Updated: Nov 27
Leftover tiles? You need to make this super stylish marble side table
Last year, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a stack of gorgeous marble tile offcuts after a very kind insta friend (& local interiors queen) had some leftovers from an epic kitchen reno. The tiles were from Mandarin Stone (a fab family business I've actually blogged about before) and were stunningly beautiful.
Wanting to do the tiles justice, I spent a bit of time brainstorming ideas for how to repurpose them and came up with the following shortlist...
Marble Sink backsplash and ledge shelf for a tiny WC revamp
Candle plate and coasters
Marble side table
l will cover the sink backsplash & ledge shelf in another post, as it was pretty involved and part of a budget room makeover (that you will love!!). As you can imagine, the candle plate and coasters required very little DIY'ing and were ready to style after I had sealed them with natural stone tile sealant and filed off any rough edges.
So that leaves the marble side table to look at today and I know you shouldn't blow your own trumpet, but it was a bit of a triumph and turned out to be one of my fave DIYs of 2022.
Marble side tables are nothing new; in fact, insta was awash with them last year, so for this project, I was keen to make one that looked a bit more unusual. You know the drill… bespoke on a budget!
As this was a successful make, I'm going to share the details in a tutorial format so you can have a go if you fancy trying it.
You will need:
Large tile offcuts
Plywood or mdf offcuts
Strong glue (that works for stone tiles)
Make a plan
Once you've designed your marble side table, make a drawing with the required dimensions. That will form your cutting guide. If you are using offcuts, the shapes and sizes of the tiles you have available will dictate the size of the table.
I decided that just glueing the marble tiles together at the joints wouldn't be strong enough as we have young kids, so anything furniture-wise has to be solid and stable. I planned to keep the kids as far from this beautiful table as possible once made, but still! Therefore, I used some old offcuts of plywood (slightly warped, which wasn't a massive help, but I was determined to upcycle and repurpose wherever possible).
Make your cuts
Measure and cut all your tile and wood pieces before you start so you have everything to hand when needed. If you are using marble tiles, you need to use an electric tile cutter, as the manual ones that score and break the tiles aren't suitable.
When the tiles have been cut, use a file to smooth the edges using gentle, even strokes so as not to chip the edges.
When the tiles have been cut, use a file to smooth the edges using gentle, even strokes so as not to chip the edges. This part of the process was relatively slow as it can take a while to file the tiles manually, but it's time well spent as smooth edges elevate the final look.
Make a wooden base
As I mentioned, I wanted a sturdy base to glue tiles to, so I screwed and glued the pieces of plywood together and left the glue to dry.
Glue the tiles to the wooden base.
I applied strong glue to the sides of the wooden base and the back of the tiles (one at a time) before pressing them together and clamping to hold them in place until the glue had dried.
I wanted to ensure the base of the table was level and not wobbly, so I stood the base up while the glue was drying to ensure the base of the tile was resting flat on the floor.
Attach the back
Once the three tiles that formed the trunk of the table were stuck to the wooden base, it was time to attach the back tile. I added some grab adhesive to all the areas that would touch the back tile and pressed it into place. I had screwed another piece of plywood to the base to provide a larger surface area for the bac tile to stick to ( you can see it in the image below).
I also added some grab adhesive to the area where the tabletop tile would sit. This glue served three purposes, one, to ensure that the top was completely level, two, to increase the surface area for the top tile to stick to and finally, to ensure that the tile and ply were completely bonded on the sides so a tile couldn't just fall off. Basically, I spread grab adhesive along the top of the wooden base and then levelled it off and allowed it to dry so it looked like this...
Attach the tile tabletop
The final part of the construction is to glue the top on. I applied strong stone glue on all parts of the surface that would be in contact with the top tile and then lifted it into place. Leave for long enough to be sure that the glue has had time to fully set before moving the table.
Marble tile aftercare
It is important to seal marble tiles to prevent staining. Follow the manufacturer's application guidelines for the particular sealant you choose and make sure it is suitable for the type of stone tiles.
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