How to tile a table

Create a beautiful DIY mosaic design that looks expensive -- on the cheap!

Tile table


  • Cutting blade
  • Window screen or mesh material 
  • Table, approximately 45" diameter 
  • Measuring tape
  • Enough 1" and 2" mosaic tiles to cover 12 to 15 square feet 
  • Camera 
  • Tile glue 
  • Spatula
  • 1 lb. grout 
  • Water 
  • Mixing container 
  • Stir stick 
  • Sponge
  • Padded blanket, optional


  1. Cut two pieces of window screen (or other mesh) to size of table. Measure where umbrella hole is located on table and its diameter. Mark the placement on screens and cut out.
  2. Stack screens on top of table. Lay out tiles on screens. (Using a combination of large and small tiles makes it easier to fill in the space without cutting.) Leave 1/8" to ¼" between tiles. Keep in mind that to create a circular design, the spaces between 2" tiles will be triangular (see above). When you arrive at a design you like, take a photo to remember where each piece belongs. Leave tiles in place.
  3. Starting at outer edge of table, apply tile glue to back of a tile with a spatula and adhere to top screen. Repeat for each tile. After all tiles are glued down, let dry overnight.
  4. Combine grout with water, following instructions on package label. Use a spatula to apply grout over entire surface of table, covering tiles and filling in spaces between them. Let grout dry for 30 to 40 minutes, according to manufacturer’s instructions. Dampen a sponge with water and wipe down surface, removing as much excess grout as possible. Let grout dry for another 30 to 40 minutes and repeat the cleaning process. Repeat a third and even fourth time, depending on how much grout remains on surface of tiles. It can take a few days to get all grout residue off tiles. If grout is stuck fast to tiles, use a razor to carefully scrape it off.
  5. Optional: For extra durability, grout underside of table. Let tabletop set for several days before performing this step. Lay a blanket on floor, then turn table upside down. Spread an even layer of grout over entire surface. Let dry upside down overnight.

NOTE: These instructions are for a round table, but the tiling process works for any shape.