Overview

create a vintage tile tabletop like ours
Photo: Kenneth Chen
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Part of the fun of making this table was rooting through the tile crates with Rosi at Olde Good Things in New York City. Our first find was an 1890s 6-by-6-incher depicting a Spanish Colonial mission, for $45. This, we agreed, would be the centerpiece. Next were four flowered accents, $8 each, and 30 yellow-and-white marbled tiles from an old fireplace surround that we bought in bulk for $40. We also uncovered the wrought-iron table base with a recess for a glass top in a dusty corner of the shop.
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    Tools List

    • wet saw
      Wet tile saw
    • grout sponge
      Tile grout sponge
    • plastic spacers for tile
      Plastic spreader
    • margin trowel
      Small trowel or old batter spatula
    • rubbing stone
      Grindstone
    • latex gloves
      Latex gloves
    • safety glasses
      Safety glasses

    Shopping List

    1. Salvaged tiles: $3 to $65, depending on size, detail, and rarity; Recycling the Past

    2. Vintage metal table base: find these on eBay and at flea markets for about $15

    3. Tile spacers: use 1/8-inch thick Masonite board (sold at your local lumber yard) or purchase 1/8- and 1/4-inch tile spacers (at hardware stores) 4. Weldbond polyvinyl glue, $3.50 at Ace Hardware

    5. Henry 314 Multipurpose Ceramic Tile Adhesive (small container)