Beginner DIY Mosaic Table (How to Tile with Grout Tutorial)

Try a fun and easy DIY project with this mosaic tile tutorial. Design it according to your skill level. The results will be beautiful, custom, & functional!

A mosaic table from a blog post about creating a beginner DIY mosaic table.

Today, we are dropping in on my friend Deb! She’ll show us how enjoyable it is to create a simple beginner DIY mosaic table and walks us through how to tile with grout.

Indoor or Outdoor Mosaic Tables

Learn how to design and create your own table. Big or small, it need not be expensive if you employ a little creativity!

Enjoy the art of mosaic right in your own home. Make a small side table for your bedroom or living room. A work of art for your dining table or use glass mosaics for your outdoor patio table.

So many craft projects, so little time. That’s a good thing, right? LOL

This is a great way to explore a whole new category of fun! Keep reading for more inspiration.

Ideas for your Mosaic Art

To begin, you’ll need to decide on your mosaic designs. Do you like vibrant colors or subtle hued glass pieces? You are the designer.

Let’s start with a monogram piece for simplicity’s sake, shall we? Here are a few ideas to get your creativity flowing!

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Beginner Mosaic Art

This is the perfect beginner DIY mosaic table project because you can keep it as simple as you want.

Consider your color palette based on where the piece will go in your home or yard and the mosaic tiles you can find (more on this later).

You can design your table with two colors as Deb did, which is an easy way to make it easier if this is your first mosaic and also if you prefer a clean look in the room where it will reside.

Or create it in multiple tile colors, which would be beautiful too. Choose colored or black grout depending on your design. So many options!

It is up to you if you want to freehand draw the letter or select an existing font. Either way, I would suggest using a bold letter that will be easier to create with tile.

A script would be lovely (if that’s the look you are going for), but be careful to pick one that is not too curvy or thin, or you’ll have your work cut out for you. Literally!

Below are type style variations to get your brainstorming started for your DIY wood mosaic table top!

You can use a very small table or flat top bench; whichever you choose, the process is the same.

Be sure to plan your mosaic design ahead of time. Sketch on paper or draw the design on your computer in black and white, then add color as you go.

When you are happy with your monogram letter, transfer the full-size design in pencil directly to the tabletop or a piece of paper the same size as your piece to help guide you.


Below are some of the items you may need to create a mosaic of your own. Affiliate links are underlined.

Table or Bench
Wood for Mosaic Tile Top
Ceramic Tiles, 
Broken Pieces 
or Mixed Mosaics
Tile Cutter optional
Sand Paper
Tile Glue/Adhesive
Pliers, Big and Small
Tile & Grout Sealant optional
Broom, Dust Brush, or Utility Brush
Heavy Duty Gloves
Protective Eyewear/Safety glasses
Dust Mask
Protective Clothing


Find and Prepare the Table

Deb is creating this monogram table for a friend. The first thing she did was find the table.

The options are endless; new or old, it all works! What size of the table top works best? Consider starting small if this is your first of your DIY mosaic projects.

You might try looking at garage sales on Facebook Marketplace, Craig’s List, or resale shops like Goodwill.

Preparing the Surface for your Mosaic Patterns

The next step is to prep the surface before we tile. Treat the table itself or if you are not using the actual tabletop but an insert for the top of your piece, prepare that piece instead.

Be sure that the table is sturdy and level. To prepare the table, give it a good cleaning, even if it is new. Brush and wash with warm soapy water and dry well.

The table top also needs to be dry and flat.

If you want to change the color, paint the table parts that will not be covered with tile first.  Let the table dry completely, preferably for 24 hours or more.

If using an insert, first, select the surface (wood or glass). It may be helpful to first cut a piece of cardboard the correct size and test it on the table.

Cut wood (if used) to fit the top. Before starting your tile design, you may want to paint the underside of the tabletop piece and its edge with wood preservative paint. Again, allow drying for a minimum of 2 days.

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Finding Mosaic Tiles

Be sure to look for tiles that are of a similar thickness, so your table surface will have a level surface. To find or purchase tiles, consider these options:

Retail Tile shops, Home supply or Craft stores

Ask about broken pieces, odds and ends, or a sales box. Try stores like Home Depot and Hobby Lobby too.

Online Tile Shops

Check out Amazon (affiliate link) or Etsy for starters. Lots of fun and beautiful ideas at decent prices!

Mosaic Tile Education Businesses

Inquire about broken tiles or leftovers where classes are held.

Friends or Family

Ask about leftovers from projects lying around the house

Garage and/or Resale Shops

Look for inexpensive plates or tiles

Choosing the Grout for your Table Top

After you have selected your tiles, you will need to choose your grout color. The color that you choose can drastically change the look of your tabletop.

You will need to decide if you want it to match, complement, or contrast the tile. Look around for inspiration to see what might look best for the tiles you have selected.

Prepare your Tiles

Decide how large or small you want your tiles to be for the mosaic. You can mix it up!

If you are starting with large tiles or plates, you will need to break the tiles down into smaller pieces.

To do this, you can use a tile cutter (Be careful and follow your machine instructions closely) or break the tiles with tools. To break with a hammer, cover the tile with a piece of cloth and tap lightly to break.

WARNING Breaking plates and tiles can be very dangerous! Wear protective eyeglasses, clothing, and gloves.

When your tiles are ready, you can start to group similar colors and sizes together and begin laying out your design.

Glue the Ceramic Tiles onto the Table Top

When you are happy with the design, you can begin to glue the tiles to the tabletop with your ceramic tile adhesive.

Use a putty knife or old credit card to apply a thin layer of tile adhesive/glue smoothly onto the surface first.

1 Apply the glue to a small area of the table and press the tiles down. Start with your monogram letter first.

Work from the outside of the table inwards. The glue can be messy. If it is, wait to clean when the design is in place to avoid disrupting the tiles.

2 Use a cloth with hot soapy water or a sturdy wet sponge. Wring out well. Gently rub the tiles; the glue should remove easily.

3 Use a level gauge over the tiles as you go. Take a good look at your design; if you need to adjust anything, now is the time. Next, lay the tiles surrounding your monogram letter.

4 Repeat the cleanup process, if necessary.

It’s looking great! Now it’s time to grout. When your design is complete, let dry for at least 24 hours.

How to Grout the Mosaic Tiles onto the Table Top

1 Sprinkle the grout powder in a bucket. Follow the instructions on the package.

2 Next, pour the water into the bucket.

3 Using a glove, mix the grout in the bucket into a paste until smooth. Break up any lumps. Add more water or powder to get the right consistency.

4 Working with your gloved hand, cover small sections at a time until the table top is finished.

This will prevent the grout from drying out in clumps and bumps before you have time to spread it on smoothly. Make it as even as possible.

Clean as you go, using a newspaper, a damp sponge or cloth to wipe tiles and smooth out any bumps.

If you see any gaps between the tiles, fill them in. Scrape off excess grout, being careful not to disturb tiles.

When your grout is all in place, the table top will still be dirty, but you need to leave it alone until completely dried approximately 24 hours.

After it is completely dry, use a brush or an old broom to dust off the table. Follow up with a clean, damp cloth to polish the whole table.

You might want to apply a protective sealer if your design gets heavy use or if the grout is really light in color. If using a grout sealer, let your piece dry for an additional two days.

Sealing the Mosaic Tiles

1 Mix the sealer following the instructions on the package.

2 Using a clean, dry cloth, cover the tiles with a small amount sealer. Make sure to apply it smoothly and don’t leave puddles.

3 Let dry.

4 With another clean, dry cloth, polish the tiles. Remove excess sealer.

5 Add another coat of sealer if desired. This will protect the tabletop and make it look finished.

When dry, your mosaic table top is finished! Congrats!

Inspiration for your next Mosaic Project

If you enjoyed making this DIY mosaic table top, you are probably just getting started!

There are so many beautiful mosaics ideas out there.

Check out these pieces below for inspiration. I love the mosaic technique on each and how they incorporate different shades of marble mosaic tiles, broken dishes, and pieces of glass on the top of the table. Plus paint! The final result is stunning.

Two simply use an old antique wooden table for a base.

Have fun, and please let me know if you try making a beginner DIY mosaic table of your own in the comment box below!


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