How to Tile a Small Table Top

How to Tile a Small Table Top

Hello and happy summer pretty handy readers. It’s Jessica from Decor Adventures. With the weather getting warmer, I’m completing lots of outdoor projects these days. One DIY adventure I’ve never actually tackled is tiling, but I’ve always wanted to. Today I’m going to show you how to tile a small table top. It’s easier than you think and is perfect for the outdoors too.

Tile a Small Table Top Materials:

How to Tile a Small Table Top

  • Small table
  • Tile adhesive (also called mortar or thinset)
  • Tile (enough to cover the top of the table)
  • Notched trowel
  • Rubber float
  • Grout
  • Grout sponge
  • Tile cutters
  • A bucket
  • Paint for the table (optional)
  • Water
  • Plastic gloves
  • Eye protection


Tile a Small Table Top Instructions

First, prepare your table. The small table I’m using was the one we used for my pet parrot when I was little! His name was Woodstock, and no he didn’t talk. I guess my mom taught me and my sister to talk instead :-). The table had sentimental value, so I knew I wanted to create something special with it.


Make repairs before tiling:

Table Before

Table Top Before

Assess the condition of your table. My table’s top was cracked. Underneath are 8 screws holding the top on, so I removed the split top. Before tiling, I painted the table white so it would match the tile I found. Some spray paint gave it a quick makeover.

Spray Painting a Small Table

I cut a piece of plywood to fit on top of the table and screwed it back on from underneath.

How to Tile a Table Top


Dry fit the tile to the table top to test the layout. If your table top is larger than your tile sheets, you’ll need to cut tiles off the mesh of a second sheet to fit it on the table. If you have a staggered tile pattern, you will need to cut partial pieces.

Practice cutting the leftover pieces of tile first. To cut tile you can buy or rent a tile cutter. If your tile is glass, you can use a glass tile cutter. It’s helpful to do this over a bucket or even an old box so that you’ll catch any of the sharp glass shards and waste pieces. Definitely wear eye protection!

How to Cut Glass Tile

How to Tile a Small Table

After all the tiles pieces are cut and dry fit, you are ready to start the tiling process. Most tile adhesive (thinset) comes in powder form that you mix on your own with water. Follow the instructions on the box, making sure not to add too much water. It should be a thick peanut butterish consistency.

Spread the adhesive on with a trowel and then place the tiles on the adhesive.  Be careful not to put on too much or it will ooze through the tiles. Wear plastic gloves to keep your hands from getting adhesive and later grout on them.

After completing the top, put a row of tile along the edge of the tabletop to finish it. All table tops will be different, so if your tile fits on top perfectly with no edge, great!

How to Tile a Small Table Top

Let the table and tile sit at least 16-24 hours.



Mix your powdered grout with water per the instructions on your grout packaging. It is highly recommended that you use non-sanded grout for glass tiles, since sand can scratch glass tiles.

Spread the grout over the tile with your rubber float. Use the tool to push the grout in between the spaces in the tile.

How to Use Grout

Wipe off some of the grout with a damp sponge right away. If you miss some you can also clean it off the tiles when it has dried. After the grout has hardened clean the tiles off with a wet sponge or rag. Continue cleaning with a clean side until the glass tiles are completely clear of the grout haze.

You now have an adorable new tile topped small table!

How to Tile a Small Table Top

I put this table on our front porch with a new plant, it matches perfectly with our walls and floor, but tile comes in so many colors. Find one that you love.

How to Tile a Small Table

This project was a lot easier than I thought! Considering I’d never tiled before, it was pretty easy, I know you can transform a table of your own.

How to Tile a Small Table

Have fun with your own tile projects and come over to see our backyard makeover at Decor Adventures. We are taking a small city yard form drab to fab with a new patio and landscaping. See you soon!

Jessica at Decor Adventures Blog~Learn more about Jessica~

You may also like Brittany’s Guide to Tilesetting


And her Guide to Grouting:



Pin for later!

How to Tile a Small Table Top | Pretty Handy Girl


18 replies
  1. nanette fisher
    nanette fisher says:

    Can you grout and tile over a glass top table? I bought a small bristro table with a glass top. I’m wanting to use my English chipped dishes to make a mosaic tile top. It has a circle glass top. Any suggestions?

  2. Katie McLane
    Katie McLane says:

    I wish you would have included pictures of the work being done — i.e. the tiles being put in the thinset, any use of spacers, and I have no idea which thing in your tools picture is a rubber float. The trowel doesn’t looked notched in the picture, but that could just be my eyes. I’m trying to tackle a tabletop with old ceramic tile (3/4″ square) left over from craft days in my childhood….. no pre-adhered backing mesh.

  3. Brian
    Brian says:

    It’s OSB. Plywood would have been a lot better, or even cement board. Although it is small, she risks the grout cracking or breaking as the wood expands and contracts, especially if it is left outside.

  4. Stephanie
    Stephanie says:

    I love how this turned out! I recently bought a table that could use an overhaul like this so I will have to see if I can find some nice tile that would work!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] How to Tile a Small Table Top at Pretty Handy Girl […]

  2. […] I’d never tiled anything before, but things have changed! Today I’m over at Pretty Handy Girl showing you How to Tile a Small Table Top. So come over and see how it’s […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.