This 80s-flavored decor trend is taking the internet by storm. Here's how to bring it home for yourself.
Whether you’ve browsed the home improvement pages of Pinterest or found yourself hypnotized by the short-form video loops of TikTok, chances are you’ve seen the infamous tile table. If not, allow us to introduce you to the hottest DIY project in the world of simple, affordable home improvement.
The (often-pastel) tiled desk is aesthetically pleasing and influencer approved, but even better—it’s a breeze to build, easy on the wallet, and a great way to upcycle furniture that’s lost its lustrous appeal. Today, we’re breaking down how you can spruce up your entryway, living room, or office space with this must-do tile table project. Get your tools ready and let’s get started!
Acquire Your Base: the Table
You can absolutely build your own table, if that’s your thing. Your local home improvement store will most likely have a hefty selection of the type of wood needed for constructing a durable table. If you’re lucky, they’ll even cut the pieces down to the perfect size. Wood species like walnut, maple, and mahogany are durable and perfect for DIY projects.
When it comes to finding tools for projects like this, tap into the resources available on the Sparetoolz app. Sparetoolz allows you to connect with your community, get the tools you need, save money (and keep it local), and get advice from tool owners along the way.
For those less inclined to play Bob the Builder, you can repurpose existing furniture or rummage through your local thrift store. Make sure to sand old furniture--especially if it’s warped--and prep your surface properly. (That last step will vary depending on the piece you’re working with.)
The Fun Part: Pick Your Tiles and Give Them a Test Run
Small mosaic and ceramic tiles are the most commonly used as part of this trend, but you can pick whatever tiles suit your taste. It’s all about what’s going to look good in your space!
Whatever you choose, just make sure that your tiles will hold up to water, stains, and time, instead of making a choice based on aesthetics alone. Small tiles are great because they are less likely than larger tiles to crack. Additionally, glazed ceramic tiles have a protective layering that combats moisture damage. Once your tiles are home, make sure to clean them carefully with soap and water to remove any dirt, dust, and oily residue.
Once you have your tiles ready to go, be sure to “dry lay” first, so that when it’s time to stick them to the table they’re in the perfect position. To dry lay, all you have to do is place and mark the position of the tiles with a pen or pencil.
During this process, you’ll determine if you need to cut down any tiles to fill in the gaps. The tiles will more than likely not all be perfect squares. A tile cutter will come in handy for this step, so have one ready just in case.
If whipping out a tile cutter feels beyond your current skill set, don’t sweat it. Choose a mixture of larger and smaller tiles that complement each other to get as close as possible to the natural shape of your table, without having to cut-to-fit.
Time to Stick It
Once you feel confident, it’s time to spread the adhesive. For this step, you’ll need Stick N’ Stay. This multipurpose adhesive carries excellent strength and is water resistant. Apply using a float and then gently place your tiles down and let them dry overnight.
A key thing to remember here is that less is more; you want them to stick but you don’t need to lay it on thick. (Heh, rhymes.) Perhaps a local DIY-er has a float you can use for this step?
Have No Doubt, It’s Just Grout
Applying the grout is the scariest part, but fear not! We’ve got you.
Begin by combining MAPEI Keracolor U Unsanded Grout with water and mix together until the grout has a thick, chunky consistency. Spread with a grout float, let it dry for roughly 15 minutes, and try to convince yourself that you haven’t ruined the table. (We promise, you’re doing great!)
Once dry, wipe the table clean using a towel or tile sponge. Some DIY-ers will give it extra love with a grout seal, but it’s not a necessity.
The Big Reveal
Once everything is sealed, check for spots that need touch-ups and don’t be afraid to do a quick paint job if the grout is being stubborn. Give your new table a good wipe down and some life with fresh flowers and your favorite decorative piece.
Wanna get your eyes on the process? Check out the tutorials now on TikTok.
This project has proven to be super easy and highly rewarding. We challenge you to make it your own and let us know what you think on Twitter @sparetoolz!