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Use leftover tiles to make a mosaic tabletop

Here's a wonderful way to put leftover tiles to good use... making a mosaic tabletop. Even if you don't have any leftover tiles, a few small, plain tiles are inexpensive enough and you will find a selection at your local Builders Warehouse. While black tiles are hard to find, for some strange reason, you can use Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel spray in black to change the colour of white matt tiles.

Creativeman on Instructables used whole, leftover tiles to create a zebra mosaic tabletop.

- Backing board - chipboard, plywood or SupaWood
- Tiles
- Tile scorer
- Tile nipper
- Hammer
- Homemade jig
- No More Nails exterior - or ready mixed tile adhesive
- Tile grout - grey
- Grout sealer
- Grout spreader
- Sponge
- Template - see below


If you have a Dremel MultiTool, use a cutting disk to cut and shape tile pieces to size.

Make up a simple jig to make cutting tiles easier. A few scrap pieces of pine screwed together make sure you're cuts are straight when using a tile scorer.

To start breaking the tiles, wrap them in an old tea towel and hit lightly with a hammer. You want the pieces to be as uniform as possible. For the edges, score with a tile cutter and snap to make uniform pieces for the table edge. Or, use a Dremel MultiTool and cutting disk. Safety precautions must be taken, specifically, wear eye protection at all times!

You don't have to layout the tiles before gluing, but it doesn't make it easier to fit all the tiles in place. Use No More Nails exterior adhesive or ready mixed tile adhesive to attach your mosaic pieces to the tabletop. You can individually glue each piece in place as you work.

After laying all the mosaic pieces and letting the adhesive cure overnight you are ready to apply grout to the tabletop. Use a plastic grout spreader and be sure to fill all the gaps with grout.

Let the grout set for about 30 minutes before you wipe over with a damp sponge to remove excess grout. Wash and rinse the sponge to repeat the process. Once completely dry, wipe away any haze with a soft cloth before applying grout sealer.

Print out and enlarge this template if you want to do the Zebra mosaic tabletop.


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