You can use broken tile to make a unique and beautiful mosaic tabletop. You can either use your own tiles for this project or buy a pack of broken tile pieces from a crafts supplier. Follow the simple steps below to make a mosaic table that you can keep for yourself or give as a gift.
Step 1 - Build the Table
You can skip this step if you have an old table that needs a new top. A mosaic tile top would be a great way to restore luster to any aging furniture. If starting from scratch, though, choose a piece of plywood the size you would like the table. Bore a ¼-inch hole in each corner about 4 inches from the corresponding edges and about two-thirds of the way through the plywood. Hammer four tee nuts over the holes, and screw the posts into the nuts. Attach the 1x2-inch strips around the bottom side of the plywood an inch inside of the edges. This provides trim for the table.
Step 2 - Prepare for Tiling
Choose the broken and irregular tile that you plan to use and organize it into the pattern you prefer. If pieces are too large, break them up with a hammer. Roughen up the plywood tabletop with coarse sandpaper or a wood rasp. This is to make it adhere better to the thinset. In the bucket, mix the thinset to the proper texture, and cover the tabletop with it using a trowel. Leave a layer of about 1/8-inch, and cut ridges through it with the trowel.
Step 3 - Create the Mosaic
Position the tile pieces into position on the thinset however you want them, working from the center out. You can arrange the tiles randomly or create a shape or other pattern. You might also want a full tile or some other centerpiece at the middle of the design. You have about 10 minutes during which you can shift and adjust the chips before you must leave the thinset to dry. Work the corners and curved edges into place evenly spaced around the sides. Plan to allow the table to sit for at least a day before you add grout.
Step 4 - Finish Up
When the thinset has cured, begin the grouting process. Mix the grout in a bucket to the consistency of peanut butter. Spread it over the cracks between the tiles and begin working it into the spaces with a large sponge. Keep the sponge damp, but not wet. Work the grout from side to side, packing it into the grout lines. Do this on the flat surface of the table and the edges. Allow the grout to dry for several days, and then apply sealer as specified on the bottle’s instructions.