How to Make a Tile-Mosaic Tabletop

Brighten a breakfast nook by creating a custom-tile mosaic tabletop.


Remodeling a breakfast nook? Create a distinctive look with a mosaic tabletop. Here's how to make one:

Materials and Tools:

1-by-3-inch oak strip
100 multicolor tiles
20 linear feet of flat steel stock
rust-finish spray paint
vinyl fabric for cushions
tile saw
welding equipment
grinder with flap wheel
sewing machine
mixing bit
electric table saw
grout float
measuring tape
tile snips
painting supplies
safety glasses

Safety note: Always wear eye protection and follow proper safety precautions when using power tools or pneumatic tools. In addition, be sure to wear safety glasses or other eye protection when breaking the tile into pieces.


1. Using the table saw, cut the existing table to the new dimensions.

2. Since this table design calls for welding a metal surround along the edge, attach a 1-by-3-inch oak strip to the edges of the old table to serve as a border.

3. Using a hammer, break the tiles in a five-gallon bucket and shake vigorously to remove the sharp edges.

4. Decide on a design for the top. For the table pictured, 4-inch tiles were applied four-inch tiles as a border around the outside, and a four-tile square in the center was surrounded with a mosaic design.

5. Apply a layer of mastic, and then begin creating the layout. Set the square tiles around the outer edge and the center square first. Then arrange the broken tile pieces to create your mosaic configuration.

6. After all pieces are down, allow them to set and for the mastic to dry overnight.

7. When the mastic has dried, mix your grout to a peanut-butter consistency. Using a grout float, apply to the tabletop. Hold the float at a 45-degree angle to work the grout into all the crevices. Allow at least four hours for the grout to cure.

8. Use a tile sponge to gradually remove the grout haze off the tiles until only the grout between the tiles remains.

9. Measure the dimensions of your table and use a welder and some flat steel stock to create a metal edge. Use a grinder to take off any rough edges. Then cover the outer edge with the rust-finish spray paint. Use a paper towel to blot off some paint to create the desired effect.

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