21 Jul. 1976|
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After the tile was completely set, I taped all of the tile off, and spray painted the entire other side with Rust-Oleum Heirloom White.
Construct a small, round patio table with a tiled plywood and cement board top and hand-bent metal legs. This tabletop is made from a plywood core wrapped in cement board, sealed with a paint-on membrane and then covered with ceramic tile and grout.
When potter Clay Cunningham lost his glass patio tabletop in a spring storm, he decided to keep the existing table frame and replace the glass top with a ceramic mosaic top.
I recently returned from a vacation to discover that a spring storm had destroyed the glass top of my patio table. To prevent warping in the tiles, carefully flip and gently compressed each one numerous times over the course of a few days or dry them on an open wire rack. Brush three coats of weatherproofing water sealant onto the plywood tabletop to ensure its longevity. For more tile and mosaic projects be sure to download your free copy of How to Design, Make and Install Ceramic Tile Murals and Mosaics: Design Tips and How-To Instructions for Handmade Ceramic Tile Projects.
Not sure how you are finishing the edges- if the table top originally had a metal rim, then the tiles and their border can be fit within- otherwise you have the plywood visible from the side, under the edging tiles. Tilework that is going outside, exposed to the elements, should not be on plywood, but on a concrete-based board used in bathrooms etc.
If you need to put the table away (storage) for the winter, I would suggest either a bracket or holes in the plywood backing to allow you to hang it in the garage and enjoy it all year long. Some of our favorite design bloggers are inventing clever ways to DIY outdoor games for summer fun.
It was perfect for grilling and for just sitting on, but we didn’t have a table on it, so we could never enjoy dining outside. With the table right-side-up, I sanded it well and stained it using Behr Deck Stain and a brush. Get your wood and steel at a home center, and look for interesting tile at a local tile supplier.
In this post, and excerpt from our free download How to Design, Make, and Install Ceramic Tiles and Murals: Design Tips and How-To Instructions for Handmade Ceramic Tile Projects, Clay explains how he did it, from the planning stages to the final grouting.
I was faced with two options—order a new manufactured tabletop or put my talents to work by designing and building a new one out of clay.
This will be thick enough for strength yet not so thick that it makes the tabletop excessively heavy. While the tiles are upside down, incise small grooves into the back of the tiles with an old pen.
Begin by laying the tiles out onto the plywood, allowing an even amount of space between each tile. The grout does two things—first, it adds a stained-glass effect with all of the tiles separated by a single, unifying color and second, it keeps water and other materials from getting between the tiles and rotting the wood underneath.
As the grout begins to dull in color, use a soft rubber rib to scrape it away from the top (figure 7). Also, doing the transfer drawing on a thin sheet of plastic makes it easier to transfer to the tiles. We have been wanting an outdoor table for a long time and with a little brainstorming, I came up with the perfect solution! I placed these at the height that would allow the finished, tiled insert to sit flush with the top of the table.
And I am absolutely in love with the fact that we finally have a patio table…that doubles as a fun family game table! We present you a creative outdoor table with a lovely mosaic tile top that you can easily make at home. After drying a bit more, smooth the tiles out along the edges and round off any sharp points.
Because the clay has a shrinkage rate of around 10%, the mosaic will perfectly fit your tabletop and allow just enough room between the tiles for the grout.
The scraping removes all but a fine film on top of the tiles which can be easily wiped away. These serve as the brackets that lock the tabletop into place, yet allow it to be removed if needed.
If the edges and points are not smoothed, they may turn into sharp areas poking out on your tabletop. Space the tiles out a bit to allow enough room to add underglaze to them without accidentally getting the wrong color on a tile.
It’s important to get the grout down into every nook and cranny between the tiles (figure 6).
From under the table, place each bracket a few millimeters away from the table frame, one in each quadrant, and screw them into the underside of the tabletop. The mosaic can be made on top any table sturdy enough to handle the weight of a bunch of decorative tiles. First, large clay tiles tend to warp, which leads to an uneven top, so keep individual pieces small—less than eight inches on a tile’s longest dimension.
Though you could add the underglaze to the tiles before placing them on the kiln shelf, placing them first avoids over handling of the underglazed pieces. Flip each tile over, coat with a liberal dollop of tile glue (figure 5), and immediately place into position, paying careful attention to retain an equal amount of space between all of the tiles.
Lay the plastic with the drawing on top of the clay, and with a pencil, knitting needle or other pointed tool trace over all the lines.
With a wide hakeme brush, apply underglazes in a thick, opaque coat onto the tiles (figure 4). I recommend going back over each tile and giving it a little wiggle to ensure that none are missed. Continue until the entire tabletop is coated with grout, including the edge of the table where the tile and plywood meet. Be warned though, some heavy tools are required if you want to make the custom metal table, like the original project. Finally, including a border will not only visually ‘frame’ your design, but also ensure a nice, even edge to the entire table. You can bisque fire the tiles before glazing them if you wish, but I wanted to eliminate as many unnecessary steps as possible.
I lay the clay slab directly on the sheetrock before cutting, to handle it as little as possible, and place another piece of sheetrock on top of the cut tiles. The final result is a beautiful round mosaic table top which you can use to improve your garden design. If you have a large project such as this table, it is easy to cut the design into smaller parts by simply cutting the plastic or drawing a line with another color where the design break occurs.