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How to Tile an Outdoor Table

Updated February 21, 2017

Tiling a table to use outdoors is a simple craft project that anyone can do with the proper tools and materials. Create a mosaic work of art or simply lay rows of tile for a colourful, durable surface. Porcelain tile is the most durable for outdoor use and should be placed on a concrete table top as wood will expand and contract, causing the tiles and the grout to crack.

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  1. Measure and mark a line down the centre of the length and width of the outdoor table. You should have a cross point that marks the centre of the table. If your table is wood, you should add a membrane like Nobleseal before laying the tile to protect the tile and the grout from cracking due to the elements. If your table is concrete, tile directly on the concrete.

  2. Spread a small amount of Thinset on the cross point of the centre lines of the table top. Scrape the surface of the Thinset with the notched edge of your trowel to help the tile adhere better. Press the tile firmly into the Thinset and surround it with tile spacers. Spacers allow for an even grout line. Continue to tile until you have tiled both centre lines of your table. This will keep the tiles at the edges even around the perimeter of the table.

  3. Fill in the openings with tile, always in a straight line with spacers between the tiles. Use a tile cutter, if necessary, to cut the tiles along the table's edge. You can rent a tile cutter from your local home improvement store or you can try using an inexpensive cutter that scores the tiles, allowing you to snap them apart easier. Remove the spacers and let the adhesive dry completely.

  4. Apply the grout to the spaces between the tiles with a grout float. Clean any grout from the porcelain tiles before it dries, as it can leave a film. Warm water and a sponge work well for removing the grout.

  5. Apply grout sealer to protect the grout from moisture and stains.

  6. Tip

    Create a mosaic tile table top with broken porcelain and ceramic tiles.


    Wear safety glasses when cutting tile.

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Porcelain tiles
  • Thinset
  • Trowel
  • Tile spacers
  • Tile cutter
  • Grout & float
  • Warm water & sponge
  • Grout sealer


About the Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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