How to Make a Tile Coffee Table

Becoming creative with furniture projects can be a lot of fun.

Tiled Coffee Table
The possibilities of making something unique is what draws many people to this hobby. Making a tile coffee table can be done from scratch or with an existing piece of furniture. Designs can be created right on the table with different sizes, colors and shapes of tile. Even children can participate with this project to produce a beautiful coffee table. .

Using a saw, cut a piece of plywood according to the desired size and shape of the coffee table. The height of a coffee table can be anywhere from 16 to 21 inches depending on the height of the surrounding furniture. Measure the 4 X 4 inch wood boards to the desired height and cut four pieces. Glue each piece to a corner of the table top with wood glue. When dry, screw in two wood screws in each leg from the top of the table to make sure the table is secure.

Using fine sandpaper, sand the entire table including the legs to remove any wood splinters. Clean away the dust with tack cloths. Paint with the desired color of wood stain or paint and allow to dry. Apply a second coat if necessary.

Apply construction adhesive to back of each tile. Adhere each tile to the top of the table pressing into place. Leave a small space in between each tile or use tile spacers for a more uniform look. When the entire table top is covered with tile, allow the adhesive to dry.

Apply mortar to the space in between the tiles. Make sure to press the mortar in to each of the joints and level out at the surface of the tile. Use a rag to remove the excess mortar from the top of each tile. Go over the entire table with a rag to remove any remaining residue. Allow 24 hours for the mortar to set before using the table.

Things You Will Need

  • Sheet of plywood
  • 4 x 4 inch wood posts
  • Saw
  • Tape measure
  • Wood glue
  • Wood screws and screw driver
  • Sandpaper and tack cloth
  • Wood stain or paint
  • Small tiles
  • Tile spacers
  • Construction adhesive
  • Mortar


  • Use a drill to pre-drill the holes for the wood screws used to secure the table legs.
  • Before applying tile, draw a design on the table with chalk. Use different colored tiles to create the design on the table top.
  • Break old dishes with a hammer and use these instead of tile.
  • This project can done on any existing coffee table, end table or dining room table.


  • Allow adequate ventilation when using wood stain.
  • Wear protective gloves when using construction adhesive and mortar.

About the Author

Based in Florida, Rosemary Rugnetta has been a freelance writer since 2007 specializing in home and garden topics and real estate/mortgage. She is a former property manager and mortgage underwriter who writes for eHow and Answerbag as well as private clients. She has completed continuing education courses in writing, construction management and design.