DIY: Mosaic Table Tops

Updated April 17, 2017

Mosaic table tops are often seen in Moroccan home decor. However, they would never look out of place in any room's decorating style. They also add a touch of interest to patios and decks. Adding a mosaic pattern is one way to redecorate an old table or stand. If you don't have any old tables, look for them at yard sales or thrift stores such as Goodwill store. While you are there, pick up some old colourful plates and/or tiles to use for your mosaic table top.


If the old table you choose for your mosaic tiling needs refinishing, do this first. One option is to sand and paint the body of the table with a couple of coats of black or white paint, which will go with any mosaic. You only need to paint the legs and sides of the table. The top will be covered with the mosaic and will just need a mild sanding, so the tiles will adhere.

The supplies you need, besides a table, are old dishes, ceramics, tiles, marbles, stones, coloured bottles or sea glass (clay pots are great for outdoor tables), tile nippers, tile adhesive (or craft glue), grout, tile sponges and a squeegee. Grout comes in black, white and other colours. Use a lighter grout for pastel colours to make the mosaic stand out. A Mediterranean look can be accomplished with dark tiles and light coloured grout. Use a dark grout, and it will make light tiles stand out and dark ones blend together. However, white tile with white grout and black tile with black grout will not allow the design to show through.

Think about the tile materials you have and how you might create a mosaic design on the table top. Draw it out on a piece of graph paper before you begin the project. Enlarge the design to fit the table and then use graph paper to transfer it to the table top. Don't feel that you must have a specific design in mind. Freehand mosaics can be very creative with a beautiful end result. However, do be aware that once you have glued a tile piece to the table top, it will be difficult, but not impossible, to remove.


Place your mosaic tile materials into an old pillow case and tie the end. Hit the pillow case with a hammer or mallet to break the tiles. Use tile nippers to further shape tile materials. Always wear safety glasses and gloves. Glue down all your tile pieces onto the table top, leaving spaces between them, for the grout. You will find that the flatter pieces work best. Be careful to adjust the straight edges and corners of your tile pieces along the outside of the mosaic table top, so they will not be jutting out over the table top edges.

Use a tile squeegee to work grout into all of the spaces between the tiles. Scoop a glob of grout onto the mosaics and start pushing it in. Make sure all the spaces are filled in. Scrape off any excess grout with your squeegee. Use a dry towel to gently wipe off some of the grout left on the tiles. You must do this with a light hand as the mosaic is not firmly set yet.

Let the mosaic tiles and grout dry for about 1/2 hour. Use a tile sponge to remove any excess grout on the tiles. Use a tile and grout sealer to seal the mosaic table top. Paint the sealer over the entire surface of the mosaic with a small paint or sponge brush.

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About the Author

Karen Ellis has been a full-time writer since 2006. She is an expert crafter, with more than 30 years of experience in knitting, chrocheting, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking and other arts. She is an expert gardener, with lifelong experience. Ellis has taken many classes in these subjects and taught classes, as well.