Introduction: 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

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.

Materials:

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

Step 2: Begin Placement

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

Step 3: 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.

Comments

author
sytse made it!(author)2009-04-05

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

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author
deedavison made it!(author)2009-01-29

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

author
cmanasco made it!(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.

author
ChrisVincent made it!(author)2009-01-23

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

author
deedavison made it!(author)2009-01-29

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!!!!!

author
deedavison made it!(author)2009-01-29

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

author
crowdsourced made it!(author)2009-01-24

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)!!!

author
Schtaunkton made it!(author)2009-01-22

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

author
chuckr44 made it!(author)2009-01-29

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

author
Plasmana made it!(author)2009-01-25

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

author
bad+ass+pope made it!(author)2009-01-25

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.

author
RadBear made it!(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!!!

author
Scott_Tx made it!(author)2009-01-18

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

author
thinkdunson made it!(author)2009-01-24

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.

author
Scott_Tx made it!(author)2009-01-24

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

author
GorillazMiko made it!(author)2009-01-18

You could get gaps on the edges..

author
Yerboogieman made it!(author)2009-01-19

No, just, no.

author
Scott_Tx made it!(author)2009-01-18

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

author
davidglinski made it!(author)2009-01-24

what exactly is construction adhesive ?????

author
crowdsourced made it!(author)2009-01-24

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

author
davidglinski made it!(author)2009-01-24

thank you

author
Sandisk1duo made it!(author)2009-01-23

awesome! great use for those dominoes that no one uses

author
Doctor+What made it!(author)2009-01-18

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

author
Doctor+What made it!(author)2009-01-18

Or scrabble tiles!

author
djr6789 made it!(author)2009-01-22

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

author
Sandisk1duo made it!(author)2009-01-23

oooo

author
Yerboogieman made it!(author)2009-01-19

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.

author
Doctor+What made it!(author)2009-01-21

What'd they look like?

author
Yerboogieman made it!(author)2009-01-23

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

author
Sunbanks made it!(author)2009-01-18

Then you could spell stuff with the letters :D

author
falcotheimpaler made it!(author)2009-01-19

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.

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Sunbanks made it!(author)2009-01-19

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

author
Doctor+What made it!(author)2009-01-21

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

author
Sunbanks made it!(author)2009-01-21

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

author
omnibot made it!(author)2009-01-20

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

author
omnibot made it!(author)2009-01-19

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

author
Sunbanks made it!(author)2009-01-19

Hehe it would take a while to do that.

author
inquisitive made it!(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.

author
lynnaluna made it!(author)2009-01-20

great idea!

author
pyrocop1 made it!(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.

author
crowdsourced made it!(author)2009-01-20

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

author
CrafterCassie made it!(author)2009-01-19

Genius. Pure Genius.

author
Tystarr made it!(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.

author
crowdsourced made it!(author)2009-01-19

That was just some quick work with a hack saw!

author
Sunbanks made it!(author)2009-01-18

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

author
stale56 made it!(author)2009-01-18

this is awesome, i might accually try it

author
crowdsourced made it!(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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