Cork Tiles Table Top




My wife and I were getting tired of our white tables.
They were custom made some years ago and we painted them white.
In the mean time they were scratched and we tought they were a little dull.

So we decided they would look better with a cork surface.

This is a manual for the process.

I also made the video with the image stills

Step 1: ​What You Will Need:

  • table (off course)
  • cork tiles for floor or walls. We used cork tiles from Santana (dimensions: 1cm x 60 cm x 80cm)
  • cork glue
  • adhesive trowel
  • varnish suited for cork
  • ruler (iron for cutting straight)
  • stanley knife
  • paint roller
  • gloves
  • tape


  • adhesive dissolver
  • spatula
  • sander

Step 2: Prepare Your Table Top (optional)

I had a little accident so I had to removed the previous table top.

I was stuck with a thick layer of glue on the surface. To get it off I used adhesive dissolver. Apply it to the top. Leave it for 10 minutes (check the instructions on the bottle) and remove the glue with a spatula. Always wear gloves because the dissolver is a nasty product. Wash off the product afterwards with water and let it dry

Step 3: Sanding

Sand the table top to make sure the glue will stick properly.

The table top should feel a bit rough.

It is also good to apply some tape on the edges of the table in case you spill some glue later on.

Step 4: Cut the Cork Tiles

Place the cork on the table and mark where you need to cut the tiles

To cut the tiles make sure you use a sharp stanley knife and preferably an iron ruler. It's ok to have some small gaps when putting the pieces back together. The varnish will fill the gaps so they become less visible.

Step 5: Apply the Glue

Open your can of cork glue and apply it to the table top.

I used a spatula to get it out of the jar. Use an adhesive trowel to spread the glue evenly on the surface. I used a bit too much glue, you can do with a bit less. It is best to wear gloves will applying the glue.

Step 6: Place the Cork Pieces on Top

Carefully place the cork tiles on the glue. You can still move them around a bit, so don't worry when the tiles are not yet properly aligned. Press firmly. I used a large rolling pin. You should read the instructions on the glue, but in my case it needed to dry 24 hours. afterward you can remove the excessive glue aroud the edges with your stanley knife.

Step 7: Apply the Varnish

To make sure your table top is waterproof you need to apply the varnish.

Use a paint roller to spread the varnish over the surface evenly. In my case it took 3 hours for one layer of varnish to dry. I would recomment to apply at least 4 layers to make sure the surface isn't damaged every time you use the table.

Step 8: The Result

It looks great (in my opionion)

Step 9: A Little Tip

If you 've just painted the tablesides white, don't mistake the varnish roller for the paint roller.
Or this is the result and you can start all over ;-).



    • Barbecue Challenge

      Barbecue Challenge
    • Planter Challenge

      Planter Challenge
    • Games Contest

      Games Contest

    10 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Great job!

    I have a questions about how rigid is cork. Particularly I'm interested in edges - after being used daily are they still undamaged? If you rub it with hand does it affect the edge of the cork sheet?

    Thank you so much!

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    The edges are still undamaged.
    Passing over the edge with your hand doesn't affect the cork at all.
    We however don't move the table regurarly, so maybe if you bump into a sharp corner, it can damage the edge.


    2 years ago

    Very cool use for cork, with all the color options available in cork tiles, the possibilities are endless.


    2 years ago

    Yes, let's talk about the pictures on the wall! Did you make them? How? Or where did you get them. Big Tintin fan over here! :-) But yes, the tables are great, too! Great surface for so many things! Great instructable.

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Interesting. I guess one more thing on my to-do list! :-)


    2 years ago

    Indeed great table, it turn out beautiful and I'm not the only one who loved your pictures they matched perfect with your table.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    See my reply below about the pictures