Tiles to Table

Some of you may recall that back in November of 2019, I shared a post about sea tiles that I had found on the beach. In those days, I was focused on finding sea glass; however, beautiful pieces of colored tile kept showing up on the beach as I searched for glass. I began picking them up, along with the glass. I put them in bags and stored them downstairs in our condo storage unit. Every now and then, I would get them out and look through them. I always had intentions to doing something with them, but it took awhile for inspiration to arrive.

In May 2022 – nearly three years and a pandemic later – we decided to replace our patio table because the top just wasn’t looking so appealing anymore, and since we like to eat breakfast on it, the curb appeal was waning. We began to look for another table the right size and shape, but just didn’t find anything that fit the bill. Then it hit me. Why not cover the table with the sea tiles?

I did research at the local hardware store, settling on the right glue to glue them down. Then I chose the a black grout and an appropriate sealer for finishing. After gathering gloves, a bucket of water, sponge, paper towels, a putty knife, my Swiss army knife, etc., – all the essentials for doing messy work on our patio – the real fun began.

Laying the tiles and fitting them together was more challenging than I thought it would be. I decided to go with a free-form design, just gluing and fitting them together as I worked, with no plan in mind. I purposefully chose the most colorful and interesting pieces. The grout was another story in itself. Lots of trial and error and learning!

Through the last several years, as I had collected the tiles, I would sometimes post on Facebook about the tiles I was finding and share photos. Often, someone would ask me what I was going to do with them. Some even hinted that I was just obsessed with finding them and would never really do anything with them. Hmmmmm. Well, as you can see below, they did come together as a mosaic tabletop.

It was a first attempt at something, and it’s not perfect. But every time we eat on it or just gaze at it, I remember the early mornings on the beach and the delight of finding yet another colorful piece, along with the sound of the waves, the sun coming up over the Jaco mountains, and the squawking of scarlet macaws flying overhead.

One of our favorite things to do is eat breakfast outside on the patio. While I was working on the table – for several months – we couldn’t do that. Now, we’re back to breakfast outside, and in addition, we have a “new” table.

I’m glad we didn’t find the perfect table downtown. We had it already. I just needed to gather all the cooperating components together into something new and creative.

Thanks for joining me on my tile adventure.

Until next time,

This is Paul, A Part-Time Expat

(Actually, we are not part-time any more, but the name remains. We are now living full-time in Costa Rica.)

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