This table is one of the few pieces that survived our move from my first-ever Chicago apartment to our first-ever home. It’s been subjected to a number of horrifying kitchen “mini” make-overs. At one point, the chairs were painted bright red and the walls sported a yellow faux finish. There was a bit of a Mexican cantina vibe going on … and why?
|Many years ago we removed the bottom shelf so that chairs could fit comfortable underneath|
When I painted my kitchen cabinets chocolate brown, the butcher block stood out like a sore thumb.
But I had the perfect solution …
Step #1 included painting the table base with leftover BM Bittersweet Chocolate from the cabinets.
Step #2 was to use the same tiles going up on the backsplash (I left that job to the experts) on the table top. The 1” x 1” tile would fit perfectly – no cuts needed — and the table’s edge is exactly 1” x 1.”
|The glass tiles are from Tile Outlet Ltd. in Chicago and were $3.99 per square foot|
And off I went to tackle a tiling project for the second time in my life …
- Mastic (mine is pre-mixed)
- Notched trowel & plastic spatula spackle tool (don’t know the official name)
- Non-sanded grout (not pictured). It’s very important if you’re using glass tiles to make sure the grout doesn’t include sand. Otherwise you’ll scratch your tiles. Consult with the experts at the tile store.
- Large bucket (for mixing grout)
- BIG sponges and lots of rags & paper towels (not pictured)
- Spacers (not pictured): Optional
I don’t have a “pictutorial” of what I did (wasn’t thinking about blogging a year ago) but I can always just tell you what I did:
1. I used the trowel to spread the mastic or thin-set – whatever term you prefer. It’s all the same. My mastic was pre-mixed so I didn’t have to worry about water-to-powder ratios. I worked in 12 x 24’ish areas so the mastic wouldn’t dry out mid-table.
2. Using the notched edge, I pulled it through the mastic like so:
|Source: The DIY Network|
3. I pressed the tiles gently into the mastic. My 1″ x 1″ tile came on a 12” x 12” mesh backed sheet. This may sound like a no-brainer – but keep them on the mesh! I just cut along the mesh lines with plain old scissor for smaller strips and pieces as needed. If a lot of mastic “oozes” between the tiles, then you’re either pressing too hard or using too much thin-set. Spread a thinner layer next time. Note: Keep plenty of rags and water handy for clean up.
4. Spacers. I didn’t use them for my table top project and just eyeballed the spacing. Honestly, I didn’t have them and didn’t feel like running back to the tile store. I’m happy with the way it turned out sans spacers.
5. I let dry overnight. Don’t rush this step otherwise your tiles will move around when you grout.
6. I mixed the grout according to packaged instructions. Once again, since I was working with glass tiles, I used non-sanded grout.
7. Then I grouted. Technically, you should use a “float.” I didn’t have one and didn’t feel like purchasing one so I just used my plastic spackle tool. I generously & gently applied at a 45 degree angle. Don’t apply too much pressure or the tiles might slide around. Like the mastic, I worked in smaller areas (12 x 24’ish).
8. The I sponged it off. By the time I grouted all the tiles, I was ready to go back to the beginning and start sponging off the excess (although, quite honestly, I engaged in some clean up along the way). You might want to have more than one sponge to speed this up. You’ll need to rinse out frequently. And don’t overload the sponge with water. Just be careful to not pull the grout out from between the tiles.
9. Let dry for 24 hours. The next day, I used a clean sponge to wipe away the excess film.
10: Stand back and admire your work:
One of the features I like most about this table – and probably why it has endured such a long life in our home – is that it can be extended …
… giving me a 46” x 32” serving area when entertaining.
The only downside to this project? The table is now very, very heavy.
Next up: kitchen chair parson wannabes …