The iconic Hyrule crest from the Zelda games, now in coffee table form! This is my first Instructable, so let me know if anything needs clarification or you have any other suggestions. This is also my first time working with tile, so my methods may not be the best, but it's what worked for me!
Coffee table (This, or one of the same dimensions.)
Liquid Nails Heavy Duty construction adhesive
1/16th inch tombstone style tile spacers
1/2 inch Yellow tiles (1kg, or around 800 tiles)
1/2 inch Black tiles (currently out of stock, but any black can be substituted) (2kg, or around 1600 tiles)
Non-sanded grout in Charcoal or your color of choice
Bucket and some sort of mixing device
Large container for water
Total cost of my supplies: $86.13
(Coasters from PerlerQueen on Etsy)
Step 1: Use This Pattern
I found this cross-stitch pattern online and it so happened to almost exactly match my needed dimensions, as long as you ignore some of the stitches on the border. You can also use the above picture of the table; I took it with flash to expose the lines better.
(I tried to contact the seller of the cross stitch for desired credit but never heard back.)
Step 2: Lay Your Glue and Start Tiling
Hooray, you're ready to start tiling!
Lightly sand the table and clean the dust off.
Use a ruler to find the middle point of the table and lay a bead of glue down, not too heavy or else the glue will squeeze out from under the tiles when you press them down. A little bit of excess is okay, but if it interferes with the way the next tiles lay, you need to wipe it off and put less down.
Following the pattern, lay the tiles and then insert the tile spacers between each tile, to make sure you have even spacing.
NOTE! I first tiled all the way to the edges of the table, but I found that when I rested my feet on the edge, the tiles would pop off and I'd have to re-glue them. I ended up taking off the top and bottom row, and leaving the last columns empty on the sides. Therefore, there was a one-tile-width gap between the tiles and the edge of the table, which I later filled in with grout. The final count of tiles from top to bottom is 36, and there should be 61 left to right.
Step 3: Keep Tiling for Ages
Keep laying the tiles down according to the pattern, letting each row dry a bit before moving on to the next one. Once I laid the middle row down, I put down the tiles on one side, and then switched to the mirror image of it on the other side. Working out from the middle like this allowed time for the glue to set before doing another row.
Be careful when putting in your spacers. You can easily shift the existing tiles if you're not careful.
NOTE AGAIN! I first tiled all the way to the edges of the table, left a gap for a border. Don't go by the images on this step. :)
Step 4: Even Moar Tiling!
Eventually you'll finish laying the tiles, but everything will look rough. You can see the white glue peeking through the tiles. Don't despair! Some grout will make the whole thing look more uniform.
Step 5: Mix the Grout
Mix the grout according to the directions on the package. Since I didn't use the whole bag, I added water until it was a thick paste. I stirred it with a plastic spatula because that's what I had. If you've never grouted before, I suggest watching some YouTube videos on how to do it! This is the point of no return, so be sure you're confident of the method before you start.
Apply the grout with the float, getting it into all the spaces. I added grout to the border and smoothed it at an angle so it tapered down towards the edge of the table.
Step 6: Finish Grouting
Wait the amount of time specified in the grout instructions and wipe off the excess with the sponge. Again, there are videos on how to do this, and I recommend watching some to get the right motion down. In the picture, you can see that the grout looks nice and dark, but I must have used too much water because mine dried a light gray as seen in the next step.
Step 7: Admire Your Work
Here is the final product, after drying and sealing the grout. You can see the difference in the before and after pic on how much of a difference the grouting makes.
So far I've been able to put my feet up on the table and not had anything crack, so it seems pretty durable. If you have anything to add, please let me know and I'll update this Instructable as necessary.
Hope you have fun with your new furniture centerpiece!