How to Repair a Patio Table with Tile when the Glass is Broken Out

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Things You'll Need

  • Plywood

  • Saw

  • Lumber

  • Power drill

  • Screws

  • Cement backerboard

  • Tiles

  • Tile spacers

  • Pencil

  • Latex-reinforced mortar

  • Notched trowel

  • Latex-reinforced sanded grout

  • Grout float

  • Sponge

Replace a broken glass tabletop with tile.

If the glass on your patio table breaks, you may think you have to replace the entire table or replace the broken glass panel with more glass. But you can choose to replace the broken glass with tile, creating a much sturdier table and a different look. Patios are excellent places to experiment with color, so buy tiles that are as bright and colorful as you can imagine. Or buy tiles in earthtones for a more subtle look.


Step 1

Cut a piece of water-resistant plywood to fit over the tabletop. Attach the plywood to the table with screws. If the table is large, reinforce the plywood underneath by screwing 2-by 4-inch boards to the underside of both the plywood and the table.

Step 2

Cut a piece of cement backerboard to fit over the plywood, and screw it to the plywood every 6 inches.

Step 3

Dry lay your tiles on the tabletop, placing tile spacers in between them. If you will have an odd number of rows, center the middle row. If you have an even number of rows, center the middle grout line (the space between the tiles).


Step 4

Remove the tile spacers. Run a pencil between the tiles, creating a grid that will guide you as you position the tiles.

Step 5

Spread mortar on the tabletop with a notched trowel, keeping to one row of the pencil grid. Comb grooves into the mortar with the notches on the side of the trowel. Place the tiles on the mortar, twisting them slightly as you press them into the mortar.

Step 6

Repeat Step 5 for the additional rows of tiles. Let the mortar dry overnight.


Step 7

Remove the tile spacers from between the tiles. Push grout into the spaces between the tiles with a grout float. Scrape grout from the surface of the tiles with the side of the grout float.

Step 8

Drag the corner of a damp sponge along the grout lines, creating an even depth. Wipe the remaining grout from the tile surface with a wet sponge. Allow the grout to dry overnight.


Jen Anderson

Jen Anderson has been writing professionally since 2008. Her work has appeared in the "New York Times," "Time Out Chicago" and "The Villager." She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Brooklyn College.