Lautaro Gonda

DCL

The New Year is all about "Out with the old and in with the new." So you're purging.

An old cell phone—donate it to a charity that gives them to battered women. A shirt you just had to have but have never worn—pass it on to a friend. A belt, a hat, a DVD case...they can all go to others. And then you find the tiles left over from your home renovation.

Your first thought is probably toss 'em. But that would be a mistake. There are tons of fantastic ways to repurpose tiles, so we've put together a list of our favorites for you.

1.Custom coasters

Tiles make fantastic coasters. Just ask the founders of Robot Candy, a company that designs unique coasters made with recycled tile. But if you have tiles lying around, why buy when you can make your own? Simply glue a piece of felt on the back to protect wood surfaces and voila! you have a custom set of coasters. For an added touch, glue pictures on the tiles and seal with the surface (also a great option if the tile color clashes with your living room).

2.Art ground

Art masters like Van Gogh and Monet used wood or canvas as their ground (the thing they paint on), but tiles make an unusual and interesting ground for paintings and mixed-media art. Some tiles may have to be treated or sanded first, but the varying sizes and shapes of tiles today mean you can have a lot of fun with creating unique works of art. Incorporate the tile as an element, or simple gesso over the tile to create a smooth, white surface to paint on.

3.Cheese Platters

Large tiles—especially marble and glass tiles—make fantastic cheese platters when you're having a dinner party. Wash the tiles very well and be sure to line the bottoms with a piece of felt to prevent scratches on tables. Then place various cheeses on the tiles for your guests to enjoy.

4.Tile runner If you have several high quality tiles