Tiling Special Spaces

Decorative Mosaic Project

Although most tiling projects fall into one of three categories -- floors, walls, and countertops -- some installations require special treatment. These projects employ the same basic setting techniques as others, but with a few slight yet significant differences.

Projects in Special Spaces
 

Tiling hot spots
Tiling a small entryway, for example, calls for the same methods as tiling any floor. Their narrow configurations, however, make them more susceptible to design and installation errors. An entryway also opens up into several rooms, so the tile pattern must be designed with an eye toward its most viewed perspective.

Tiling a window recess calls for the same methods as tiling walls. This project, however, is complicated by design and layout choices created by the wide variety of window styles, from a double-hung window in a turn-of-the-century home to a casement window in a 1960s ranch-style residence.

Tiling a fireplace and the surfaces around a wood-burning stove are essentially the same as setting tile on a floor and wall, but these installations require the use of special materials. Heat-resistant mortar is needed. Chances are, you'll drop a piece of firewood or a fireplace tool in the lifetime of a fireplace or stove, so you should use hearth tiles that can stand up to rough usage.

These tiling projects may be small in scope but they still benefit from careful planning. Start with a sketch rather than a formal plan -- a rough outline of the tile pattern places less restrictions on your creativity. The early stages of any project are the time for experimentation. Your initial design may go through several versions. Several factors may cause you to alter your plans: your budget and time, the size of the tile, and your skills and abilities. Work with all of the elements until they come together in a plan that's just right for you.


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