How To Mosaic a Patio Table

Replace Glass Top With Concrete Board

Glass-top metal patio tables can be used to make a mosaic table by replacing the glass top with 1/4 inch concrete backer board. The concrete backer board is roughly the same thickness as the glass top it is replacing, and it can rest on the rim of the metal table just as the glass top did. However, the thin concrete backer board can sag if unsupported, so marine plywood or pressure-treated plywood should be laminated to the underside of the backer board to stiffen it.

Note that the plywood should be slightly smaller in diameter than the concrete backer board so that it doesn’t interfere with the metal rim of of the table. Only the concrete backer board rests in the inside of the rim where the glass rested. If the plywood were to rest there, then the table top would be too thick and stick up above the rim instead of fitting inside it like the glass.

Steps For Replacing The Glass Top With Reinforced Concrete Mosaic Backer

  • buy 1/4″ concrete backer board from building material store.
  • measure glass top being replaced.
  • cut 1/4″ concrete backer board into a circle the same size using jig saw.
  • cut pressure-treated plywood into slightly smaller circle using jig saw with fresh blade.
  • glue plywood to concrete backer board using Weldbond or other PVA glue.
  • paint underside of plywood and its outer edge with multiple coats of outdoor paint.
  • insert table top into metal table base.

Repairing Edges of Concrete Backer Board

Concrete backer board sometimes has bubbles and voids that aren’t exposed until you cut across them and leave a weak spot or rough crumbly spot at the edge of the piece. You can also damage the edges of the concrete backer board during transport and handling. If this happens, you can repair and reinforce these weak crumbly places with the same thinset mortar that you use to attach the tiles.

Use Thinset Mortar Instead of Glue

Outdoor and wet mosaic should always be done with thinset mortar instead of glue. Thinset mortar is concrete with polymers added for strength and adhesive properties. You can also use the thinset for grouting the finished mosaic. An outdoor mosaic made with thinset will last many times longer than a mosaic made with glue, and that is why they use thinset for attaching tiles in swimming pools.

Using Thinset

We use Versabond brand thinset by Custom Building Products and add 1/4 pound of water per pound of thinset. Thinset comes in big bags that are inconvenient. We keep the bag of thinset in a 5-gallon plastic bucket with a lid. We slide the whole bag into the bucket and cut the top off the bag and scoop out what we need. Never try to pour it unless you like big clouds of dust that is dangerous to breath.

Finding The Right Table Is Easier Than Making The Wrong Table Work

I have always disliked the subject of mosaic tops for metal patio tables because I receive too many emails from lunatics who think the most important thing about the table to be mosaiced is that it is what they already happen to have on hand. It doesn’t matter to them if the table is broken or rusting to pieces or made of wood or already has an expanded metal mesh top welded in place.

For these people, it isn’t about finding a table that is appropriate for a mosaic top, it’s about making whatever they happen to have work, no matter how flawed or problematic or downright dangerous it might be. What’s worse is that when I take valuable time to email back explaining why the table is a poor candidate, they usually email back proposing some farcical method of making it work and wanting further comment.

These proposals show a lack of understanding of basic concepts, but what really makes them insufferable is that they are usually posed as questions asking me to explain why it would not work or why it wouldn’t make the process quicker or easier, usually in a pleading way. (As if my agreeing with them could somehow alter laws of physics or other aspects of objective reality… )

Reading their emails always brings to mind an expression used in the military, one that is blunt, crude and profoundly apt, like so many military expressions: You cannot polish a turd. How many times have I longed to type those words into an email reply!

Inspect Table For Strength And Stability

A mosaic table top can weigh significantly more than the glass top it is replacing. Before doing anything else, inspect the table to make sure it can hold the weight. Look for broken welds in particular, but also keep an eye out for the gauge of materials used for the table. Most metal patio tables are much heavier and stronger than they need to be, but factories make things lighter, cheaper and more disposable each year. If the table in question appears to be light-gauge and weaker than most wrought iron you have seen, then think twice before using it as the base for a mosaic table top.

Bistro Tables

If you use a small metal bistro table, then make sure that you don’t create a safety problem by putting a very heavy top on a table that is taller than it is wide. This can make the table unstable and easy to tip over. The heavy table top could easily injure someone if the table were knocked over by a casual bump. The solution is to anchor or weight the feet of the table, and a sock filled with sand and tied in a knot is often all that is required. Using wire to twist tie the table to the railing of a balcony is another quick solution.

Glass Mosaic Tile Is Best For Outdoors

Glass in nonporous and therefore impervious to moisture and freeze damage. Ceramic tile and stone are porous, and thus water can penetrate inside and freeze and crack the tile over time, sometimes very rapidly depending on where you live. Sure we have a lot of Roman stone mosaics from 2000 years ago, but those mosaics are in the dry warm Mediterranean basin and not west Michigan…

Remember To Seal Outdoor Mosaics

A few days after grouting, you should seal your mosaic with a tile and grout sealer. Tile and grout sealers are invisible pore sealers and not coatings that form a separate layer over the top of the mosaic. You wipe them on with a rag, and then wipe away the excess with a clean rag and allow to dry for ten minutes. Apply it 3 times or whatever the manufacturer instructions recommend.





68 responses to “How To Mosaic a Patio Table”

  1. Cheryl Regehr Avatar
    Cheryl Regehr

    Do you have suggestions of where I could purchase a suitable table? I am going to attempt to do this for class art project for the school auction.

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar

      Thrift stores, garage sales and junk shops are good places to look for a used table. A local welder can also fabricate what you need.

  2. Stacy Sims Avatar
    Stacy Sims

    I am on the fence about using mosaic tile on my patio table. The glass top broke this winter and a new piece is more than I want to spend. I have a whole matching set so I would like to use my table. Problem is the glass sat inside a 1 inch rim. I read your article and I can cut the wood to fit in the table but I am worried that the once I put my tile and grout, it will be substantially higher than the edges. Do you have any ideas?

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar


      I might be interpreting your information incorrectly, but a 1-inch rim seems ideal for mosaic patio table. Glass mosaic tile is usually roughly 1/8″ thick. If you were to use 1/4″ concrete backer board glued to 1/2″ plywood, then you should be just under the height of the rim. However, you would need to thoroughly paint the edge and underside of the plywood with several (3+) coats of oil-based paint to prevent warping over time due to humidity. My preference would be to bolt or weld some metal supports (angle iron) across the top of the frame/table base to support the center of the table top and mosaic on 1/2″ concrete backer board. Of course, you should make sure that the table top is adequately supported and all the structural issues are addressed (look for sagging) before starting the actual mosaic work.

      I hope this helps some!

    2. Miller Avatar

      I am rather excited to try this. I “found” a wonderfully unique table curbside! it appears to be from the fifties, oval in shape, a metal base with scrolls. It is in wonderful condition except for the top. The wood is solid and true but it is covered in a vinyl material which is completely secure. I also have left over tiles from a bath and kitchen project that are earth-tone in color. I also want a new set of dishes for the kitchen to be able to have a full set for guests this summer and to have a dark blue in the design.
      I love the background of this page. It inspires me to include some small trinkets that have memories attached to them. “Winter time”, it sure does mess with the phsyceeee! That’s kinda of the point, to give yourself to create and thus relax with. Too much today is about do it now!, do it this way!. You can use your common sense and your creativeness together to create something wonderful and long lasting so that perhaps you can hand this one piece down through the generations to come. It could be your “something to remember me by” thing while you enjoy it and tells stories about it to others.
      As for Stacy of last year, do it! What is the worst that could happen? You spend a little time with yourself to spend a lot of time with others later and you save some garbage from being garbage.
      Let’s all get started today and have a blast!

  3. Betty Richardson Avatar
    Betty Richardson

    I just purchased a palapa for our backyard and they mentioned we could get an untreated pine table top so that i can mosaic it… Sooo my question is whats the best way to go about doing it? should I put a moisture barrier underneath before I use thinset and glass tiles or should it be fine just using the thinset directly on the pine? or maybe can coat the pine with something before i start using the thinset?

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar

      Salesmen will sometimes tell you anything to make the sale, and sometimes they are just plain mindless. Wood is not an appropriate backer for an outdoor or wet mosaic (as discussed in many places on this website). This article discusses some of the options.

  4. Julie Avatar

    Can you mosaic on top of glass ?

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar

      You can, but you need to make sure the glass is thick enough to support the weight.

  5. Ramona Avatar

    Can a glazed porcelain tile be the base for mosaic project on a small 12″ table? It fits exactly into my table. My husband says it’s not porous so thinset and tiles won’t stick to it properly. Thanks and appreciate your expertise.

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar

      It definitely can. Thinset sticks to nonporous porcelain and glass very well.

  6. Susan Avatar

    I have a Wrought iron fire pit base perfect for a mosaic top. It has a ring around the top that I think would be perfect for the plywood layer to fit into. If the backer board is 2-3″ wider all around will the edges be too fragile? If I don’t have a frame for the edge how do you recommend to finish the edges?

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      Some of the main points I try to make in this article is that plywood doesn’t make a good backer for a mosaic patio table. The other main point is that it makes more sense to find a table base that works well than it does to try to make whatever you have work. If you are determined to make what you have work, then you need to weld things like edging and supports as needed to it.

      1. Susan V Avatar
        Susan V

        I am going to make the mosaic top with the concrete backer board in a diameter of 36″. The supporting plywood layer will be 30″ in diameter. Will the outer 3″that are mosaic be too heavy? That overhanging amount will have a 1/2″ metal support at each quarter. Do you think that a 3″ overlap. Will have too much sagging? If so, I could probably. Put some additional plywood underneath.

  7. Guilty Granddaughter Avatar
    Guilty Granddaughter

    Referring back to Miller’s Feb 2015 comment of “perhaps you can hand this one piece down through the generations to come”… I have a 48″x48″ mosaic table my grandmother designed and grandfather built that is 40+ years old. It was used in their enclosed sunroom in Pennsylvania. Fast forward to it’s life on my humid South Carolina screened porch. The original plywood backing has begun to warp and delaminate, but the mosaic tiles and grout are still in seemingly excellent condition on the top.
    Is there a way to secure the tiles in their original positions, flip the table top to carefully remove the plywood backer, and then re-secure the tiles to a new outdoor-friendly backing? The individual tiles are tiny – no more than ½”x½” – and most smaller than that, so I am trying to avoid completely reconstructing from scratch. I fully realize I will have to re-grout after the bulk transfer. Will the packing tape/contact paper method discussed on another thread work on a project this large?
    Fix or toss? I’d prefer to fix if at all possible, but I know the limits of my craft skills and patience. Many thanks in advance for any words of wisdom.

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      Repairing a mosaic can be a labor of love, especially if the backer is warping, but it isn’t impossible, and it doesn’t have to be tedious. It all depends on how easily the tiles come off the plywood, and there are techniques for that, even if the adhesive is stubborn.

      The first step is to get the mosaic securely attached to mosaic mounting tape.

      Then you need to remove the plywood from underneath. To do that, I would take the table apart so that I had the mosaic on the backer board.

      If the adhesive is old and failing you might be able to firmly but gently scrape the mosaic off with a paint scraper.

      If the adhesive is still strong, then what you do next depends on the condition of the plywood backer and how flat it is. One option would be to use a power planer to shave off the excess layers of plywood down to the last 1/4 inch and then laminate that onto a new piece of plywood using glues and weights during drying to ensure flatness.

      Another option would be to place the mosaic in a shallow layer of water, such as children’s pool until the glue delaminated from the plywood. Again, you would have to use weights on a second piece of plywood to keep it flat as it soaked, and you would need to make sure that the water was just right: up to the backer but not up to the mounting tape.

      I hope this helps!

      1. Guilty Granddaughter Avatar
        Guilty Granddaughter

        Thanks for the speedy suggestions and encouragement – had not thought of a water bath to loosen the old adhesive!

  8. Julie Avatar

    I am a little confused about using plywood in an outdoor table application and am hoping for a little clarification. I understand that using plywood as a base is a bad idea due the surface being unstable. However, if a concrete backer board is used as the base but plywood is used underneath to support it, wouldn’t that plywood also disintegrate over time? I just want to make sure I understand before I proceed! Thanks so much for your blog and information, it’s incredibly helpful!

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      Thanks Julie! By using concrete backer board on top of the plywood, the tiles are less likely to pop off, but warping is still possible, and the plywood will still disintegrate over time. For that reason, the plywood needs to painted with three coats of outdoor paint, especially the edges. Seal the face of the mosaic with multiple applications of a tile and grout sealer. Instead of concrete board laminated to plywood, I have been wanting to try a product called Hardieboard for my next mosaic table. Hardieboard is a tile backer board that has fibers mixed in with the concrete to make it stronger and less crumbly at the edges. I haven’t had time to soak a piece and see if moisture affects it, but I think even if it had some slight issues, it would still be fine if I painted to bottom and side edges with three coats of outdoor paint.

      I hope this helps!

  9. Veronica Avatar

    Hi Joe,
    I have just recieved a lovely cement mosaic table from the 70’s. Much of the grout has worn away from the edges which feel sharp when you rest. Your arms on the table. The gaps in grout range from 1/4 (or more) Between the tiles on the edges of the table top to 1/16th or less where the grout is still thick on the flat part of the table. Can I regrout? Would I use a combination of sanded grout on the sides and areas of wide grout lines and non sanded on the top?
    Many thanks for a great site.

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      We recommend removing the old grout before regrouting using a grout removal tool:
      but if the gaps are eroded out deeply enough, you might not need to.
      None of your gaps are thin enough to require non-sanded grout, which is only for hairline cracks.
      I hope this helps!

  10. Neil Razdan Avatar

    I have seen some of Neille Olson’s mosaic table tops. I want to make one myself. Of course my own design. I am willing to go to a Iron workshop and have an anodized/powder coated, backed base (my design). My question is, well I guess her tabletops have grout all around the edges too. Does she grout the back of the board she uses to mosaic on? Does she use hard wood base/board? Designing/mosaicking I can handle, I just want to have a 48″ round table top that is weatherproof, and wouldn’t crumble. Is it just the usual grout which covers the edges around. How do I make sure that the tiles wont cut somebody’s arm when they rest their arms on the table edge.

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman


      Some people mosaic the sides of bar counter tops and table tops, but the top needs to be built with sides to support the mosaic on them. That usually means plywood, which is extremely problematic outdoors. If you do use plywood as a backer for outdoor mosaics, then the sides and bottom need to be sealed with multiple applications of an outdoor sealer, such as used for decks. The have to smooth the edges of cut pieces of tile with the fine side of a marble file.

  11. Lauren Avatar

    Hi I have been wanting to make a mosaic round top
    that would be larger then a heavy round metal table.
    I am thinking that I could make new table top and just
    put it on top of original table.
    The table is one piece with all metal top , sides and
    legs. I thought maybe there could be 2inch hangover
    so table would now seat more people.
    Is there a way to make independent top and just let
    it sit on top of old table ?
    Thanks !!

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      Hi Lauren,

      People make table tops separate from table bases or pedestals all the time, and so it is possible. However, you need to make sure you aren’t making something heavier than the base can support or something that is unstable and could fall over. Consulting with a local handy person or welder is the way to go.

  12. Maya Avatar

    Hi Joe, Could you please tell me if marine plywood would be a good base for an outdoor table? I’m wanting to use a heavy iron base from a pub table. I’ve read your comments re; warping and we do get a lot of rain here in the UK. Thanks.

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman


      You should be able to get a foam-core tile backer board such as the Wedi product, and that would be a much better choice.

      1. Maya Avatar

        Thank you for your reply, Joe. Would the foam-core tile backer board such as the Wedi be preferable to the hardie board? Do I put it onto the marine ply base before tiling? Or would it be better to find a different material for the base. Many thanks.

        1. Joe Moorman Avatar
          Joe Moorman

          The foam-core board can be bought in different thickness, and so you should be able to use foam-core without plywood underneath. People use the board to build walls all the time. If you still need plywood for some reason, you can attach the foam core board to it using an outdoor construction adhesive, such as the Liquid Nails Outdoor product sold in the USA. Thanks!

          1. Maya Avatar

            I’m not bothered about using ply if the foam core will hold up without warping. The table top needs to be 28 inches square to fit the base so is quite large. I have no experience of foam core , so welcome your advice on it. Thank you.

          2. Joe Moorman Avatar
            Joe Moorman

            If you got 1-inch thick or used 2 sheets of 1/2-inch, I think you should be fine. People use this for fabricating bathroom surfaces.


  13. Traci Prescott Avatar
    Traci Prescott

    Two questions: Is Concrete Backer Board the same as Permabase Cement Board from Menards? and second question is how thick should the first grout layer be that we first lay the tiles into when designing the mosaic?

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      We don’t have Menards down here, but concrete board should be the same everywhere. The only thing to check out is to see if it looks like it has cellulose fibers in it like Hardibacker. If so, I would avoid it for outdoor use, but I suspect what Menards is selling is ordinary concrete board.

      Grout is not mortar and cannot be used to attach tiles. You want to use thinset mortar instead. How think you put it on depends on the size of tile and your working preference. You will figure that out by a little experimentation when you get started.

      1. Traci Avatar

        One more question: do you have any recommendations about where I could purchase glass tiles to make my outdoor bar table top? I just need some direction about where to get good tiles and then I think we are ready to get going. We already cut and painted our plywood base, will be installing the concrete backer board this weekend and then we are ready to start tiling with the thin set versa bond. Oh except, we need tiles. ?

        1. Joe Moorman Avatar
          Joe Moorman

          Hi Traci,

          Plywood is not a suitable backer for an outdoor mosaic. We have tons written on the blog about better alternatives:

          You should never paint or seal a surface that mosaic adhesives need to bond to.

          I hope this helps more than it frustrates.

          1. Traci Avatar

            We were planning on putting the concrete backer over the sealed plywood and then tiling on top of the concrete backer. There was nothing underneath the concrete backer that we could secure the backer to without having to use plywood underneath it. But the plywood should not get any direct moisture since the back room will be on top of it

  14. Jane Aronhalt Avatar
    Jane Aronhalt

    I have access to several new table tops-they are laminate on both sides. I am not sure about the core. The edges have a plastic rim. (The typical restaurant table.) Would these be suitable as outdoor tables? I was thinking I should rough sand the tops to allow the glass pieces to adhere. I wanted to remove the plastic edge, put mortar or something and then mosaic. Does any of this sound like it would work for an outside table?

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      Hi Jane,

      I doubt that what is underneath the laminate will be durable outdoors. It is probably plywood or particle board, which is even worse. No one who has taken the time to use a durable backer has ever regretted it because tiles start popping off wood backers outdoors almost immediately.

      I hope this helps.

      1. Jane Aronhalt Avatar
        Jane Aronhalt

        Thanks, that is what I was thinking, but was hoping it might work. Would the process I described work ? and then just keep it inside?

        1. Joe Moorman Avatar
          Joe Moorman

          Yes, dry indoor mosaics can use plywood and MDF as backers. Have fun with the project!

  15. Diana Garland Avatar
    Diana Garland

    Please can you advise me. I have an outdoor table which I particularly like cos of the wrought iron legs and the wrought iron chairs . The top is wooden and covered with formica. On top of that is a thick piece of glass to stop the formica lifting (we used to live in a hot country) But it is a pain because when it is raining and wet, water gets between the glass and the table top even though there is a cover over it.. It is very difficult to swivel it around to dry it underneath. So I have this idea of getting rid of the glass and the formica and putting a mosaic top onto the wood. Would this work? should I take the table into the conservatory to dry out and sand it down before mosaicing a pattern on to it. What do you think?

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      Wood is never an acceptable backer for outdoor mosaics. You would need to remove the wood and replace it with a foam-core tiling backer such as described in this article:

  16. Elizabeth Clark Avatar
    Elizabeth Clark

    Hi I have a very sturdy round patio table base. I want to make a mosaics top for it. The table base does not have a rim for the top to side down into. Rather the table top simple sits on top of the table base. The table top I have now is made from particle wood. It has some swelling and wrapping. Please advise me what i fresh material I should use for a a table top. Thank you

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      Hi Elizabeth,

      This article explains what to use and lists several brands of foam-core backer board:

  17. Rebecca S Waxbom Avatar
    Rebecca S Waxbom

    I have read all of the comments about the kind of table top you should use. I am going to Mosaic a Bistro table for outdoor use. Can I put the Tiles directly on a mesh Metal table top or do I need to put the Concrete Backing Board on first? Do u need to put the Concrete Backing Board on basically all tables? I don’t actually have the Table yet, so looking for the best and cheapest kind to buy. I definitely want one with metal base.

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      Hi Rebecca,

      I have seen people use fiberglass mesh and thinset mortar to make the expanded metal top into a backer. For outdoor use, you would need to avoid wood.


      1. Karen Avatar

        I Have an outdoor wrought iron table with an iron mesh top. I want to mosaic on top of the mesh. Do I need to place a place backer board below or above the mesh prior to placing the mosaic tiles or do can I tile directly over the mesh?–and if so–what type of mortar/adhesive do I need to use as this is for outside use?
        Thanks for any help you can offer.


        1. Joe Moorman Avatar
          Joe Moorman

          Hi Karen,

          I have seen people make a backer from the expanded metal mesh by covering it with fiberglass mesh and thinset mortar. Thinset mortar is used to mount tiles for outdoor and wet mosaics.

          I hope this helps,

  18. Karen Avatar

    I have a tall outdoor wrought iron table that I want to mosaic. The top is mesh wrought iron. I saw that you have somewhat explained how to do this in a recent post. This is new to me so my question is— in order for it to be a sustainable outdoor table do I need to use ‘backer board’? If so, then what type and how would I attach it to the metal table top? If not —(don’t have to use backer board)—is it possible to use the ‘sticky’ mesh roll paper that is available and attach that to the wrought iron and the tiles to that? Or would that not hold? Or, do I need to use a particular grout? I do understand the sealer part. Thanks for any help you can offer.

  19. Karen Avatar

    Forgot to add— I am assuming I will need to add some sort of tile edge as the table top (mesh) is flush on the top? In other words—- when I add the tile (with or without backer board,etc) it will be above the current top of the table.

  20. Karen Minchow Avatar
    Karen Minchow

    how should I adhere the fiberglass mesh to the top of the table? and can you draw on the mesh–I ask because I want to transfer my design to the mesh so I have a guide to follow when tiling.
    Sorry so many questions. Greatly appreciate you help.

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      Hi Karen,

      No problem! That method requires a little experimentation and might not work on some tables, such as one where the expanded metal is so thoroughly painted or powder coated that the thinset can’t grip it. If you are a beginner and not very experienced with shop work in general, you might want to find a table with a glass top and maybe mosaic on that or replace the glass with foam-core tile backer board.

      If I were using a table with an expanded metal top, I would lay two plies of fiberglass mesh on top of the expanded metal and use bailing wire or fencing wire to secure it to the expanded metal in various places. Then I would plaster thinset mortar over that, and I would plaster from underneath so that the mesh and metal are encased. After that hardened for 48 hours, I would put another coat on the top and make sure that it was smooth and level and that I had a neat looking edge. Again, this might not be for you if you aren’t comfortable experimenting a bit with tools and materials.

      I hope this helps more than it frustrates!

      1. Karen Minchow Avatar
        Karen Minchow

        Thanks for the help. I think I might place a piece of concrete backerboard on top of the expanded metal. Would that work? recommendations on how to attach the backerboard to the metal? the table is very sturdy and has center supports. I think the tiles wound adhere best to the backerboard from what I have read. thoughts?

      2. Karen Minchow Avatar
        Karen Minchow

        Joe–Follow up Q? JThanks for the help. I think I might place a piece of concrete backerboard on top of the expanded metal. Would that work? recommendations on how to attach the backerboard to the metal? the table is very sturdy and has center supports. I think the tiles wound adhere best to the backerboard from what I have read. thoughts?

  21. debra anziano Avatar
    debra anziano

    How thick does glass need to be to mosaic with glass tiles and cut glass

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      It depends on the size of the table, but I wouldn’t go less than 1/4 inch even for a small table.

  22. Emma Avatar

    Is there any reason why a wooden table base could not be used to make a mosaic garden table?

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      Hi Emma,

      This article explains why it would be a bad idea:

  23. Gareth Edwards Avatar
    Gareth Edwards

    Can I mosaic on top of a plastic garden table? My late father had a garden table that appeared to be mosaic on plastic.

    Also, the table I’m thinking of using has a slight slope for the last inch or so at the edge; would it make more sense to use concrete backer board right up to the edge, so as to have a level surface everywhere, or to simply run the mosaic on the table as it is?

    1. Natalija Moss Avatar
      Natalija Moss

      Hi Gareth, plastic is not a suitable backer for mosaic art. Plastic can slowly deform with heat and cool cycles from the weather, which will crack your grout over time. Concrete backer board is like okay for outside as long as you seal it every year. CBB usually has organic fibres in it which might deteriorate with prolonged moisture exposure.

  24. Christine Avatar

    I live in Florida and would like to make a mosaic table top for my outdoor area which will be wall mounted into a concrete wall using (2) 18” collapsible fold down brackets with max load weight of 330lbs. The tabletop will be approximately 48”x24”. It will be folded down most of the time but used for refreshments or as a prep area when entertaining. Any recommendations for what to use as a base for the tabletop and should I use more than 2 fold down brackets? Any other suggestions/recommendations? Thank you

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      Hi Christine,

      A load rating doesn’t account for the impact of someone dropping or slamming it down. As heavy as a mosaic that large is likely to be, the brackets could rip out of the wall if someone dropped it down carelessly. I would be worried about safety concerns. If I did proceed with the project, I would want over-sized hinges with some sort of damper.

  25. Ashley Avatar

    Hi, thank you for the frank advice. I plan to follow it to the letter!

    I have little kids who are likely to run their fingers along any edge of glass that is sticking up slightly above the grout. I’m wondering if it would work to coat the top of the table in epoxy when it’s all finished and cured. This might also help prevent wear and tear on the grout? Is there any reason I shouldn’t do this?

    (I might try it on a small mosaic first as proof of concept.)

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      Hi Ashley,
      You can ensure that no sharp edges are exposed using a diamond file:
      This article explains why epoxy coatings are a bad idea:

  26. Kwesi Avatar

    Was thinking of making a mosaic on a table similar to Ikea’s KROKHOLMEN outdoor table 😉

    Would it be better to cut a piece of glass or put a the concrete backed pluwood into the table?

    Thanks for your suggestions!

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      The best backer for that application would probably be a piece of foam-core backer board, in double thickness or with plywood beneath.
      I’m not sure why people want to mosaic on glass table tops because you can’t use conventional mosaic mortar on them, and the result after all the work is a mosaic top that can crack and break.

  27. Suzanne Avatar

    Hi! I find your info very helpful. I’ve never done any mosaic and I’m reading about how to do so. What do you think about doing a mosaic on top of one of those outdoor mesh patio tables? Would it be strong enough? Thanks for any tips.

    1. Joe Moorman Avatar
      Joe Moorman

      Metal patio tables have to be evaluated on an individual basis. I’m sure some of the older heavy duty tables could hold the weight, but I’m not sure about some of the newer tables made from lighter gauge materials.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.