Lately, I have also been painting tile. I've discovered that Lowe's sells 6 x 6 tile for less than $.50 a piece. Pair that with paint on-hand and some left over polyurethane from previous projects, and you have a very inexpensive craft project.
My biggest fear was that when putting a hot pot on it, it would melt and maybe even explode (It wouldn't explode, but I always imagine the worst in my theories ;) ) I boiled a small pot of water and set it on the tile and, what do you know, no cracking tile!
Here is another shot of more tile:
Everyday Farmhouse Mantel
1 week ago