Introduction: Dominoes Table (who Needs Broken Tiles?)

Picture of Dominoes Table (who Needs Broken Tiles?)

We had a nicely constructed, found, end-table with an aging surface, and I've wanted to do a broken tile mosaic for a long time. However, finding cheap or free (broken) tiles is nearly impossible. Called tile stores looking for broken or leftover pieces. Went to Menard's; broken tiles are cataloged as right-offs. Searched online and found prebroken tiles by the pound = $$$.

I was about to give up until there was a dominoes sale at Target. Who needs tiles? Dominoes are much more fun!

Step 1: Materials and Testing Layout

Picture of Materials and Testing Layout

Luckily, when we tested the layout to see if we had enough dominoes and what patter we would need to use, it worked out perfectly. Except you will need one half domino for the center!

NOTE: One thing you might want to consider is that once you have your layout, you might want to construct a frame around the edges of the table. (We couldn't do this "easily" because we had a slight overhang to all sides.) In the end, we were a little off in one direction and the spaces between dominoes increased on that direction as we reached the center. The frame, perhaps nailed in place, will insure that your layout is tight-fitting.


+tube of construction adhesive (we used about half a tube): $3
+about 250 dominoes: $20
+time: 2-3 hrs

Step 2: Begin Placement

Picture of Begin Placement

We started from the outside and moved around the edges -- wrapping towards the center.

Step 3: Finished!

Picture of Finished!

As mentioned, we began to have larger and larger gaps along one axis as we reached the center -- up to an 1/8 inch. We used the construction adhesive to fill the gaps and wiped excess away with a rag.

Note: Unlike with smooth-faced tile, you can't simply spread grout to fill gaps and wipe away. Whatever is used to fill gaps can end up in the domino holes. You'll need wet Q-tips for clean-up.

You might also want to paint the table surface white. Where the adhesive doesn't fill gaps, the dominoes have rounded edges, so you'll be able to see between even the tightest fitting pieces.

If you go with a overhang, you might make it large enough to edge the table with more dominoes.


sytse (author)2009-04-05

Great project. We ended up doing it with poker themed domino tiles and we are very happy with the result.

deedavison (author)2009-01-29

I also seen broken tiles at a salvage store and boxes for real cheap at auctions.

cmanasco (author)2009-01-22

I absolutely love it! If you were to add a thick clear coat to the top like some restaurants use, what would be good? This way clean-up would be easy and dominoes would stay fresh looking I would imagine.

ChrisVincent (author)cmanasco2009-01-23

you don't want to just use a paint on clear coat - that will just leave a thin layer. If you want a thick layer 'like some restaurants" then you want to get an epoxy mix. They make them specially for making that thick protective counter coating.
here is a how to link... epoxy table top

deedavison (author)ChrisVincent2009-01-29

they have a resin and hardener polymer coating mix , its one part resin to one part hardener. Mix thoroughly for two minutes , pour as soon as mixed over the surface you wish to coat let cure. It available at menards it's kind of pricey but it goes a long way and last forever if you follow the directions. It may take a while to cure but have patients it works great!!!!!

deedavison (author)deedavison2009-01-29

OH IM sorry the name of the polymer coating i used is called Envirotex Lite.

That looks like a good solution. Because the middle tiles ended up having small gaps, I could fill them with the construction adhesive, they ended up looking like bathroom tiles -- so they will be easy to clean. But I'm definitely considering epoxy now for the rest of the table (the whole table)!!!

Schtaunkton (author)cmanasco2009-01-22

You can buy a clear acrylic coating at most craft stores.

chuckr44 (author)2009-01-29

Oooh. Mahjong tiles would have been nice. But where do you get Mahjong tiles in the US? Chinatown?

Plasmana (author)2009-01-25

That is really cool! Did you cut a domino in half to fill the center gap?

bad ass pope (author)Plasmana2009-01-25

Yeah, I think they did. In roughly the middle of the table, there is a pink 3-spot which doesn't have the black separator line that all of the other dominoes have. It's above the purple 9 and below the yellow 6.

RadBear (author)2009-01-24

I did something similar with broken promotional CD's. It was a lot more time consuming as there were very few straigt edges and you had to fit it as you went, but it was fun. Except when I glued my fingers to the table that sucked. And the surface was a little uneven in the end but still functional. I sealed it with clear coat to keep the images from getting scraped off the CD bits. Great job!!!

Scott_Tx (author)2009-01-18

Why not start in the center and work your way out for no gaps?

thinkdunson (author)Scott_Tx2009-01-24

because it would be nigh impossible to make it perfectly square that way. starting on the outside, you know for a fact that the tiles will line up parallel with the side of the table.

Scott_Tx (author)thinkdunson2009-01-24

Guess its not the same as doing floor tile. Harder to get the little things parallel

GorillazMiko (author)Scott_Tx2009-01-18

You could get gaps on the edges..

No, just, no.

Scott_Tx (author)GorillazMiko2009-01-18

True but nothing a little creative edging couldnt fix. Maybe a border of half tiles or some form of wood trim.

davidglinski (author)2009-01-24

what exactly is construction adhesive ?????

It's extremely strong "glue" for construction. Example

thank you

Sandisk1duo (author)2009-01-23

awesome! great use for those dominoes that no one uses

Doctor What (author)2009-01-18

Nice! I like it! I might try this with mah jong tiles.

Doctor What (author)Doctor What2009-01-18

Or scrabble tiles!

djr6789 (author)Doctor What2009-01-22

if you use srabble tiles you could make a wordsearch out of it

Sandisk1duo (author)djr67892009-01-23


Yerboogieman (author)Doctor What2009-01-19

im afraid of my scrabble board, i was looking out in my shed for something to mess with, and opened the box and there were tons of little weird bugs, i mean TONS.

Doctor What (author)Yerboogieman2009-01-21

What'd they look like?

Yerboogieman (author)Doctor What2009-01-23

roaches of some sort, but we dont have roaches in washington

Sunbanks (author)Doctor What2009-01-18

Then you could spell stuff with the letters :D

falcotheimpaler (author)Sunbanks2009-01-19

Being the person i am, i'd spell terrible things, and then when people came over, theyd ask why they felt so compelled to kill their parents and dance naked in the kitchen.

Sunbanks (author)falcotheimpaler2009-01-19

Hehe that might not be so good, especially if someone like your boss or your mother saw it...

Doctor What (author)Sunbanks2009-01-21

Unless they know that you're twisted. And your boss is a gangster.

Sunbanks (author)Doctor What2009-01-21

Or if they helped you come up with what you should say on it.

omnibot (author)falcotheimpaler2009-01-20

Funny .. that's what my friends do %d

omnibot (author)Sunbanks2009-01-19

Or for a greater challenge not spell a single word :d

Sunbanks (author)omnibot2009-01-19

Hehe it would take a while to do that.

inquisitive (author)2009-01-21

I think it would be cool to do a frame as suggested that dominoes or mah jhong tiles could be placed in and covered with glass or plexiglass so the pieces would be reusable and not glued in.

lynnaluna (author)2009-01-20

great idea!

pyrocop1 (author)2009-01-19

I love the table looks great. Wonder how hard it would have been to match the tiles like in a game.

crowdsourced (author)pyrocop12009-01-20

It depends, I guess, on whether you know how to play . . . which I don't. :)

CrafterCassie (author)2009-01-19

Genius. Pure Genius.

Tystarr (author)2009-01-19

How did you solve the problem of the middle piece? Because there is a square open on the table in the top image.

crowdsourced (author)Tystarr2009-01-19

That was just some quick work with a hack saw!

Sunbanks (author)2009-01-18

That looks really cool! I think it would be cool to have a desk covered in dominoes.

stale56 (author)2009-01-18

this is awesome, i might accually try it

crowdsourced (author)2009-01-18

That would work to eliminate gaps, but without a frame set up, you'd probably end up with varying levels of overlap of the sides. 1/4" here. 1/2" there. One way or another, you can probably only get it exact with a frame constructed around the test layout.

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