How to Top a Wooden Table With Ceramic Tiles


Applying tiles to the top of a wooden table can create an entirely different look. This can be done with an old table, a new table or even one that you have built yourself. The task isn't that different from installing tiles on top of a counter top. The only difference is there is not a wall to guide the tiles. Tiles can be installed on almost any surface as long as the appropriate steps have been taken.

Things You'll Need

  • Sand paper
  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • Tiles
  • Tile spacers
  • Glass cutter
  • Tile nippers
  • Mortar
  • Bucket (for mixing mortar and grout)
  • Trowel
  • Grout float
  • Gloves
  • Sponge
  • Sand the surface of the table to remove any paint or stain. You need a clean smooth surface to apply the tiles.

  • Level the table in the area where you will be working. The table needs to be level so the tiles will also be level with the table.

  • Measure and mark out the center of the table. This is where the first tile will need to be placed.

  • Position the tiles on the table around the first tile in the desired pattern. Trace intricate designs on a piece of paper. Space the tiles ¼ of an inch apart with a tile spacer between each one.

  • Trace and cut any tiles needed for the edges of the table. Score the tile where the cut needs to be made with a glass cutter. Use a tile nipper to break away the side that isn't needed. Use a grind stone to smooth the rough edges of the tile.

  • Mix mortar according to specific manufacturer's instructions.

  • Apply an 1/8 of an inch thick of mortar to the top of the table; in the space where the first tile belongs. Use a mortar trowel to spread the mortar.

  • Apply an 1/8 of an inch thick layer of mortar to the back of each tile before placing them in the mortar on the table. This will provide a better seal between the table and the tile.

  • Set the first tile into the mortar. Press on the tile gently to set it in the mortar. Use a leveling tool to ensure the tile sits level.

  • Repeat step 7-9 for the entire surface of the table. Place tile spacers between each tile. Remove the spacers when the last tile is placed. Wait 24 hours for the mortar to dry.

  • Mix grout according to specific manufacturer's instructions.

  • Spread grout over the top of the tiles. Spread the grout over the tiles with a grout float. Work the grout into the spaces between the tiles with your fingers. Smooth out the grout lines with your finger.

  • Clean the top of the tiles with a damp sponge. There will still be a film over the tiles. This will wipe clean once the grout has dried. Wait 24 hours for the grout to dry before moving the table.

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