No Tile Left Behind: The DIY Tiled Table

Posted November 11, 2020

Guest post by KariAnne Wood of Thistle Wood Farms

Ever finish a project and you have a box or two of leftover tile?

It’s a little challenging.

What in the world do you do with it?

Do you donate it? Do you ask anyone if they need it? Do you keep it for a rainy tile day?

Why not create a project from it?

Here’s an easy DIY you can finish in a weekend.

We transformed a thrift store table into an indoor/outdoor piece that can be used on a porch or your living room.

And here’s how we did it.

We found this table at the thrift store for under $30.

The top was damaged and it needed a little TLC, but I knew as soon as I saw the octagon shape it would make the perfect tile project.

Here are the steps we took to give it a makeover.

Step 1: We primed and painted it. We used oil-based products because this is going to live outside on our porch we are about to build. We let the primer and paint dry in between each coat.

Step 2: We added a lip to the edge of the table. This is a 1”x 2” pine board. We measured the sides of the board and cut and mitered 17” pieces for each side of the octagon.

Step 3: Lay the tile on the table top and lower the edges of the 1”x 2” board down to keep the tile flush with the sides of the table.

Step 4: Nail the boards in place to form a frame for the tile. Then, prime, paint and caulk the boards and let everything dry.

Step 5: Measure and cut the tile. Here’s a close-up of how we cut the sides. We placed a piece of tile against the frame, made two pencil marks for the edges.

Step6: Cut the tile with a wet saw and insert it against the frame.

Step 7: Because it’s such a small project (and we wanted to make sure all the tile fit) we didn’t use tile adhesive until all the tiles were cut and fit into place. We started at one corner and worked our way across.

ProTip: Place all the cut tiles in place on the table before using the tile adhesive.

Step 8: Apply tile adhesive to the back of the tile and put it back into place in the pattern. Allow the tile adhesive to dry thoroughly before using grout.

ProTip: Tile should set at least 24 hours before grouting.

Step 9: Apply the grout. We used a white grout for the project to let the tile pattern shine. Using a grout spreader like this to apply the grout, we pushed the grout in between the edges of the tile and let the grout set up for about thirty minutes. We wanted to make sure we had every edge and space between the tiles filled with grout because this table is going to get a lot of use.

Step 10: After the grout is set, wipe away the excess grout. This is such an important step when you are dealing with a glossy finish like this tiles. You don’t want any extra grout left on the tile surface that can cloud up the finish. Using a sponge, we continued wiping until the entire top surface was free of grout.

Here’s the finished table.

I’m so happy with how it turned out and it’s going to be the perfect addition to the porch once we finish it.

The table is happy.

The house is happy.

And I’m so happy we found the perfect solution for those extra boxes of tile.

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