How to Build a Slate Table Top

What You'll Need
Sheet of termite-proof plywood of desired length
Cement backer board
Cement-sand-stone chip mix
Grout sealer
Drill and screws
Slate tiles
4 table legs
Metal frame
Grout colorant

A slate table top can last for a long time as compared to its wooden counterpart. It also makes your furniture stand out of the ordinary lot. With a few easy to arrange materials, a solid slate top can be made at home which can later be attached to wooden legs or metal table frames available in the market. It is a cheap and convenient option that needs a little dedication and interest.

Step 1 - Buying the Slate Tiles

From a store that stocks tiles of different kinds, select slate tiles of desired dimensions. A tile measuring between 12-15 square inches are perfect to use at home. You will need about 6 or 7 such tiles depending on how you place them length wise and width wise.

Step 2 - Making the Ply Sheet Ready

Take the ply board that must be fit for accommodating the tiles. Using the screws, attach the cement backer board to it. This is easier than it sounds and can be fixed very fast using the screwdriver. Now mix the cement-sand-stone chip mix that is found in a regular hardware store with water keeping in mind that it must not form either too thin or too thick a mortar. Take up the ready mortar with the trowel and spread it evenly to cover the boarded table top ply.

Step 4 - Fitting the Slate Tiles

Take up the slate tiles one by one and arrange them on the ply board like pieces of a puzzle so that they stick snugly to each other. Make sure no gaps are left in between. Leave this to set naturally for an entire day.

Step 5 - Grouting

Now see if the tiles have been set. You will observe that the edges and joints appear unkempt. Here comes the role of grout. Take the non sanded grout (available at the local hardware) and apply it with a tile brush or float between the tile joints. Wipe off the excess grout that overflows out of the joints by using a sponge wetted in a baking powder-water solution. Allow to dry for a week at least.

Step 6 - Sealing and Coloring

Take some grout sealer on a piece of cloth and apply it over the grouted areas. For better results, you might paint the entire table top with a grout colorant that leaves behind a smooth finish. This step helps in making your table top non-stainable.

Step 7 - Mounting the Table Top

Now that your slate table top is made, all you need is to purchase four strong table legs and a frame after measuring the length and width of the top. Any good furniture shop can supply you with these. Use a drill to make holes half way through the top in the place where you see the screws of the frame. Take up the top and place it within the frame and then insert the screws in the drilled holes. Next take up a table leg and place it in the proper place where it should be. Insert 2 to 3 screws into it so that it becomes firm. Repeat this with the other legs. Finally relax! You have successfully made a great slate table all by yourself!