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Do It Herself: How to Mosaic Tile A Mirror

by Miranda on February 26, 2013

I consider myself pretty handy when it comes to home improvement projects or crafty ventures. I get it from my Mama. There’s absolutely nothing the woman won’t figure out how to do.

So when I was invited to attend a Do It Herself Workshop at Home Depot and learn how to to mosaic tile a mirror, I jumped at the opportunity to expand my DIY skill set.

How to Mosaic Tile a Mirror DIY from Not Super Just Mom

Everything I needed to know to complete this project I learned in under an hour at the Home Depot’s DIH workshop. Under an hour! That’s how easy this project is. My friend Amanda took home our in-store project, but I liked the finished look so much I knew it would be perfect for my house.

Home Depot DIH Workshop

This was a super easy project that took about 6 to 8 hours of total work time.

Because of the housing market crash, we’re kind of stuck in this house for the foreseeable future. There are parts of it that I definitely don’t like. Lots and lots of parts of it. Like the front bathroom. But it’s our home, so my goal is to make it a place we love being, which means lots and lots of home improvement.

After the Home Depot Do-It-Herself workshop, I grew a wild DIY hair and began talking Dan’s ears off about renovating the front bathroom. Starting with applying my newly developed skills and adding mosaic tile to the bathroom mirror. Thankfully, he loves me despite my penchant for 11th hour DIY planning.

Step One: Gather Your Supplies

How to Mosaic Tile a Mirror DIY, from Not Super Just Mom

For this project, you’ll need mosaic tiles of your choice, Simplemat, Simplefix pre-mixed adhesive and grout, a sponge, a 150-grit sanding block, and some clean cloths. All of this cost me about $60 at my local Home Depot.

You will also need scissors or a box cutter, painter’s tape, a razor/scraper, access to water, either in a bucket or your bathroom sink, and patience.

Step Two: Cut Your Tiles

How to Mosaic Tile a Mirror DIY, from Not Super Just Mom

My bathroom mirror is 40″ x 47″. Each mosaic tile sheet measures 12″ x 12″. I used 5 sheets of tiles with extra tiles to spare. It’s always better to overestimate how many tile sheets you’ll need in case you encounter difficulty. You can always return any unopened tiles after the project is finished.

Using a box knife, I cut each of my tile sheets to the border size I wanted, which in my case was 3″. I extended the visual size of the mirror to 48″ to match the length of the countertop.

SimpleMat comes in 9″ x 18″ sheets, so I cut several sheets into strips of just under 3″ wide. I also cut two sheets into strops just under 2″ wide to accommodate the edges I was extending.

Step Three: Prep Your Mirror

How to Mosaic Tile a Mirror DIY 3, from Not Super Just Mom

Make sure your mirror surface is clean and dry. The previous homeowners had glued a tiny frame to the surface of our mirror. Because it’s in a bathroom, the steam from showers caused the glue to unglue and the frame fell off. I’m ashamed to say how long we’ve lived with this ugly, glue-gooed mirror surface. While I kid wrangled, Dan scraped the glue off the mirror using a razor blade/scraper tool.

(You’ll also notice I changed the light fixture. Buh-bye ugliest box light I’ve ever seen in my life!)

Step Four: Sand Your Mirror’s Edge

How to Mosaic Tile a Mirror DIY, from Not Super Just Mom

Using your sanding block or sandpaper, rough up the outer edge of your mirror, just a little, being careful not to go further into the mirror’s center than you intend your frame to extend. You just want to scuff the surface, which you can see in the upper portion of the above picture. (It’s really, REALLY hard to get a good shot of the scuff marks! Just a little. Promise!)

Step Five: Apply the SimpleMat

How to Mosaic Tile a Mirror DIY, from Not Super Just Mom

SimpleMat is an amazing product, especially for applying tile to surfaces other than walls. Bonus, you can use SimpleMat on wall projects, too! Kitchen backsplash? Perfect! SimpleMat eliminates the need for concrete or wooden backer board and for applying a layer of adhesive and raking it before applying the tile. Using SimpleMat easily cut this project time in half.

SimpleMat is a fiberglass paper with adhesive strips on the top side. Peel the backing and apply the fiberglass paper to the mirror’s clean, dry surface. The adhesive strips are covered with a clear film that you’ll peel away before applying the tile.

Step Six: Apply Your Tile

How to Mosaic Tile a Mirror DIY, from Not Super Just Mom

Peel the clear film from the SimpleMat and apply your mosaic tile strips, working in small sections until you’ve covered the perimeter of your mirror.

I thought I would have 1/2″ overhang on both sides of my mirror and ended up with almost a full 1″ on each side which is fine because it actually looks better this way. To make sure the tiles that weren’t on the mirror would be sturdy, I used the SimpleFix Adhesive and Grout (hooray combination product!) to build a base behind the tile on either side of the mirror, as seen below.

How to Mosaic Tile a Mirror DIY, from Not Super Just Mom

Once the tile was in place, I used a plastic knife to scrape away excess grout that squished (technical term) out from behind the tile. Then I removed the painter’s tape and let the grout set while I watched The Walking Dead.

Pro tip: It is strongly advised (by me, based on my own errors) that you lay out your tiles on your mirror before hand to double and triple check your measurements. I did not do this and ended up having to peel off part of the tiles, scrape off one entire side of SimpleMat, and then redo my work. Trust me on this. Lay them out before sticking them to the adhesive.

Grab a partner and hold your tiles up and mark on your mirror where the tile strips begin and end and mark which tile strip went where. This will also allow you to figure out if you’ve bought enough tile and arrange your strips to get a pattern you like, if you’re concerned with that. I didn’t want same-colored tiles touching across strips.

Step Seven: Apply the Grout

Applying grout is actually a multi-step process and you’ll have about 30 minutes per section before the grout begins to set and gets harder to wipe off. However, each section of the mirror took me about 15 minutes start to finish, for a total of 1 hour of grouting. It was the fastest and easiest part of the whole project.

Most people would use a tool called a grout float to do this step, but I just grabbed a latex glove and used my hand. I could feel and see what I was doing instead of just being able to see.  Tape off your wall and mirror and then begin.

First, you put the grout on the tile.

How to Mosaic Tile a Mirror DIY, from Not Super Just Mom

Next, you scrape off the excess:

How to Mosaic Tile a Mirror DIY, from Not Super Just Mom

Then, you wash down the tiles and grout until no grout remains on the tile, being sure to rinse your sponge frequently and change your water often. This is where being in the bathroom came in handy. I just used the sink.

How to Mosaic Tile a Mirror DIY, from Not Super Just Mom

You really want to make sure that you don’t leave grout film (which you can see on the tiles in the bottom left of the above picture) on the tiles. If you do, you’ll need to polish the tiles to get it off. So wipe with the sponge and rinse rinse rinse. Then gently wipe with a clean cloth, microfiber works well, but I used a jersey cloth and paper towels and they both worked well, too.

Once your mirror is grouted, peel off your tape and leave the grout to dry. I went to bed right after finishing the grouting on Sunday night and everything was dry by Monday morning.

Step Eight: Admire your DIY Handiwork

How to Mosaic Tile a Mirror DIY, from Not Super Just Mom

You did it! You did it yourself! It looks amazing and you did that! That’s pretty awesome, right? So then you stare at the mirror and find reasons to go into your lesser-used bathroom to look at it. And maybe take 100 or so photos of your handiwork.

How to Mosaic Tile a Mirror DIY, from Not Super Just Mom

The actual final step in this process is sealing the grout. That will protect the grout from cracks and water damage. I’m giving the grout a few days to cure before applying the sealant, but I don’t know that several days are necessary.

This weekend, I’m tackling painting the ugly countertop and cabinet in that bathroom. By the time this renovation is done, the employees at my local Home Depot store will know me by name. And probably run away from Joshua who threw a tantrum in the paint department while I was busy looking through the 50 (or more) shades of gray in their paint line.

Home improvement is never boring, y’all.

If you do this tutorial, I hope you’ll let me know how it turned out for you! I’d love to see your finished projects! I’ll be sure to keep you all updated on the bathroom renovation!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Home Depot Cumberland (Store 121).

(Extra special thanks goes to Alena for helping me with the watermarks on my photos with her mad Photoshop skills!)

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 angela king February 26, 2013 at 1:11 pm

omg so easy and so pretty!!!!!!!! thanks for sharing.

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2 Miranda February 26, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Thank you! And you’re welcome!

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3 Jill @BabyRabies February 26, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Ahhh! This is perfect! We are SO going to do this. Thank you!

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4 Miranda February 26, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Yay fun!

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5 Sally February 26, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Love it and very impressed with how pretty it turned out!

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6 Miranda February 26, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Thank you! I love it too!

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7 Mama February 26, 2013 at 2:02 pm

That is just amazing sweetie! I am so glad you took after me at being crafty, and you are so right, I will not quit until I figure out how it’s done. You’ve got me wanting to do something now! I am actually thinking about doing the entry way to the kitchen in tile so my birds don’t tear my house down! I am excited for you!

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8 Miranda February 26, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Tiling is so easy! You can do it!

Thanks, Mama :)

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9 Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? February 26, 2013 at 2:33 pm

It looks awesome! Great job.

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10 Miranda February 26, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Thank you!

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11 Alena February 26, 2013 at 5:31 pm

I spent an unhealthy amount of time today, while I was driving, thinking about how you would be sure that they all lined up at the corners. It like became a little obsessive.

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12 Miranda February 26, 2013 at 9:22 pm

I had to rip out a section and redo it. It wasn’t pretty.

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13 Denae @ New Mom Adventure February 26, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Did you not have plastic mirror clips? And if you do, is it okay to take them off? Every mirror I ever saw had mirror adhesive on the back and plastic mirror clips on the corners.

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14 Miranda February 26, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Nope. Our mirror didn’t have them. It may have had them at one time, but the previous owners had put a faux-frame on the mirror that fell off, so they may have removed them. I don’t remember if the master bath mirror had one or not, but I know it was glued to the wall so well we had to break it (bad, I know) and then re-sheetrock the entire wall because of the adhesive.

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15 Lindsey, the Redhead Baby Mama February 27, 2013 at 9:31 am

FANTASTIC! I was wondering how it would look in a grand scale, and it you did a perfect job!

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16 Miranda February 27, 2013 at 10:46 am

Thank you! I think I knew the minute I saw what we were doing that it had to happen in my house.

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17 Lady Grier February 27, 2013 at 10:38 am

I love this. I have 2 huge plain Jane mirrors in my bathroom that need updating. This would be great!

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18 Miranda February 27, 2013 at 10:47 am

It’s definitely a cheap and easy way to give your mirrors a facelift! Good luck!

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19 Katherine G February 27, 2013 at 2:10 pm

It looks so pretty!! Great job !!

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20 Miranda March 1, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Thank you! I’m liking my bathroom more and more already!

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21 Maria March 1, 2013 at 12:53 pm

What a great idea! The mirror looks fabulous! Love the idea of using the tiles as a frame!

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22 Miranda March 1, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Thanks! It really dressed the room up!

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23 Joyce@MommyTalkShow.com March 2, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Great job with the mirror. I was at the Home Depot event too and was delighted to see so many people getting crafty.
Your bathroom mirror looks amazing!

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24 Dawana March 2, 2013 at 6:32 pm

I love it. And if I wasn’t a renter, I’d try it. Not sure my landlord would approve of me doing DIY in his bathroom. Although he lives in Thailand, so he probably wouldn’t care…

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25 sally March 4, 2013 at 9:17 pm

love it and i found some lovely mosaic tiles at http://www.mosaictiles.com.au

so i’ll be making one very soon :)

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26 Amy O March 31, 2013 at 1:41 pm

I totally love this idea! I’m going to attempt it with my husband next weekend. We have the same kind of mirror, but I wanted to ask how you got the tile around the brackets that hold the mirror to the wall.

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27 Miranda April 1, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Hi Amy! So glad you like the idea! Our mirror actually didn’t have the tabs on it. The previous owners removed them when they glued pieces of baseboard molding to the mirror to make a frame. (!!!!)

However, if your spacing is right, you could snip out the mosaic tile where the brackets are and then just tile around them. It shouldn’t be TOO obvious depending on what color you choose. Or, if you think your mirror is also glued to the wall (most are glued and bracketed in place) you can remove the brackets. Just make double sure it’s glued in place first, of course! No bad luck needed!

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28 Joan Price June 6, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Lovely idea Miranda it turned out great! I have two bathrooms currently under construction at home and have been looking for ideas for the bathroom wall mirrors , I’m definitely going to have to give this a try! Thanks again!

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29 Kat July 1, 2013 at 9:32 am

Great project idea — but don’t ever rinse grout down your sink. It’s a form
of cement and will clog up your drain! Yikes! Use a bucket of water and a
sponge to rinse off grout. Then let grout settle to the bottom, pour off
the water OUTSIDE and dump the grout dredges in the garbage.

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30 Christi July 15, 2013 at 7:15 am

What color grout did you use?

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31 steam shower cabin November 16, 2013 at 10:20 am

I’m curious to find out what blog platform you are using?
I’m experiencing some small security issues with my latest site and I’d like to find something more safeguarded.
Do you have any suggestions?

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32 Maria March 24, 2014 at 8:32 pm

I’m doing this, thanks for the information. It looks great.

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33 Becky June 28, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Thanks for the tutorial! It’s exactly what I was looking for! My husband and I are trying to revamp our hideous 80′s master bath this weekend on the cheap! I just have one question I’m hoping you might be able to help me with… my mirror has clips on it that attach it to the wall. did your mirror have these as well? If so, how did you avoid the tiles on top popping out and looking funky? (If you’ve already answered this question, please forgive me!) Thanks!!

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34 Anna July 28, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Hi, Becky! So what did you do about plastic clips? I have them to, the only idea I have in mind is cut the tile around them.

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