Adding a custom-built marble table is an easy way to bring sophistication to your home's decor. After a trip to the furniture store, however, sticker shock may discourage your decorator instincts. Building your own table from a marble slab is a frugal method of satisfying your checkbook as well as your personal aesthetic. With a sturdy base and a marble slab, your marble table can be quickly built in one weekend.
Things You'll Need
- Measuring tape
- Marble slab
- Metal base
- Diamond bit
- Epoxy for stone and metal
- Nuts and bolts
- Socket set
- Marble sealant
Measure the space for the table. The space available and the type of table desired will determine the size of the slab. For example, a bar or bistro table is usually square, measuring between 24 and 42 inches. A dining room table is usually 36 to 42 inches wide and 36 to 80 inches long.
Consult your local stone yard or countertop fabricator. Remnants of marble slabs are sometimes available for up to half off the retail price. The colors and sizes are usually limited; however, the cost savings make up for the sparse selection.
Select a metal base for your table. Metal table bases and do-it-yourself kits are available through local retailers, mail-order catalogs and in second-hand stores. A base should cover at least three quarters of the bottom of the slab to avoid accidental tipping.
Place the marble slab upside down on a flat surface. Center the metal base on the slab. Mark the holes for bolts on the bottom of the slab. Remove the base.
Drill the bolt holes in the slab using a diamond drill bit. Work slowly; drilling into stone requires a light hand and patience. Do not press the drill down, allow the bit to cut into the stone.
Mix an epoxy suitable for stone and metal. Apply it to the inside of the bolt hole. Then press a nut into the hole. Allow it to dry completely according to the manufacturer's directions.
Place the base in the room where you want the table to be located. With a helper, align the marble slab over the base. While your helper holds the slab in place, secure the base using bolts. Do not overtighten, as you don't want to pull the nuts loose from the slab.
Seal the marble top with a sealer suitable for marble. Avoid spilling any acidic foods or substances on the marble, as they may damage the finish and stain the marble.
Tips & Warnings
- The stone yard or fabricator can finish the sides of the marble slab, providing a smooth, rounded or bullnose edge.
- The vendor can also drill the bolt holes in the bottom of the slab according to your pattern.
- Sturdy wrought iron table bases are found at yard sales, architectural salvage stores and online.
- A welding shop can fabricate a custom metal base in aluminum or wrought iron according to your design.
- Wear gloves and safety glasses when working with stone products. Protect your hands and eyes from chips and dust caused by drilling into the slab.
- Marble is heavy; a base must support the weight of the stone. A lightweight base may collapse under the stone and injure you or others.
- Do not use your weight to push the drill into the marble while you cut the holes; the marble may chip or crack.
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