Create a Terrazzo Table With This Clever Ikea Hack

Terrazzo-inspired tabletop IKEA hack
credit: Hunker

Have we mentioned just how much we're loving this terrazzo trend? Oh yeah, we have. Well, now we'd like to share how you can make a one-of-a-kind terrazzo-esque piece by turning this (laughably) affordable Ikea tray table into the accent table of your dreams.

Traditionally, authentic terrazzo tabletops consist of a concrete mix of cement, sand, granite or marble chips, and strengthening nylon fibers. This special mix is poured into a custom mold fitted with a metal mesh inside for additional reinforcement. Finally, the tabletop is removed from the mold after setting and sealed with a durable epoxy resin. Not what we'd exactly call a doable DIY for the everyday crafter.

However, our super-simplified process simulates the look by adding a layer of broken glass tiles on top of a simple cement-sand mix and finishing with a wipe-on concrete countertop sealant. Plus, the Ikea Gladom tray is a ready-made mold that won't require additional reinforcement nor will you need to remove the concrete from it afterward.

Materials and tools for terrazzo table
credit: Hunker

Things You'll Need

  • Ikea Gladom table

  • 3.5 pounds White Portland cement

  • 7 pounds white sand

  • ¼ - ½ pound of mosaic smalti and/or glass tile pieces in desired colors (or enough to cover as much of the table's surface as you'd like)

  • Concrete countertop sealer

  • Wheeled glass tile cutter

  • Dust mask

  • Protective eyewear

  • Protective gloves for cutting glass

  • Protective gloves for mixing concrete

  • Bucket for mixing concrete

  • Inexpensive garden trowel or handheld concrete mixer

  • Finishing trowel

  • Coarse to medium grit sanding block and fine grit sanding block

Step 1:

Cutting glass tiles and mosaic smalti for terrazzo table
credit: Hunker

Wearing protective gloves and eyewear, use a wheeled tile cutter to cut the glass tiles/smalti into small chips of random shapes and sizes. Cut enough glass to cover as much (or as little) of the tabletop as you'd like. Use more chips for a "crowded" look (i.e. more glass, less concrete), or less for a sparser, more minimalist look. (Find inspiration here.) Set glass pieces aside.

Cutting glass tiles and mosaic smalti for terrazzo table
credit: Hunker

Step 2:

Portland cement and mixing tools
credit: Hunker

Wearing a dust mask, use an inexpensive garden trowel (you'll want to use an expendable one for this job!) to thoroughly mix 3.5 pounds white Portland cement with 7 pounds white sand in a bucket.

Mixing Portland cement and sand
credit: Hunker

Step 3:

Adding water to Portland cement and sand mixture
credit: Hunker

Add water, about 1 cup at a time, and mix thoroughly with the trowel (or cement mixer) until it's the consistency of thick cake batter. Make sure all of the dry cement at the bottom of the bucket has been incorporated into the cement and sand mix.

Mixing Portland cement, sand, and water
credit: Hunker

Step 4:

Pouring concrete into GLADOM tray for terrazzo tabletop
credit: Hunker

Pour into the Gladom table tray and use the masonry finishing trowel to level the top.

Smoothing wet concrete with finishing trowel
credit: Hunker

Grab the edges and shake the entire tray for several minutes to release any trapped air bubbles within the mix.

Releasing trapped air from concrete for terrazzo tabletop
credit: Hunker

Step 5:

Spreading broken glass tiles over concrete for terrazzo table
credit: Hunker

Evenly spread the glass pieces over the wet cement.

Spreading broken glass tiles over concrete for terrazzo table
credit: Hunker

Step 6:

Smoothing layer of glass chips and wet concrete with finishing trowel for terrazzo tabletop
credit: Hunker

Use the finishing trowel to press the glass pieces down and smooth the surface. Doing so will create a thin film of cement over the glass to be sanded down later.

Smoothing layer of glass chips and wet concrete with finishing trowel for terrazzo tabletop
credit: Hunker

Step 7:

Wait until partially set — about 24 hours.

Wet cement and glass chips for terrazzo tabletop
credit: Hunker

Step 8:

Sanding terrazzo tabletop
credit: Hunker

Wearing a dust mask, sand the tabletop with medium- to coarse-grit sandpaper (80-100 grit) to remove the top film of cement and reveal the glass.

Sanding terrazzo tabletop
credit: Hunker

Now, sand with fine-grit sandpaper (about 200 grit) to smooth.

Step 9:

Wait another 24 hours or until cement is completely set.

Step 10:

Finishing terrazzo tabletop with concrete countertop sealer
credit: Hunker

Thoroughly clean off any remaining dust from sanding and apply one or two coats of food-safe concrete countertop sealer in a well-ventilated area, according to the manufacturer instructions. Let dry completely before using your chic terrazzo-inspired table!

Terrazzo-inspired IKEA GLADOM table hack
credit: Hunker

Check out our step-by-step video:


Maya Marin

Maya Marin

Maya (a.k.a. The Incurable Homebody) is a maker of things, a lover of knowledge, and an introvert with a zest for life. Prior to becoming an independe... more