Hello and happy summer pretty handy readers. It’s Jessica from Decor Adventures. With the weather getting warmer, I’m completing lots of outdoor projects these days. One DIY adventure I’ve never actually tackled is tiling, but I’ve always wanted to. Today I’m going to show you how to tile a small table top. It’s easier than you think and is perfect for the outdoors too.
- Small table
- Tile adhesive (also called mortar or thinset)
- Tile (enough to cover the top of the table)
- Notched trowel
- Rubber float
- Grout sponge
- Tile cutters
- A bucket
- Paint for the table (optional)
- Plastic gloves
- Eye protection
First, prepare your table. The small table I’m using was the one we used for my pet parrot when I was little! His name was Woodstock, and no he didn’t talk. I guess my mom taught me and my sister to talk instead :-). The table had sentimental value, so I knew I wanted to create something special with it.
Make repairs before tiling:
Assess the condition of your table. My table’s top was cracked. Underneath are 8 screws holding the top on, so I removed the split top. Before tiling, I painted the table white so it would match the tile I found. Some spray paint gave it a quick makeover.
I cut a piece of plywood to fit on top of the table and screwed it back on from underneath.
Dry fit the tile to the table top to test the layout. If your table top is larger than your tile sheets, you’ll need to cut tiles off the mesh of a second sheet to fit it on the table. If you have a staggered tile pattern, you will need to cut partial pieces.
Practice cutting the leftover pieces of tile first. To cut tile you can buy or rent a tile cutter. If your tile is glass, you can use a glass tile cutter. It’s helpful to do this over a bucket or even an old box so that you’ll catch any of the sharp glass shards and waste pieces. Definitely wear eye protection!
After all the tiles pieces are cut and dry fit, you are ready to start the tiling process. Most tile adhesive (thinset) comes in powder form that you mix on your own with water. Follow the instructions on the box, making sure not to add too much water. It should be a thick peanut butterish consistency.
Spread the adhesive on with a trowel and then place the tiles on the adhesive. Be careful not to put on too much or it will ooze through the tiles. Wear plastic gloves to keep your hands from getting adhesive and later grout on them.
After completing the top, put a row of tile along the edge of the tabletop to finish it. All table tops will be different, so if your tile fits on top perfectly with no edge, great!
Let the table and tile sit at least 16-24 hours.
Mix your powdered grout with water per the instructions on your grout packaging. It is highly recommended that you use non-sanded grout for glass tiles, since sand can scratch glass tiles.
Spread the grout over the tile with your rubber float. Use the tool to push the grout in between the spaces in the tile.
Wipe off some of the grout with a damp sponge right away. If you miss some you can also clean it off the tiles when it has dried. After the grout has hardened clean the tiles off with a wet sponge or rag. Continue cleaning with a clean side until the glass tiles are completely clear of the grout haze.
You now have an adorable new tile topped small table!
I put this table on our front porch with a new plant, it matches perfectly with our walls and floor, but tile comes in so many colors. Find one that you love.
This project was a lot easier than I thought! Considering I’d never tiled before, it was pretty easy, I know you can transform a table of your own.
Have fun with your own tile projects and come over to see our backyard makeover at Decor Adventures. We are taking a small city yard form drab to fab with a new patio and landscaping. See you soon!
You may also like Brittany’s Guide to Tilesetting
And her Guide to Grouting: