DIY & Done: How to Tile an Outdoor Table

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Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse
Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Craving some color on your patio? Turn your coffee table into a focal point featuring tiles in vibrant hues. Not only will the vivid palette brighten up your outdoor space, it's also an excellent mood booster. Maximize the good vibes with a few accessories that coordinate with the colors in the tile. Even if you're a tiling newbie, this is a simple project that you can do in a weekend. Before you know it, you'll be relaxing in your color-filled space admiring the beauty of your work.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Things You'll Need

TIP: In this tutorial, we removed the inner insert of a coffee table and replaced it with exterior-grade plywood, which we tiled over, creating a tile inlay. If your table doesn't have an insert, you can tile directly on top of your table's surface (as long as it's wood, metal or concrete), but you may want to add trim molding around the edges for a more finished look.

Step 1

Measure the length and width of your tabletop with a tape measure. In this case, we measured the inner portions of the table where the inner insert was placed.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 2

Use a circular saw to cut a piece of exterior-grade plywood to the dimensions of your table.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 3

Place the plywood insert into the table, and lay out the tiles with spacers in between to determine where any tiles need to be cut.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Draw a line on any tiles that need to be cut.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 4

Use either a wet tile saw or a hand cutter to cut the tiles to size. We found a wet tile saw to be much faster and easier to use.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 5

Use the flat sides of a square notch trowel to spread a thin layer of adhesive onto the plywood, covering half of the table with it. Then drag the notched side of the trowel along the adhesive to create grooves. Press the tiles into the adhesive, placing spacers in between each tile. When the first half of the table is done, move onto the second half. Remove the spacers, and then let the adhesive dry for 24 hours.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 6

Once the adhesive has dried overnight, scoop some grout onto the table, again working on only half of the table at a time. Use a rubber grout float to push the grout into the spaces between the tiles and smooth it out.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 7

While the grout is still wet, use a damp grout sponge to wipe it off the tile. You'll likely have to clean the sponge three or four times before the tile is fully clean. Let the grout dry overnight before brushing grout sealer on it.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Your newly tiled table is ready to take center stage in your outdoor oasis!

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse
Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse
Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Get the Look!

Solistone Conos 6" x 6" Hand-Painted Ceramic Deco Wall Tile, $32.81

Better Homes & Gardens Belle Haven 4-Piece Conversation Outdoor Furniture Set, Metal, $747

Safavieh Milan 9' Market Crank Fringe Tilt Patio Umbrella, $123.76

LR Home Natural Jute Hand Braided Floral Round Indoor Area Rug (6' x 6'), $117

MoDRN Glam Round Faux Marble Outdoor Garden Stool, $72.99

MoDRN Square White Ceramic Planter, starting at $32.99

Better Homes & Gardens Round Tufted Velvet Pillow, 18" x 18", $12

Better Homes & Gardens Shag Oblong Throw Pillow, 14'' x 20'', $17.88

Better Homes & Gardens Lima Print Tufted Decorative Throw Pillow, 18" x 18", $19.88

Better Homes & Gardens Abstract Diamond Shag Throw Pillow, 18"x18", $14.13

Velvet Decorative Throw Pillow with Tassels, 20x20" by Drew Barrymore Flower Home, $34

Better Homes & Gardens 13" x 19" Outdoor Toss Pillow, Ivory Woven, $12.82


Trisha is a writer, video producer + maker with a knack for creating modern DIY content. When her hands aren't covered in paint, she's most likely holding a camera or power drill or both.

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