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How To: Creating A China Mosaic Backsplash

Create a beautiful mosaic kitchen made from broken china plates and cups. This unique idea lets you create any pattern you like for a truly one-of-a-kind look.

HGTV teamed up with rock 'n' roll designer Scott Sicari to create eight hip, budget-friendly and totally customizable kitchen backsplashes. These clever projects will give your kitchen its own personal style.

Materials and Tools:
large sheets of paper or cardboard to use as a template
inexpensive china plates and cups (available at flea markets and garage sales)
tile adhesive (also called thinset)
dry towel
pencil with eraser
tile snips
trowel with 1/8-inch notch
power drill
cement-mixing tool bit
grout float

Use tile snips to control where dishes will crack.


1. Measure the dimensions of your backsplash. Using a large sheet of paper or cardboard, transfer the measurements to the paper, then use scissors to cut a template. Set the template in place and tweak it until it fits the backsplash area perfectly.

2. Use the tile snips to break off even-sized pieces of the china plates and cups.

Laying the tile on a template helps you create a master design.

3. Lay the template on the floor or other large horizontal surface.

4. Create a pattern by arranging the ceramic pieces on the template. When you've laid out a pattern to your liking, you're ready to put your china on the wall.

5. Place pieces at least 1/4-inch apart and affix with tile glue according to the manufacturer's specifications.

After grouting, wipe off the excess with a damp sponge.

6. Wait 24 hours for the glue to dry before you begin to grout. Prepare the grout according to the manufacturer's instructions. Using your cement mixer, mix the grout until it is the consistency of pancake batter.

7. Use a rubber grout float to spread the grout over the china pieces.

8. Wait 15 minutes, then remove excess grout with a damp sponge before it hardens too much. Allow the grout to set firmly according to the manufacturer's instructions.

9. When all of the grout has been wiped off, polish the china pieces with a dry towel to remove the powdery film.

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