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Apply Ceramic Tile to a Table Top

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Martha in Texas has a counters project. How can we help? What’s going on, Martha?

    MARTHA: I want to redo two end tables using ceramic.

    TOM: OK.

    MARTHA: Put ceramic on the top of them. Because …

    LESLIE: OK, what are they now?

    MARTHA: Excuse me? Oh, well they’re, you know, just regular tables. They’re sort of ratty looking.

    TOM and LESLIE: OK.

    MARTHA: And I want to fix them up pretty.

    LESLIE: So it’s just a basic wood table.

    MARTHA: Yeah, just basic wood end tables, uh-huh. I think they’re mahogany. I’m not sure.

    TOM: OK.

    MARTHA: But I want to put ceramic on the top of them.

    LESLIE: Is there any lip or sort of edging that extends around the …

    MARTHA: It’s – it has a little decorative – you know, like little scallop edging around it.

    TOM: Alright, because the key here is going to be how you treat the edge. When you put ceramic tile on top of everything, you know, the ceramic tile is not finished on the edge; unless, of course, you used a ceramic tile that had an end type of tile that was actually rounded down to the end.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: But still the best thing to do is if you have that lip of the table and it goes up – comes up about, you know, quarter of an inch to three-eights of an inch then you could basically grout against the edge of it and you could use a ceramic tile and not have to worry about looking at the end of it, so to speak.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    MARTHA: Yes.

    LESLIE: And also, because your side tables, you said, have a scallop shape to them …

    MARTHA: Mm-hmm.

    LESLIE: That’s going to involve a lot of tile cutting. So you might want to think creatively when you’re looking at tile choices. Look for something that’s small, like an 1″x1″ square or ½”x½”; those smaller mosaic tiles that are on a mesh backing or even loose so that you can control where these pieces fall at the edge rather than having to cut a large tile into an odd shape.

    MARTHA: Well, what I have is I have like five of those five-gallon buckets of China that is broken.

    LESLIE: Oh, that’s perfect!

    MARTHA: And so I thought well I would use that. I thought that would make a pretty pattern.

    LESLIE: That’s perfect. What you want to do, you want to make sure you give yourself some sort of temporary working lip on the edge or even, if you can, get some sort of flexible lumber. You can even get flexible mouldings from a local hardware center or a lumber yard.

    MARTHA: Mm-hmm.

    LESLIE: And you might want to just tack on this flexible moulding to create a rim. Then go ahead and put your tile mastic down. Put all of your China pieces in there; maybe create a pattern or piece some back together so you see the full image of perhaps a plate or something within the entire tabletop. Let that set then go ahead and grout it and you can either remove that lip once everything is set or go ahead and just leave it on there and paint it up to match.

    TOM: Martha, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    MARTHA: Well, thank you.

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