Tables with a marble tile mosaic top are unique and very popular. These tabletops look best set against a simple black, white or bronze table base. Follow these directions to create your own marble tile mosaic side table to accent your garden or patio.
Step 1: Choose Your Tile
Choose just 1 or 2 textures of smooth tile. If you choose a wide range of colors, your table will complement your outdoor decor even when you change your chair cushions, umbrella, and tableware.
You can make a symmetrical abstract design, or a picture such as flowers, birds, or a little house. Adding a border to the tabletop, composed of matching tiles, will help focus and frame the design. The border tiles will also minimize the grouting that shows at the edge of the design, making it look more professionally finished.
Step 2: Lay Out the Pattern
Cut a large piece of smooth cardboard the same size as your tabletop. Set out the marble tiles on this board so they form a pleasing pattern. The tiles should not touch each other, but can come as close as 1/4 inch to adjoining pieces. This allows room for applying grout and adhesive. Set the cardboard into the table top when you have arrived at a pattern you like.
Step 3: Your Tile Pattern
Check the tile pattern from a short distance for color and shape balance, and get a second opinion from a friend or family member. Adjust the pattern until you are satisfied with it. Check and adjust the border tiles, choosing larger or smaller tiles to suit the overall design.
Step 4: Prepare the Table
Move the cardboard assembly base off the tabletop, and clean off the tabletop of any dust, leaves or plant debris. Spread a thick layer of tile adhesive evenly over the tabletop with a putty knife or trowel, and transfer the design you have made on the cardboard onto the tabletop. Start at the center of the design and work toward the edge. Press the tiles lightly into the adhesive so they are set into place. Avoid sinking tiles into the adhesive. Don't forget to leave at least 1/4 inch around each tile for grout, to make your tabletop water-resistant.
Step 5: Add Grouting
Apply the grout carefully with a putty knife between the tiles. Fill the space with grout up to the top surface of each tile. Smooth over the grouted grooves so the tabletop surface is level. Apply grout around the outside edge of the table, along the outer edge of border tiles. Choose white grout to make your design's colors stand out. Clear off excess grout with a damp cloth. Let the tabletop dry for 24 hours and brush on a clear sealing compound.