How to Frame a Tile

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Things You'll Need

  • Decorative tile

  • Framer's molding

  • Tape measure or ruler

  • Pencil

  • Miter box

  • Saw

  • Wood glue

  • Corner clamps

  • Sandpaper

  • Brad nails or V nails

  • Hammer

  • Stain, paint or embellishments

  • Epoxy glue

Decorative tiles, whether you buy one or make it yourself, are often too attractive to only be used as a trivet. Being able to use your beautiful ceramic tile as wall art is another way to display it. But it can be expensive to have your tile professionally framed because tiles are not often done by frame shops. You can make your own frames for tiles with materials from craft stores and home improvement centers. By making your tile frame using the back side of framer's molding, your tile will easily be secured. The result will accent and set off your tile as it hangs on your wall.


Step 1

Use a tape measure or ruler to measure the dimensions of your tile. The length of the sides of the tile will determine the amount of framer's molding you need to buy.

Step 2

Select the molding you are going to use Because you will be using the back of the molding for the front of the tile frame, make sure there are no blemishes, maker's marks, stamping or residue from staining on the molding. Light surface flaws can be sandpapered out.

Step 3

Calculate the the length of molding your will need by measuring the width of the selected moulding. Multiply the width measurement by 8, then add that number to the total inches of the tile sides. As an example: 2 inch width x 8 = 16.;16 + 24 inches (6 inch tile side length x 4) = 40 inches. Add a few extra inches for potential cutting errors, then divide the total by 12 to discover how many feet of molding you will need to buy. 40 + 6 = 46 divided by 12 = 3.83 feet.


Step 4

Use a hand saw to cut the molding into four pieces. Every piece should be the length of your tile side, plus two times the width of the framer's molding. Mark the center of each piece with a pencil.

Step 5

Place one of your four frame pieces in the miter box. Using a hand saw, cut the ends of the piece to a 45-degree angle. The inside edge should measure the length of the tile. Repeat this with the other three frame pieces.

Step 6

Assemble your frame by laying it on a flat surface. Remember, the back side of the framer's molding will be your front of the tile frame.


Step 7

Apply wood glue along the joint edges of the corner seams of the frame. Wipe off any glue that squeezes from the seam. After you have glued the seams, use corner clamps to hold the corners together while glue dries.

Step 8

Use V nails or small brads on the back side of your frame at the corner seams. Carefully hammer the V nails or brads, one toward the top of the seam, and one toward the inside of the frame. This will reinforce the glued seam.

Step 9

Remove the corner clamps and let the frame seams dry overnight. When the frame has dried, you can sand the surface to remove any blemishes and excess glue. Staining or painting can be done at this time.


Step 10

Place the tile into the frame from the front of the frame. The 'lip' of the frame, that would normally hold a picture and glass in, is what the tile will set on. If you have built your frame correctly, your tile should fit into the frame tightly and securely. You can also put epoxy glue on the back corners of your tile to secure it.


references & resources

Kate Carpenter

At home in rural California, Kate Carpenter has been writing articles and Web content for several well-known marketers since 2007. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kansas and a Master of Education equivalent from the University of Northern Colorado, Carpenter brings a wealth of diverse experience to her writing.