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Displaying Decorative Wall Tiles

Elizabeth Sobiski

There are a variety of ways to use decorative tiles. Whether it is outdoors or inside, you can bring your favorite tiles into the overall design of an area. Decorative tiles can be found at tile and home improvement stores, as well as at flea markets and resale shops, especially construction salvage shops. Decorative tiles may be integrated into a tiled wall, or left as a freestanding element in a room.

Wall Tiles

Add a unique design element with decorative wall tiles.

Step 1

Make a decorative tile the focal point of a tile wall. Enhance the overall look of a bath or kitchen with special tiles. Integrate these tiles with the existing wall tiles or use them when replacing tile walls.

Step 2

Measure the decorative tile or tiles that you want to use. Transfer these dimensions to the area on an existing tile wall, or a wall ready for tiling. If you're using an existing tile wall, take out the tiles that are inside the dimensions you just drew on the wall. Remove the grout with a grout removal tool and gently pry up around the tile with a small pry bar. Scrape off the old thin set to finish preparing the wall.

Step 3

Trowel thin set adhesive to the wall. Often, home improvement stores sell small batches of premixed thin set, perfect for small areas. Set the decorative tiles into place. Use spacers if necessary. Let the thin set dry. Remove the spacers before the thin set dries.

Step 4

Apply grout to the newly tiled area with a grout float. Wipe off any excess with a damp sponge. Let dry completely.

Other Accessories

Step 1

Display an old or antique tile on a plate stand. Shaped like an easel, you can put this stand on tables or shelves. Another option is to use a wall-mounted plate hanger if you do not want to take up table or shelf space.

Step 2

Make a trivet out of the tile. Medium to large tiles make good hot plates or trivets. Place felt or silicone feet on the wrong side of the tile. Use at least one pad or foot in each corner. Larger tiles may need more support and require more pads or feet.

Step 3

Frame the tile for display on a wall, shelf or table. Use a frame designed for canvas artwork as photo frames are not deep enough. If your tile has a protruding design on it, such as a relief of fruit or flowers, use a shadow box. Shadow boxes are available at many craft and hobby shops.