Broken Tile Table




This project started due to a mistake on my part. I bought an old wooden table to refinish. When started to sand the top layer I realized it was compressed wood and could not be refinished like natural wood, so I had to figure an alternate solution.


Step 1: Whats Needed

Depending on the type of table and level of refinishing needed, you will need the following;

  • Sandpaper - various Grits
  • Furniture stripper - water based
  • wood stain - your choice
  • Polyurethane - Gloss or Satin.
  • Brushes for apply stain and polyurethane.
  • Clean rags that can be stained
  • Newspaper, Plastic or other floor covering to protect the floor.
  • Scraper for stripping the varnish
  • Adhesive Grout - Grout and Adhesive in one.
  • Grout Tool
  • Large Grout Sponge.
  • Tiles - your choice broken or whole.
  • Hammer & tile nippers
  • Spatula & Troul

Step 2: Refinishing the Table

I your table does not need refinishing, then you can ship this page.

  1. Remove all old varnish by sanding or using furniture stripper. If using stripper follow the instructions on the container.
  2. You can remove excess stripper and wood dust for the table with alcohol on a cloth. Let dry for a few hours.
  3. Apply stain according to the instructions on the can and they apply the polyurethane final coat and let dry.
  4. Do not apply the stain or polyurethane to the surface to which you are going to tile.
  5. You can also finishing tiling before staining if you wish.

If you zoom in to the surface, you will see the compressed wood that started to appear after sanding.

Step 3: Tiling the Table

I took two different color tiles, broke them up and created the triangle shaped pattern. I did not want sharp edges so I worked from the outside in, with the smoother edges on the outside of the table. You have to think of this as jigsaw puzzle and put pieces of tile where they best fit. You can also come up with your own pattern. Spread the adhesive in a thin layer using the grooved edge of the tool. Press the broken pieces so that stick. I did a small section at a time, waited for it to dry and then continued. Once complete with the whole table, apply the adhesive as a ground, wide off the excess and clean up any residue. Once the adhesive is dry, a grout sealant can be applied to protect the surface. Keep in mind that the table is going to be a little heavier once all this is complete.

Try different types of tiles.



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    5 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    You would have to measure the tiles carefully taking into account the amount of adherent you would apply between the pieces.

    Nice job, and well done for a design to make a not so great object a work of art!


    Reply 4 years ago on Step 3

    Thanks. I need to do the edges first with finishing tile next time


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Nicely done! Great option for getting more life out of a non-solid wood table. Thanks for sharing this!

    1 reply