enough that you can dent it with a thumbnail, wipe it with a dampened sponge and remove the haze. Remove stubborn spots with a plastic scrubber.