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Unread 09-19-2019, 08:42 AM   #1
alex.s
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Replacing a tile rim on a mosaic table

Hi,

I have a 20+ year old natural stone mosaic table that has lost its edge trim. As per the pictures, can see that the wood-based tabletop and the steel rim band has shifted a bit and thus the edge trim has split from the tabletop. The elements (>120F temp, been in the direct sun sometimes) have done their damage as they do with everything here. The top row of tiles on the edge trim started to fall off and nearly all were loose so I have since plucked the whole row of them off. It looks like this row of tile was set separately from the bottom rows of the rim.

The challenge here for me is that the rim not level around the table, so there needs to be some filler in some spots, and also I'm a bit stumped as to how to adhere the new row of tiles to the rim and / or tabletop in a way that allows the grout to fill the top and side of this new row.

Current thought is to put a new row of mosaic tile (5/8”, natural stone, tumbled and unpolished to avoid any sharp edges) around the rim and installation ideas (please be kind!) include (1) putting a bead of construction adhesive (Loctite Power Grab?) around the rim and place the strips of mosaic tile around it and then grout the two sides, (2) just use grout and know they will soon fall off, (3) use adhesive / grout mixture (reviews look like it would be a messy and ugly result for this application), or (4) use thinset and try to leave enough space for the grout. Also, as the new tile rim is natural stone, not sure if I should seal it (thus risk losing the bit of adherence from the grout) or grout it unsealed (I’m fine with a bit of a rough / “craft” look if there are bits of grout left on the tiles.)

This table is on a patio in the desert, and does not need to look new, just “unbroken” and durable. I am not that experienced in tile but have done some successful repairs on my tiled courtyard and patio, and lots of fixes on the house (electrical, plumbing, drywall, painting, etc.)

Any advice would be greatly welcome! Thank you.

Alex
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Unread 09-19-2019, 09:09 AM   #2
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So this was a wood table that someone set tile on?

Do you have all the old pieces that broke off?

The circular gap between the field tile and the border is probably from expansion and contraction with humidity. The wood will do that. I would fill that with a 100% silicone caulk after the border tiles are set. To set the old tiles back on, really clean it all off ans scrape any loose stuff first. Then set it with mortar. Whatever you use, do not buy "premixed" mortar in a bucket or a caulk tube. I would use construction adhesive before that stuff.
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Unread 09-19-2019, 10:14 AM   #3
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Hi Mike -- thanks for the reply.

A quarter of the tiles were missing and lost, and many of the remaining top row of tiles were loose, and the most of the border had sunk a bit (1/8" in places), so I removed the rest of that row of tiles. Picture is the table of this morning.

I have found 5/8" mosaic stone tiles at a local tile shop that are not the same but can make a complementary border, and the people at the shop by chance think they recognize this table and the person who did it. It apparently is a custom made table that the guy would build at the customer's house, so the table core (the wood) and band were designed to be part of the finished tile table.

Noted on the mortar -- will also be easier than adhesive to compensate for the unevenness and can end up with a rim that is even with the tabletop. Then as you say, silicone caulk around the rim, then perhaps nonsanded grout under the side of the new rim tile?

Thanks,

Alex
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Unread 09-19-2019, 10:54 AM   #4
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I am not sure where/what this steel band is, I do not see it.
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Unread 09-19-2019, 10:59 AM   #5
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here's a couple pics, one with the band (a section of the rim tile had also fallen off but I had all the pieces and so used adhesive to put it back onto the metal) and one with the cleaned up edge where I need to install the border.
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Unread 09-19-2019, 11:55 AM   #6
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I will let someone else chime in on this. I don't think anything is really meant for this. You have a wood table with a metal band and mosaics set on both of them and kept outdoors....

I would use whatever you are comfortable using and hope for the best?

Whatever you use, I would grind away anything loose and prime that metal band to prevent rust. The rusting will make anything fall right off it. caulking on that ring will also allow some movement without cracking again.

sorry I am not of more help.
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Unread 09-19-2019, 12:20 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. It is a rather small and unique challenge and appreciate the attention. I'm next to the Mohave desert so any wood or iron outdoors is asking for trouble.

I don't have that much hope for it (or my abilities!) but wanted to give it a try rather than ditching the table. Other options (creating a wooden or metal border, etc.) involve too much work and I would not know where to start. I am not sure what they were thinking when they built this -- I would have opted for a single slab of stone out here.

After I clean it well as you say, what seems to be the best approach is to apply grey fortified thinset around the top of the existing rim and then set the new row of tile even with the top and allowing the thinset to fill then be squeezed out from under this top row. Then clean the thinset off as if it was grout, and let it set overnight. Then caulk the inner rim of the tile where it meets the tabletop.

I'll post pics of how it turned out. The goal is to end up with a useable tabletop for another 5-7 years, when the desert takes the rest of the outdoor furniture and will be replacing the whole set.

Thanks!
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Unread 09-19-2019, 12:58 PM   #8
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You can see in the tile that separated, it pulled off some rust with it. I am sure the rusting caused it to fall off. I would clean it by grinding/sanding. Then treat the metal to prevent rusting.
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Unread 09-19-2019, 02:11 PM   #9
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Thanks -- good tip. I have treated rusted furniture before with a coat of Penetrol, which halts the rusting and protects it from rubbing onto clothing while retaining the patina, so maybe that would be good to use on the iron after it is cleaned.
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Unread 09-19-2019, 05:19 PM   #10
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I'd probably remove the tiles on the edge and clean the metal. Maybe grind and smooth the stone edge and maybe paint the edge. I think the tiles will fall off again if you stick them back.
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Unread 09-19-2019, 06:05 PM   #11
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That's a good idea. The problem with the table edge is that it is recessed from the metal band, but if as you say it was ground down, coated, primed, and painted could do the job. Thanks.
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Unread 09-20-2019, 07:43 PM   #12
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Agree with Davy’s suggestions of grinding down the band but rather than prime, I’d use Jasco to treat the bare metal. Jasco will react with the surface of the metal to provide a stable rust resistant surface.
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Unread 10-13-2019, 07:56 AM   #13
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Finished

Hi,

Sorry about taking a while to post the results. I tried first to replace the missing tiles, as I could remove them all if I failed and prep it as you all commented.

I sanded then scored the exposed iron band segments and just used the Pentrol I had on hand to seal it, as I could not find Jasco (can't find much in California).

I found similar mosaic tile and chose the tumbled to avoid sharp edges, and bought a square foot of it. I used tile adhesive (Acrylpro) after failing with thinset as it just wasn't adhering in such a small set area, and for some of the ones in the mosaic strips that didn't grab, polyurethane glue, then used a sander to even out the rough edges and uneven tiles, then grouted and sealed the grout and tiles with Miracle Sealant Impregnator Sealer, which I had on hand.

I think it came out ok, and after a week, it is quite solid. I'm not looking for a lifetime fix, just five years or more. The table is no longer in direct sunlight, so I expect it to last a while. Once they do start to crack, I will remove the rim tiles and then grind the table top edge and prep the iron as suggested and just leave it like that.

Thanks for all the input!
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Unread 10-13-2019, 09:46 AM   #14
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Looks good, Alex. I fear otherwise, but let’s hope you get your 5+ years out of the repair.
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Unread 10-13-2019, 10:06 AM   #15
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I'm with Bubba. Hopefully that's way down the road.
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