building tile topped table... [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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mark h
01-08-2003, 08:00 AM
I planned to build a two-sided bar and put a ceramic tile top on it but my wife says it would be too wide. Now she wants a table that is the same height, about 42 inches, but will be supported with legs instead of a structure like under a bar.

I found some nice steel tube legs that I can use to support the corners of the table but I worry about the table deflection. The table will be approx 32 inches wide by 60 inches and will have an oak edge with the main surface as tile. I'm thinking I will need two layers of 3/4 inch plywood plus the backerboard (wonderboard) for the tile. I think that I will need some extra support under the table but I don't know for sure. Any suggestions? Thanks!


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01-08-2003, 09:21 AM
A skirt of 3/4" x 3" and a couple of cross braces (think joists) of the same stock will be very stiff.

Check out this thread. John has made such a table, and I was planning one, like yours. (long thread, but wade thru it, good stuff there)

I don't think the CBU would be needed, and you could glue the tile to the plywood with (gasp!) construction adhesive or m-m-mastic. You aren't building a floor or countertop, but more akin to a mosaic. The rules are a little different.

You do want to pay attention to stiffness, though!

John Bridge
01-08-2003, 05:36 PM
Hi Mark, Welcome to the furniture factory. ;)

That's a very big and wide table you have in mind. It'll be nearly impossible to make it rigid enough to support a stiff tile installation. bbcamp has the right idea. Use mastic or liquid nails to hold the tiles in place and then us the most flexible grout you can concoct. Something like Customs Polyblend with extra latex added in.

For a smaller table, I'm connected to a guy who makes and sells iron tables that are tile ready. You might want to have a look. My friend's name is Patrick.

mark h
01-08-2003, 09:17 PM
Thanks John and bbcamp. That long thread you referenced and your postings give me something to think about. The idea of a table that big has been bothering me that's why I posted my question here. Thanks!