Down East 2013 ©
The Yankee Crafty B*tch shares with us how to make the beautiful tiled tabletops created for a summer wedding, but would be a great addition to any New England home.
What you’ll need:
First, gather your materials. Use tiles that will bring color into your seating area. Perhaps you found some blue tiles to evoke the French countryside, or a Turkish temple. Or maybe you're using the colorful pieces of broken pottery or glass. Whatever your plan is, you should first place the tiles on the table top in the pattern you desire so that you are sure your mosaic fits before you begin. You will also need a few buckets, a wooden paint mixer stick, two spatulas for spackling, one with teeth at the end, and a sponge and some warm soapy water. You can usually find these supplies at your local hardware store.
What to do:
Once you're ready to tile, begin by mixing the mortar in a bucket. If you are using glass tile, there is specific mortar available. The directions will indicate how much water to add to create a thick goopy consistency. Spread the mortar onto the cleaned table top with a spatula. It doesn't take much mortar to adhere the tiles, so the final coating should be about a 1/4 inch thick. For extra grip, you can use a spatula with teeth on the edge to make subtle ridges for the tiles to set into.
Next, press your tiles into the mortar. They will not stick instantly - they will be squishy for about 5 minutes so if you make a mistake you have a limited window to fix it. The tables we were working with had a bit of a lip around the edge, so we found it helpful to work from the outside of our pattern inward, to ensure we had the right spacing. If a bit of mortar gets on top of the tile, take care to wipe it with a sponge. Wait until the tiles are set. This could be up to 24 hours.
Once the tiles are firmly set, you are ready to apply the grout in between the tiles. We chose a white grout to off-set the blue tiles. However, you could choose a colored grout, like a dark brown, for example, if you're tiles are light and you are trying to enhance them. Mix the grout together as instructed. The grout we used came with a rubber spatula for spreading across the tiles. This was especially useful. Dollop the grout on top of the tiles, and press inward with the spatula, spreading between every crack. Quickly follow this process with the wet sponge, carefully wiping off the tile tops. It generally will wipe off easily, but the grout can create a cloudy film on the light colored glass tiles if you let it sit for too long. Take care not to sponge too much so that you are digging out the grout from the spaces between the tiles. The grout should be the same level as the tiles to create a uniform surface area.
You are finished! The grout will take about another 24 hours to set properly, after which you can begin to use your fancy new table!
Down East will be featuring contributors from all walks of Maine Life on DE Daily. Kathryn and Dash, the women behind the Yankee Crafty B*tch blog , will be bringing you the best in the world of crafts, food, sewing and gardens — all on the resourceful Yankee budget. So kick back, check out their posts, and get your craft on.