A few weeks ago when I was home I woke my mom up early and told her, "today is the day we should tile the table"...so we did! I wasn't there for the whole transformation so I let my mom write the tutorial! Don't tell, but I think she secretly enjoyed this small glimpse into the blogging world!
When I first moved into our house in St. Louis, I did not have a table to fit in my much smaller kitchen. Luckily, Caitlin and I found a "damaged" pub table (all wood) at Weekends Only for only $15. We could find nothing wrong with the table, so we snatched it up quickly. They also had pairs of chairs to match (approx. $54 a pair). We bought two pair and headed home, happy with our thrifty finds.
Three years later, the table top was getting worn, and I had always wanted to try tiling. This was the perfect opportunity! I bought all my supplies at Lowe's, my favorite DIY store. Initial costs for this project were higher, due to needing specific equipment for the tiling job. These items will be used many more times before needing to be replaced, so I didn't mind the investment.
Caitlin and I laid out all of our tile sheets on the table, prior to adhering them, to insure we had the right amount of tile, etc. Removing them, we laid them on the floor in the exact order they needed to be placed on the table.
First, wash the table top you plan to tile with soap and water. Let air dry or buff with a clean cloth. We did NOT sand; however, you may want to based on the condition of the surface you are tiling.
Mom and my niece Hailey working hard
Gloves need to be worn during the rest of this process. Open the adhesive, using your flathead screwdriver. Using a notched margin trowel, we applied the adhesive to the table top in a smooth layer, using the flat side of the trowel. Then, we took the notched side and ran the trowel through the adhesive, leaving grooves over the whole area. (Follow directions on adhesive if you have never used it before.) Directions on your adhesive should tell you how much "working time" you have.
That's me! Very early in the morning. No make up before 8am on the weekend is my rule ;)
We then laid the sheets of tile on the table, matching them together at the seams until we had the entire area covered. Use a level as you place the sheets to insure that they are all "level" (don't want your water glass tipping over!). Clean out any excess amounts of adhesive that may ooze up between tiles. We used toothpicks for this, which worked well. Then use tile spacers anywhere that tiles appear too close to each other.
Hailey was excited about her "doctor's glove"
Clean adhesive from the tiles, themselves, before the adhesive sets. We used a straight edge razor blade (Widget). We then let the tile set 24 hours. (This is when Caitlin and Hailey both had to go home)
The next day, I used tile nippers to shape the outer corners of the table to a more rounded shape, to match the table top shape. I then used the ceramec marble file to smooth the rough edges. The nippers are easy to use, and the file works great! I mixed up the grout and color powder, according to package directions. I used a heavy wooden stick to stir...they suggested a drill paddle or a trowel. I will be investing in a drill paddle, because my wrists aren't as young as they used to be!
I poured the grout onto the tile and spread it out slowly with the gum rubber grout float, filling in all gaps. I had read that this was a better choice than some of the cheaper floats, because the gum rubber doesn't "cling" to the grout. I am glad I spent the extra money. Again, pay attention to the "working time" you are allowed. Having grouted the table, I was ready to start rinsing the excess grout from the tiles. I mixed my 2 gallons of water with 1/2 cup white vinegar, soaked my heavy duty grout sponge in the water, and wrung it out. I began wiping the tiles in a diagonal direction, rinsing my sponge often. I kept a second bucket of the water/vinegar mixture and a second sponge ready so that I could just switch buckets/sponges when one became too gritty. I did this repeatedly, until I judged that most of the grit had been removed. Finally, I used a clean wet cloth to wipe any leftover grit from the tiles and buffed it with a dry cloth.
This was my first tiling project, and I am very proud of it! I still want to put a trim around the outer edges to protect the tile, but haven't decided on one yet (wanted to see how the tile turned out!).Time to complete this whole project probably took about 3 hours, which included cleanup. I am guessing that the next tiling project won't take as long, because I will be more confident about what I am doing! =-)
Have a wonderful weekend!