How can I reuse or recycle broken bathroom tiles?

ceramic tilesWe’ve had an email from Kevin:

What can I do with broken tiles? I’ve just retiled my bathroom and was careful taking the old ones off but most of them cracked in half.

I also have some whole sample tiles that I got from the supplier from when I was choosing. I’m going to use one of the big ones as a hot dish plate in the kitchen but don’t know what to do with the smaller ones.

Following on from your trivet idea, smaller sample tiles would make good coasters or a place to rest your wooden spoon while cooking – especially if they’re pretty or nicely coloured.

Depending on their condition, the cracked ones could be used to “crazy tile” somewhere that doesn’t need to look 100% (like a storage cellar or shed) or smashed up further for a crazy mosaic effect. Offer them on Freecycle if you don’t want to do it yourseld – someone else might like the idea.

(If you fancy renovating them for reusing, I’ve used a translucent glass paint thing to paint ceramic tiles in the past – it let the original gloss of the tile shine through but it wasn’t particularly hard wearing and couldn’t handle being scrubbed clean. Other tile paint is thicker so harder wearing but it can easily look messy and a bit weird because it’s opaque and gloopy. Anyone else got any advice about this?)

Aside from that, there is always crocks for the bottom of plant pots.

Any other ideas?

(Photo by ftibor)

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bathroom, household, items, kitchen

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9 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle broken bathroom tiles?”

  1. Bobbie says:

    Broken tiles are wonderful worked up into new things. Just cover a box with old broken tiles and you have a new box. I’ve seen cement statues covered in broken tiles and they are gorgeous!

  2. Delusion says:

    Depending on how they are broken you could use them as edging to a flower border, larger pieces (or unbroken tiles) dug in diagonally to add a spot of colour

  3. anna says:

    I would love to get a lot of broken tiles to make a nice mosaic of them.

    • Lori says:

      I have three buckets of broken tile from bathroom, plus about 30 unbroken. I don’t care where they who gets them or what they do with them. I don’t want them in a landfill. Where do you live and how can you get them? Lori

  4. Just Staci says:

    Break the tiles into small pieces,and glue them onto a table top.Old table surfaces tend to get scratched up,burnt by cigarettes,ect.
    After glueing the tiles onto the tabletop,smooth caulk in between tiles to finish it.Glaze the top if you wish.
    You can do the same thing to a door that has been scuffed up by pets or kids.The tile will make the door’s surface more durable as well as more attractive.

  5. Leah says:

    1- stick them round a mirror for a great mosaic design
    2- break into small bits and use as a cheap and colourful gravel
    3- break into bits and put in the bottom of aftificial flowers to hold them up and make them look great

  6. Adrian says:

    About a year ago I decided to tile my floors but found the price prohibitive. I found 8″ and 5″ handmade floor tile for $50 a pallet at recycle place but needed accent tile.I learned that tile can be refired at lower temp. than original firing without cracking.I trace on patterns,paint on glaze and have fired at 3 cents a sq inch.I am amazed at how well this works.

  7. ellen says:

    hi. I want to know if you can make a crazy paving effect out of broken gloss ceramic tiles in the bathroom. I went on a cruise this year and they had it in the public toilets, It looked fantastic. Ive surched the net but cant find any where that supplies what iam looking for, so if i break them my self can i use them. with out cutting the feet off every one.
    Can anyone give me any advice. HELP!

    you can contact me at.


  8. Palitha Jayawardena says:

    Old tiles bathroom or roof could be broken into very small bits using a large hammer or weight, mix same to the cement mixture , when you are paving your road, or pathway floor under lay ect

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