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I've started work on a 4x6 table to replace my beloved wasteland board, after the garage roof leaked and the rain water blasted the surface from the old one.
The idea behind this one will be a heavily laquered black wood frame that looks sharp and is built to last, and the plan is to do the table top in 3 or 4 inch porcelain tile, with the idea being the entire table representing some huge temple with the gothic or romanesque architecture. Does anyone have any experience working with porcelain, and if so, whats the best adhesive to use to glue down the tiles? Superglue is out, I'd have to buy a gallon of it, and I dont want to use grout because I'd like to finish the table in the next 10 years. Would something like liquid nails work?
Ideally it would be something super permanent because when not being used for gaming I'd like it to be a dining table.
There's a reason people use grout to secure tiles...
The best thing to do is to get yourself down to a local hardware store and ask there. I would expect that substances like no more nails would be useful but they may have properties that would stop you wanting to use them.
Grout doesn't take that long to cure and it gives an enduring hold. If the surface you are attaching the tiles to is sound there is no reason why you couldn't try an epoxy adhesive. These can be fast drying and you wouldn't need to do more than put a few spots on the back of each tile.
Remember however that all tiles are designed to be affixed with grout.
Grout is just there to help keep the outside finish of the tiles looking even and regular. Kinda like mortar between bricks. However, it also keeps the tile from cracking, because it gives a firm, even surface behind the tile. If you've got 4 spots of glue holding the tile down, you're actually raising it up on 4 little legs, and if you hit it between the two, could crack the tile. It would be alright if you wanted to use it as just a gaming table, but since you also want it to serve as a dining table, you probably want to avoid cracks.
Of course, grout is REALLY heavy, so you'd want to be making a pretty sturdy table. Of course, minis are heavy too, so it doesn't make much difference. And I'm not going to question your desire to cover your dining surface in models and terrain, and then be left with no place to eat...
I'd never though about the spots of glue on the bottom of the tiles making them easier to crack though, maybe grout is the way to go afterall.
Thanks for all your helps, I'll try and get some pics of it up one of these days, or some WIP pics or something, this should be an interesting project.
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What you want is mastic, that goes under the tiles, grout goes between(though you can get grout that is actually both). I am guessing that this table isn't going to be moved a lot, so tile would be fine. If it is going to be moved a lot, tile may not be the way to go. Masic -> Tile -> Grout will pry take a couple of hours tops to do, though it will take days to finish due to cure times.
Here is a quick how to: http://http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/hf_other/article/0,,diy_13900_2271146,00.html
Another idea might be fake tile. Linoleum tiles that look like stone. They come with adhesive backs, look like stone, won't break, but can scratch, and can be grouted. I used these on my houses entryway, and they are real easy to lay down. Also, they will be much lighter.
Good luck! Be sure to let us know how this turns out.
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