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i want to replace two glass pieces on my coffee table with mosiac pieces, how do i do that?

i have an old coffee table with two glass pieces on each end. one of the glass pieces has broke and instead of replacing the glass i would like to do a mosiac piece on each end. i have never done a mosiac piece before and would like to pointers as to what i would need to get and how to do it.

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Posted 2013-08-25T01:46:32+0000  by lunarmamma lunarmamma

Howdy lunarmamma,


Creating a mosiaic is a great way to customize just about any project. However, this is usually a project that would be done with tile or pieces of glass to make such a piece. Here are two methods below, you can use to create your mosaic.


Tile Materials and Tools:


3-4 colors of shiny wall tiles
cloth to wrap tiles
mastic adhesive
grout float
grout sealant
table or other surface to mosaic


1. Start by sketching a design for the table on a piece of paper. Using a marker, transfer the design to the tabletop (or other surface, or a piece of wood that will become the base for the mosaic design).

2. Decide on the general color scheme, using about three or four different colors: one background color and some accent colors. Buy shiny wall tiles that are either 3" x 3" or 6" x 6."

3. Take one tile at a time and wrap it in cloth. (Note: It's important to wrap the tiles in cloth and/or wear safety glasses. The broken tiles in the photo aren't wrapped so they can be visible for instructional purposes.) Using a regular hammer, break the tile. Be careful about how hard you hit the tile, because it's easy to damage the glaze.

4. Look for tiles that match the outline of the sketch, so you can actually "draw" the outline of the sketch on the tabletop using the small tile pieces. Attach the pieces one at a time using tile adhesive (mastic). Mastic adhesive is pre-mixed and comes in a bucket.

5. Fill in the design with other tiles pieces, breaking tiles along the way.

6. Fill in all the gaps using grout and a grout float. Wipe off the excess with a sponge. It takes about a day for the grout to dry.

7. Finish the mosaic by applying a wipe-on sealant.



Using pre-made mosaic tiles

When choosing which tiles to use, using a mosaic tile that has existing patterns are a time-saving and very beautiful choice when it comes to putting a new table top.  These kinds of tiles typically come in 12″ x 12″ sheets and have a mesh backing, allowing you to make cuts and place the tiles all at once.



With all tiles, no matter the style you choose, you’ll first need to measure and layout the space to find out how much tile you’ll need. After getting the tiles that you like, you will need a good adhesive to stick them down.  You can use a pre-mixed thin-set mortar or adhesive, since we are dealing with a small area. The great thing about these kinds of tiles is that most of the spacing is done for you. While you can line up the other spaces where the tile mosaics meet, using tile spacers will guarantee you a professional finish.

I’d recommend using a tile installation kit that has everything you’ll need to put down the tile. It includes a grouting sponge and gloves to make the job much easier.


Making a Custom One-of-a-Kind Mosaic Table Top

If you decide to make your mosaic using broken tile pieces no bigger than a quarter, you’ll need to do a little more preparation with the tiles. The upside of this is that you’ll be getting a unique and customized table top that no one else on earth has!

First, obtain the pieces of tile you would like. Remember to consider thickness, so that at the end of the day, the table top is as level as possible. You can place the tiles you want to break up in a folded drop cloth and break the pieces using a rubber mallet. Wear gloves during this stage, since chards of broken tile can cut skin very easily.

Next, depending on the size of your table, you can layout the tiles by pattern, color, or style on a flat surface so you can mimic that pattern onto the final table top. Now you can place a small amount of tile adhesive spread thin in a small area so you can work the tiles in carefully. The tile nippers (included in the tile installation kit), can cut, or bite into the tiles if you want to give more smoother or different edges that the original broken pieces. This tool is very useful when making a mosaic pattern. If the tiles happen to be glass, you can use the item shown below that works by ‘scissoring’ the tiles to be manipulated.


tile nipper



I’ve seen some arts and crafts stores sell tile mosaic glue, but if you do a small amount of pre-mixed tile adhesive we sell, this can work just as effectively. Space the tile mosaic pieces out from any space you like as little as 1/16″ up to 1/2″ wide. It is entirely up to you what particular pattern or space you want. Just remember: the more space, means the more mortar you’ll need to place between the tile pieces.

Let the tiles dry out overnight, and you can place grout or mortar to fill in the spaces between your tile pieces. Grout can dry very hard, but I’d recommend to use mortar, since it dries even harder and can stand up to heavy use. Look for a mortar that can be mixed with color additives to give you more choices for your final look. No matter which kind you use, they will be applied with a floating trowel. If you already bought your tile installation kit, it is already in there.

Be sure to wipe off excess mortar/grout as soon as you are done with the application. Be sure to pick up all haze, residue while it is still wet, as cleaning dried grout/mortar isn’t something you want to be doing after coming this far along in the project.

After letting the tiles and grout/mortar set overnight, you can now place the last thing on your mosaic tile surface, a good tile sealer. I’d most definitely recommend a clear sealer down to ensure no food or water can reach into the tiles and mortar and damage the job you’ve spent so much time on. Depending on what kind of tile down will determine what kind of sealer to put down, which is why I can’t recommend one until you choose your tile. No matter how you put down your tile, using a quality sealer guarantees you won’t have to worry about failure in your table for a long time.

And that’s it! All the options, steps, and choices when it comes to putting down mosaic tile for your patio table!



I have also used window film on clear glass to make a mosaic that resembles a stained glass window.




The self-adhering film applies in minutes, and leaves no residue behind upon removal. It provides protection from UV rays and is not affected by steam, humidity, heat or cold.


Happy Creating,


Posted 2013-08-29T22:44:29+0000  by Dave_HD_OC
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