How to Design a Mosaic Tabletop With Ceramic Tiles
How to Transform an Old Table
If you have an old table you don't like anymore, why not turn it into something beautiful with a mosaic design? It is easy to put together, and I will show you the steps to follow below.
What You'll Need
- Ceramic Tiles (various colours)
- Tile Glue
- Tile Sealer
- Spirit Level
1. Prepare the Table
Paint the legs of the table in a colour you like, as well as any surfaces that will not be covered with the mosaic. Let the table dry completely, preferably at least 24 hours.
Clean the tabletop thoroughly and make sure it is dry and even.
2. Acquire the Ceramic Tiles
Here are a few places you can find or purchase tiles:
- Stores: Some places have some odd tiles left over. These are usually put aside in a sale box, so you can buy them at a cheaper cost and individually.
- Displays: Some shops have samples on display that they either sell at a steep discount or give away.
- Friends or Family: Ask them if they have any leftover tiles in their garage or attic.
- Garage Sales: You can buy tiles inexpensively at garage sales, so this is a great option.
One important tip is to make sure that all the tiles you get are the same depth. This is necessary so that the table will have a level surface when it's finished. The colours, shapes, and designs can be different.
It is up to you to decide how large or small you want your tiles to be for the mosaic. If this is your first mosaic project, I suggest using a mixture of sizes. You will know which size you prefer to work with after you complete your first mosaic.
- Use a hammer to break the tiles. Tapping them lightly will cause them to break into pieces. You will get used to how much pressure is needed as you go along.
- Keep all the same colour tile pieces in a separate box. This will make it easier when you go to lay them out for your design. You could also put them in separate groups if you have no boxes handy.
4. Design Your Tabletop
Once the tiles are broken up into pieces, lay some out on the table and create your design. You can put the same colours together or mix them in rows. Use tiles in one colour to form a shape or straight lines. This is your table, so you can decide how to put everything together.
5. Glue the Tiles
When you are happy with the design, then start gluing them to the tabletop with your ceramic tile adhesive.
- Cover a small area of the table with glue and press the tiles down. This takes patience, but please do it carefully and evenly.
- Place the spirit level over a group of tiles you have stuck onto the table at intervals to make sure they are even.
- Leave them to dry completely for at least 24 hours.
6. Grout the Mosaic Table
- Mix the grout with water, following the instructions on the bag.
- Use a brush or plastic scraper to add the grouting to the tabletop.
- Cover just a few tiles at a time to prevent the grout from drying out before you can spread it properly.
- Smooth the grouting in between the tile gaps. Try to make it as even as possible.
- Continue around the remaining tiles until the tabletop is finished.
- Start from the place you started adding grout and begin to clean the tiles.
- Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe a few tiles clean.
- Use the plastic scraper to remove the excess water and most of the grouting.
- Do this for all the tiles.
- Get a clean damp cloth or baby wipe and do a final clean. Polish off the tiles on the whole table.
7. Finish the Grouting
After the grouting was left to dry for 24 hours, you need to check on the table.
- Use the spirit level to make sure the tiles are even. There will be some areas where the space between the tiles is uneven.
- Mix some more grouting, but make it a thinner consistency this time.
- Spread the grout over the tiles again, paying attention to any uneven areas.
- Clean the tiles as you did above and leave it to dry again for 24 hours.
8. Seal the Tiles
- Mix the sealer per instructions on the packet. Mine was five parts water to one part sealer.
- Use a clean paste brush to cover the mosaic with the sealer. It is very watery, so make sure you do not leave puddles in the gaps.
- Leave to dry for three hours.
- Add another coat of sealer.
This will protect the mosaic tabletop and make it look nicer. When this is completely dry, your mosaic table top is finished!
Want More Ideas?
I made the two mosaic tabletops above. Learn how I did it to get more inspiration for your project! With these designs I used tiny square tiles. I already had some and then used these mixed tiles as well. I found them very easy to use and I had lots of colours to choose from.
Keep Experimenting With Mosaic Art
Now that you've made your first mosaic tabletop, you have the experience and knowledge to create more! The possibilities are endless, so here are a few suggestions:
- Turn that old sideboard or drawer set into a lovely piece of modern furniture by adding fresh paint and a mosaic design.
- Make a mosaic on a plain wall in the garden or yard to give it fresh life and colour.
- Decorate picture frames or old mirrors for a vintage look.
Questions & Answers
What can I do if the mosaic tabletop filler does not dry?
It was probably too thin. Apply more of it again in between the tiles and wait 24 hours. If it is still wet then dry it it with a hairdryer.Helpful 2
- Helpful 4
Do I have to glue each piece individually? and what kind of glue do I use?
Yes each tile has to be glued with special ceramic tile glue first. Once dry, they are covered in grouting and then with tile sealer. It is worth all the extra work because you can create some really amazing mosaic designs that will last for years.Helpful 4