Is this warping tile tabletop fixable?


Second hand, but I’d love to be able to use the existing tiles/do less breaking and revamping, if you know what I mean. The tiles are all sloping towards the center of the table. I don’t think they’ve used grout (it feels like caulking, but I’m super new to the DIY world). The underside has one diagonal support. Pictures attached! Thanks so much in advance!

q is this warping tile tabletop fixable
q is this warping tile tabletop fixable
q is this warping tile tabletop fixable
  14 answers
  • Flipturn Flipturn on Mar 17, 2021

    The tiles are lifting up and sinking because:

    1. the surface underneath likely was not level to begin with, and
    2. there is insufficient strength underneath the centre of the table to support the weight of the tiles.

    IMO, it appears the someone slapped a diagonal bar across one portion of the underside in an attempt to raise the tiles up. Unfortunately, this is an ineffective solution. One of the reasons is because this bar reaches only over the portion of the underside that is sitting on the narrow side ledges. It does not reach entirely to the outer lower side walls of the table.

    Whether grouting or caulking in-between the tiles was used has little bearing on making the tiles level.

    Perhaps some other Hometalkers who have experience in adding metal reinforcements to the undersides of tables will respond to your enquiry here. However, if the underside piece was not level to begin with, even after doing this, there may be continued problems with the tiles not holding their position as they are large in size relative to the surface area of the table.

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Mar 17, 2021

    I actually think you'd have less work by salvaging the legs from the table and building a new top yourself.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 17, 2021

    The sheer weight of the tiles is too much for the wood that is underneath them, causing the unevenness seen in the table top and the sloping down toward the center. I agree with Robyn, salvage the legs and make a new sturdier top, Add a frame and remount the tiles. Best to you.

  • I agree with Robyn. I think you need a new top. You can try to salvage the tiles, but be be prepared, they may break when you try to remove them. You can probably find similar ones to use on the new top.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Mar 17, 2021

    You could try to level it out from underneath by reinforcing slowly. I don't think you have anything to lose by doing so. If that doesn't work, you can probably salvage the tile since they appear to be coming loose. That would be IF they did use some kind of adhesive rather than regular tile cement.

  • Morgan McBride Morgan McBride on Mar 17, 2021

    Nah it's not going flat again

  • Could you remove the tiles, add a new piece of plywood and then glue down the tiles and calk them?

  • William William on Mar 17, 2021

    That is a table from the 70's. They were the rage at the time. Manufacturer did not use grout but a rubber based caulk. Since wood expands and contracts grout would fail. The substrate just warped over time. Looks more like hardboard than wood. Somebody put that diagonal brace at one time. If you want to save it and the tile. Remove any loose tile you can. Remove the diagonal board. You would need three or four straight 2X2 boards that would fit tightly between the apron on the short end width of the table flush with the top. Screw the boards from the outside of the aprons. Now you can shim between the top and 2X2's. Use a level as you shim to get the top flat. Finally replace any tiles you remove and use 100% silicone caulk in the seams.

  • Dee Dee on Mar 17, 2021

    If it were me, I would get a piece of plywood, and cut out a new top. You can try to salvage the tiles but could probably buy new ones at Habitat for Humanity or Floor and Decor for a few dollars. Definitely put braces underneath the table to hold up the weight of the tiles. I would use spaces for tiles to get the lines straight and use grout to fill in the spaces. You can get colored grout. I think black and white would look great.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Mar 17, 2021

    Hello. I would suspect theres going to be a lot of work to remove tiles correct the warping and retile. I wonder if a new resurfacing on top of existing....possibly with new top might be the best option to consider?

  • Its probably non-sanded grout. It feels like caulk

  • Annie Annie on Mar 18, 2021

    Tiles require a flat/level, rigid surface. Those tiles are pretty cheap to buy, I would be tempted to remove them, Level the surface and put on new tiles.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Mar 31, 2021

    the table top needs a soli ad support not just one support to hold the weight of the tile- I would carefully remove the tiles and then add a solid sheet of wood that can hold the weight and put the tiles back on with is sloping because of lack of support

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Mar 31, 2021

    it is most likely not properly installed since it is on the edge. remove clean use tinsel and grout

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