How to Insert Tile on a Patio Table

Written by b.t. alo
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How to Insert Tile on a Patio Table
Insert tile or mosaic tile onto your patio table for an attractive piece of patio furniture. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Tiling a patio table is a way to construct a weatherproof, hard-wearing and durable patio tabletop. To tile a patio table, you can either use regular tile, or make it a little more interesting and use mosaic tile to create a design. Both methods use similar methods and will turn your ordinary patio table into an attractive feature.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Cement backerboard
  • Utility knife
  • Backerboard screws
  • Drill
  • Chalk line
  • Thinset mortar
  • Trowel
  • Tile spacers
  • Edging tile
  • Grout
  • Grout float
  • Sponge
  • Tile sealant
  • Mosaic adhesive
  • Mosaic grout
  • Grout scraper
  • Rag

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  1. 1

    Cut a piece of backerboard the size of the tabletop. Score along the cut lines with the utility knife, then hold the board and snap it along the scored cut line.

  2. 2

    Place the backerboard over the tabletop, all sides flush. Drive backerboard screws through the top of the backerboard into the tabletop to secure it in place, using a drill. Ensure the screw heads are below level.

  3. 3

    Snap a chalk grid over the top of the backerboard in the desired tile pattern, where one square of the grid represents one tile, using a chalk line. If planning a mosaic tile tabletop, chalk in the basic mosaic design.


  1. 1

    Spread a layer of thinset over around five squares of the chalk grid, 1/8 inch thick. Use the notched side of the trowel to furrow the thinset, then place the tiles down into the thinset, spacing with tile spacers.

  2. 2

    Continue spreading and furrowing thinset and laying the tiles in place. Once all the tiles are down, spread thinset onto the backs of the edging tiles and set them in position around the edge of the tabletop. Leave the tabletop overnight to let the mortar cure.

  3. 3

    Remove the tile spacers. Hold the grout float at an angle to the tile joints on the tabletop and use it to sweep grout into the joints between the tiles. Use the sponge to wipe off excess grout as you go. Leave the grout to cure for three days before applying a coat of tile sealer. Follow the sealer manufacturer's instructions for application and drying times.

    Mosaic Tiles

  1. 1

    Apply mosaic adhesive to the back of a mosaic tile with a trowel and set the tile in place as per the mosaic design. Continue setting the mosaic tiles in place, leaving a 1/8-inch space between each tile. Once the mosaic is complete, leave the table to cure overnight.

  2. 2

    Apply mosaic grout into the joints between the tiles with the grout scraper. Ensure all the joints are well-grouted: the grout should be level with the tile faces, no gaps, no empty joints, no half-filled joints. Grout holds the tiles in place for mosaic work more so than the adhesive, so it is imperative for the longevity of the mosaic design that the grouting is thorough. Wipe off the excess grout from the face of the mosaic tiles with a rag. Leave for three days to let the mosaic grout cure.

  3. 3

    Apply a coat of tile sealer to the mosaic tile tabletop. Use the sealer manufacturer's instructions for drying times and application method.

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