I have an office and yet I work 80% at home, which at the moment I can excuse with the fact that our AC at the office is broken and it feels like a greenhouse. Good for our plants there, not good for me.
So at this point, when I am occupying our kitchen table, I have to push everything aside at the end of the day, to set the table for our cherished family dinners. Not an ideal solution, and I bet you know where I am coming from.
So I thought that I need a slim desk, that’s not just useful but also somewhat pretty when not in use, a feature really that adds to the existing space (which is colourful but was lacking a bit of punch). And you know me, I don’t do half-measures if I can help it.
So I came up with the idea of building a sky-blue tiled desk – it can’t be that hard, I thought. And it wasn’t, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have mentioned it, afterall I don’t want to scare you off before we get even started.
For this project I partnered with Kakeldax – our local and trusted tile shop that has a whole of 11 shops in Sweden (and two within 10mins of our home) and wide range of different tiles in their webshop as well. Kakeldax provided me with a set of tiles from their Vidrepur Colours collection.
I opted for the Sky-Blue and White to be able to create some sort of pattern.
But before I go further, let’s see what tools & materials we need to build a tiled desk!
You will need:
- a Desk: You can build one or use and existing one, this tutorial will focus mainly on the tile work itself. My desk was build out of two planks.
- Tiles: I opted for small mosaic tiles as they would be easiest to measure and finish of corners and edges.
- Tile adhesive: I opted for industrial super glue
- Tile Grout: my tiles are blue and white so I choose white cement based grout
- Carpenter knife
- Electric Mixer
- Plastic Buckets
- Tile Trowels
- Rubber Grout Floats
- Tile sponge
- Tile Spacers if you are using tiles that aren’t connected by the net/ sheet
Step #1 – Get your desk ready for tiling!
For me that meant actually building the desk out of two planks, this allowed me to very specific in my measurements and space I have available.
The most important thing is really that your desk can canvas as many tiles as close the edge as possible to not leave bigger gaps and surface should be somewhat smooth. If you have a stone table/ desk or even metal – awesome!
Step #2 – If you want to add a pattern to your tile job, now is the time
I knew from the get go that I wanted to ‘write’ on my desk, also a reason why I choose the smaller tiled mosaic version, in comparison to the bigger sized tiles.
So I started by dividing the tiles of the contrast colour, for me white, with a carpet knife, making sure I also remove the glue from each tile, which held the tile sheet together.
It’s cute right? Calling myself basically a darling, every time I go to the desk ?
Step #3 – The tile adhesive
As I mentioned above I used an industrial super glue to give my tiles a bit a of breathing space, but any tile adhesive should do. After all this is not going to be high traffic area like bathroom or kitchen back splash (well at least not for me, not sure what you guys do on your desk ?).
For the tiles to stick as good as possible, the adhesive had to be spread out evenly, you can use a come for that.
After you applied the adhesive you got to give the tile or tile sheet a good hard press, and make sure everything stays aligned.
Step #4 – Remove excess adhesive/ glue
If you want your tiles to stick as much as I did, you are likely also ending up with excess here or there. I used the carpenter knife tooth pick to pick those out.
It’s looking might good even pre-grout though, what do you think?
Step #5 – Grouting the tiles
This is by far my favorite part! If you made it this far – I promise this is the easiest part. When mixing the grout keep the consistency at waffle batter level, you know not to thick and not to runny. And then just go an spread the grout out with your rubber grout float, really working it into all the gaps between tiles.
Why this is the best part? Because you can work as messy as you want, all over the tiles to really get every last gap. Most tiles are glazed, or are made from glass, ceramic etc, which allows you at the next step to just wash of the excess.
Step #6 – Wash off excess grout
After you applied your grout aaaall-over you can sit back for 20-30min and chill – you deserve it! But don’t rest too long, because you ain’t finished yet.
When I said in the previous step that you can work wildly over all the tiles, I did meant that so no reason to freak, but after about 30min is a good time to gently wash the excess off.
You can use a normal sponge or a tile sponge to remove the excess. Important is that the sponge is not too wet, almost dry really, as the grout is still not set fullt (this takes between 4-6 hours). After each stroke (if you have big tiles you can also try avoiding the grout lines all together), make sure that you wash your sponge out with clear water, before continuing, otherwise you are just spreading grout glaze from left to right ?
Step #7 – Let it cure!
I am a bit of an impatient person, but I did decide to let it cure over night before changing up the whole living room.
Well thanks guy for sticking along all the way to the end! I sure am enjoying this little workspace of mine, in all it’s glory!
I can’t but help and love the close ups of this desk. And the blue? Well I do think I have to add more now ?