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- 1 x 4s for framing around the pattern
- 1 x 3s for pattern pieces
- Miter Saw (if cutting the angles)
- Screws (for framed edge)
- Elmer’s Wood Glue Max (for framed edge – we only used this for the frame since we were placing wood over wood here)
- Elmer’s ProBond Advanced (used on the majority of the table where we were gluing wood to the tile)
- Elmer’s ProBond Wood Filler, Stainable
- Sander or Sand paper (120 grit)
- Stain ( I used Minwax in Provincial)
- Sealer (I used Minwax Oil-Modified Poly in Semi Gloss)
Approx $75 – we used premium boards so that they would be extra smooth and to cut down on the need to sand. You could go with a cheaper board to save money.
This is an intermediate project mostly because of the need to cut these angles. As a result, I would consider this a weekend project. A day to make the cuts, layout the design and make any changes. Another day to glue and allow 24 hours to dry and the third day for staining and sealing, all depending on your skill level. You could also save time (and a little money) by opting not to do the pattern. You could just lay the boards out straight and do a farmhouse style table instead and it would be just a stunning.
- We started by framing the table with the 1 x 4s first. This helped us determine the angels we’d need to cut to form our pattern. We then cut the boards for the center of the table
- Make sure you layout your pattern after making the cuts prior to gluing to make sure you don’t need to make any changes. It may be too late to do so once you’ve added the glue. We did find that we had to pull up a few pieces here and there to fit all the pieces in, it should be a tight fit! But we went in knowing that the glue would set fast so we were working quickly and it had not dried yet.
- If you are joining to different surface types together like we did here, be sure to thoroughly read the instructions before hand. Your life will be so much easier! (i.e. You should sand the tile lightly to give the glue some grip)
- How many boards you use is relative to the size of your table. The angle is also somewhat relative to the size of your table as well as the depth you choose for your angle. We just eyeballed how deep we wanted the v-shapped pattern and determined the degree of our angle from there.
Sometimes I feel like certain things were made just for me. You know what I mean? That perfect pair of jeans. Those amazing shoes. Stuff like that.
But because I’m the kind of girl who walks into a home improvement store and says things like, I want to do this with that and have it turn into this, often getting the response – That’s not possible! I feel like this glue was made for me.
I also feel like a girl, just like myself, who was tired of being told – You can’t do that! – must have invented it. But I don’t want to step on any toes. So I’ll just say this instead.
I am stubborn. Stubborn enough that instead of just getting a new table I have hung on to this outdated tile top table for years trying to decide what to do with it. You might think I would’ve just been better off starting over, getting a brand new table. Or at least one that already had a wood top. But then you don’t how much this table means to me, do you?
In 2007, I lost 3 members of my mother’s side of the family, including my mom. In one year, all of the people responsible for making sure I had a place to go for Thanksgiving, Christmas and everything in between, were gone.
But not this table. An overflow table I grabbed from my great aunt’s house just after she and my great uncle passed away, too. A table I’d sat at before I had my own family. A table my oldest had his first Thanksgiving at. A table that we now spend many holidays at, just my little family and I.
So it cannot go. It must stay. Because it’s the only thing that can stay.
But that doesn’t mean it can’t change.
I’ve thought of a million different ways to do this. Replace the top entirely, just use the legs, create a whole new table from parts? But in the end, I love the idea of keeping the existing top, just knowing it’s still under there gives me comfort.
Elmer’s ProBond Advanced is perfect for mixed materials like adding wood to this tile top table. It’s the kind of glue that makes it possible to walk into a home improvement store and say, I’d like to do this with that and turn it into this and have them say – Ok, let me show you what you need. I like that.
I made a final decision on design. I decided I wanted to place a wooden herringbone pattern over the top of the tile.
After the design was planned we cut out all of our pieces and laid them out to double check our cuts and design.
We started by adding a new frame around the table top.
Since this was a wood to wood application we used screws and Elmer’s Wood Glue Max. It’s waterproof and stainable. Perfect for this project.
Then we filled all of the screw holes with Elmer’s ProBond Professional Strength Wood Filler. It is also stainable and made for indoor and outdoor use. Great for the stained finish I wanted and perfect for a high traffic area like a table top.
We filled the holes, allowed to dry and refilled any that needed additional filler.
Then it was time for the fun to begin! We sanded the tiles in preparation for the glue.
Then it was go time! My heart is pounding at this point because we’ve laid down the wood pieces so often to check the fit I already know it’s going to look fantastic!
We add the glue to the back of each piece individually and apply it to the table.
We fit each pre-labeled piece into place.
We work quickly getting each of the pieces glued and fitted into place. This stuff sets pretty fast.
We make quick work of it and before we know it half of the table it already done!
Once all of the pieces were in place we put boards across the table top and used weights (and random bits, too apparently!) to weigh the pieces down while they dried.
After letting it set and dry thoroughly, we went back and filled in any gaps with the ProBond Wood Filler. Once that was dry we sanded the entire table top to even it out and get it ready to stain.
For me this was the ultimate test. I have to admit. I wondered whether it would hold up to all of that sanding and to my delight it absolutely did! I can’t wait to show you how the whole thing turned out, including what I decided to with the chairs.
For now you’ll have to enjoy this picture of the not quite finished but still so gorgeous top! No messy residue that won’t stain left behind on this project! And I cannot get over the strength of a glue that allows me to attach to wood almost anything I want. So what project will you tackle now that Elmer’s ProBond Advance has made it possible?
I’m pleased to report that it’s been over a month and our table, that we used daily for more than just eating on, has taken the abuse without a mark or a wobble. Take a look at Part 2 of our Tile Top Table Makeover and see how it looks in my kitchen now. In the meantime, if you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below or check out this video on Elmer’s ProBond Advanced and get excited about that project everyone told you was impossible!
Danielle @2 Little Superheroes says
Wow this is gorgeous! I never would have thought to do this.
I’ll bet that’s not true Danielle but thank you! 😉
Sonja Lott Schleusner says
I want to see the rest!! That’s awesome!
You should come visit then Missy!
This was a cool idea! Love it!!
Amanda Shook says
I have a tile topped table and I was planning on building a new kitchen table, but I want to try this in the meantime! What size boards did you use for the top? Thanks!
I used 1x4s for the outside frame and 1x3s for the herringbone pattern.
Would you frame it if you were just doing boards straight across for a farm house look? Also what type of wood would you reccommend for that type of look? Thanks so much I am sooo nervous! Ekkkk
It wouldn’t be necessary to frame it in that case. It would just depend on the look you’re going for. I used a higher end pine for this table. Pine is a softer wood, meaning that it can dent and ding easier but it is also cheaper. Oak boards would be tougher but a good bit more costly. Totally depends on your budget! Have fun!
I love this! I have the exact same tile table and I was planning on getting rid of it, but now that I saw this makeover I really want to keep it! However, I’m curious to know more about the current frame vs. the existing one. Can you still see the original frame from a side view, or did you do something different when you attached the new frame on the existing one?
I painted the old frame (wooden section around the tile) the same while color as the rest of the bottom of the table. That way it just looks like what supports the boards for the new top from underneath instead of like a table top on top of a tabletop. Hope that makes sense!
Stephanie Herpin says
Did you ever complete the chairs? If so, I’d love to see what you did with them!
I will share them soon Stephanie! Promise! Thank you!
Stacey Shahamat says
What are the cut measurements/angles you used for the inside pieces to make the herringbone pattern? Your table turned out great! Thanks for sharing!
I believe we used a 33 degree angle but I did not include the angle in the tutorial because it’s highly unlikely (unless your measurements are exactly the same as ours) that you’d be able to use the same angles. BUT it is good to have a baseline. As for the cut measurements I basically divided the table into quarters since I knew I wanted four rows of cuts. I got the approximate length I wanted for each piece and from there I factored in my angles to get more precise measurements. Hope that helps.
I just found one of these tile top tables at a thrift sale and it has some cracked tiles. Was wondering how easy it would be to take out the tiles and replacing with slate pieces or mosaics. But looking at your project, I wonder if building on top would be easier. I also have an option of the same table with no tiles. Would It Be Easier To Just Build On that? I am new to DIY but have a ton of ideas. Advice?
My initial thought was to remove the tiles but then I realized what a pain that was going to be. Plus, it also meant that whatever I replaced the tiles with would have to be the same thickness, because of the wood frame around it, if it stuck up over that it wouldn’t look good. For me the easiest thing to do was build on top of. If you wanted slate you could always cover the top of the table with a piece of plywood and then add the slate on top of that. Good luck & thank you!
Thank you so very much for responding! I bought an almost identical table off of craigslist! I’m just about to glue down all the cuts! It’s not perfect but love how it turned out. Thank you so much for posting your steps!
Natasha j says
Love this! The fact that I found it on pinterest is a god send. I also have a table almost exactly like yours except its square. Do you think this would work with 2 by 4s for a thicker top? I was thinking have a framed look still but instead of the pattern just have straight boards in the center. I
I think that would look great!
Marcy denison says
Is it vitally necessary to sand the tile top since you are using a multisurface glue like Elmer’s pro bond?
I would say, yes! The Elmer’s multi-surface actually recommends it in the directions. Plus, it’s a pretty quick process and give you a sort of insurance policy on your table top. Just to be on the safe side! 😉
I followed your directions and ended up with a beautiful herringbone table. I wish I could put the pictures on here! Thank you!!!
That makes me SO happy! Thank you so much for letting me know. Feel free to email it to me or share it with me on Facebook. I would love to see it! [email protected]
Where do you buy this glue? I can not find it in any store!
It looks like you should be able to find it at Walmart, Home Depot, JoAnn’s, TruValue and Ace Hardware stores but if you’re having trouble finding it locally I’ve link my Amazon affiliate link in this post for buying online. Hope that helps! Thank you!
How has your table held up? Is everything still in place and how does the pine look after use? Do kids use your table? I’m wanting to do this and just wondering if it will hold up against toddlers 🙂
We used select pine so it’s harder and more durable than the cheaper stuff and there is virtually no wear and tear as far as that is concerned. The clear sealer is chipping a little in places but that’s what I get for going with water based. If I had it to do over I would either go with oil based sealer, wax or hemp oil. We use the table multiple times a day; breakfast, lunch, dinner, homework, you name it! Hope this helps. Thanks!
I have a round tile top table that has a leaf. Do you think this would work on my table?
I think it could! The pattern would likely be altered when you remove or replace the leaf if you don’t always leave it in. You’ll also have to be extra careful with measuring to make sure everything goes together smoothly.
The thing I am most concerned with is building a round frame. Do you think i would be better removing the tiles so I don’t have to build a frame? Some of the tiles are cracked anyway.
Did you make the frame for this table a little bigger than the original table top, so it sticks out and hangs over a little on all sides? Or is the frame flush with the original top? And if it is hanging over, would you say maybe just an inch?
We did frame so it hangs over. And yes, it’s approximately an inch overhang. Thanks!
I have a table almost identical to yours, I am worried about adding the weight on top. Has your frame held up? I don’t want to remove the tiles if I don’t have to so I was thinking about reinforcing the legs/frame to take the extra weight.
Hi Vanessa, I wouldn’t say the weight is an issue. Our frame is holding up fine. Hope that helps!
Thank you! I have one more question. I have been looking for wood but any wood you can buy in planks will have slightly rounded edges, meaning there is a small indentation between each board. Did you run into this issue? The only solution I can think of is to get wood for flooring that has the tongue and groove in it so the boards will fit snugly together. This shouldn’t be a problem either I just wanted to know your thoughts
Vanessa, I am just realizing I failed to reply to your most recent question. I’m sorry! The wood we use was a premium wood and had very sharp edges, not rounded. Look for this. It is more expensive but worth it in the long run. If you’re unable to find it you can plane the sides of your wood to get rid of the rounded edge. Of course, that requires a planer. Hope this isn’t too late to help!
Brandi Hanvy says
I was wondering what kind of paint did u use for the white and what exactly is the color name. How u applied it and is there any other type of finish on it. I have the same exact table but my legs are painted black. Would I have to sand the legs down and then paint it or do I just paint over it? Is there a special paint type. Also I have to find chairs or would like to build benches . Do u have a tuitorial on that? Thanks
No need to sand the paint off. You will just want to make sure the legs are thoroughly cleaned. Even if they already look clean chances are there’s some oil or grease that could affect your finish. I recommend TSP or vinegar to clean, a light sanding just to knock down any shiny finish. Prime if you’re going from black to white, that’ll save you some paint and then use a good paint over that. I used China White by Benjamin Moore. Seal if desired with a poly or wax. I love the idea of benches. In fact, that’s what I’m going to do with mine. The wood I used on the outdoor bench was expensive hardwood. You could use pine for inside and probably build a bench for under $50. I’ll have a tutorial for my table benches as well as an update on how the table is holding up coming in August.
Diana Guell says
Hi Jamie, I just came across your post on this table. It is so beautiful! Wanted to ask you a question: I have this table with the tile on top, but mine has extensions on both sides that open to make the table bigger. They are installed there permanently, when you close them they slide under the table. Do you think it would work if I left the extensions opened or do you think this would be a problem? I was also thinking of reinforcing the extensions on the bottom once they are opened to make sure they would stay in place. Thanks.
Thanks so much for the great question. Yes, I think that if you’re okay with leaving the extensions open permanently this could definitely work. I would absolutely reinforce from underneath so as to prevent movement. Can’t wait to see the finished product!
Pam Eannotti says
My daughter loved this idea, so we decided to do it. We went totally by all of your ideas, but we did screw the frame from the bottom up (to avoid having to fill the holes. The filler doesn’t always look so good with stain.) It came out absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for motivating us to undertake this beautiful finished product. I would be happy to share a few photos.
That’s awesome! I would love to see some pics! [email protected]