Wood and tile question

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Forum topic by Rob posted 06-22-2008 03:05 PM 965 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Rob 's profile


216 posts in 3696 days

06-22-2008 03:05 PM

Could anyone help me with a finishing question. I’m making an oak table and I plan on using a tung oil finish (probably minwax because I have some of that; I think it is mixed with a bit of varnish). the problem is for the top. I have made a frame that will hold a tile surface. Will oil be protective enough to keep the grout from getting in the wood? I’m thinking I should perhaps protect the top a bit more than the base. Can I cover the oil with polycrylic? (I have that too. I have my suspisions about an oil base and a water base working together though) or should I do regular polyurethane? I’m open to other suggestions. I’ve no experience with mixing tile with wood. Thanks for your time.

6 replies so far

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3925 days

#1 posted 06-22-2008 04:32 PM

Rob, I’m no expert on this, but I think you need to seal the wood that would come in contact with the grout. I’m thinking you should use shellac. Not much grout should touch the wood, I would think only the grout lines may. When you are ready to actually apply the grout to the tile, which if you are like, is very messy, you do want to mask off the wood.

I would do the wood finishing before grouting. Use blue painters tape to mask it off. Make sure the finish is good and dry first.

Hope this helps. I’m sure others will chime in.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3773 days

#2 posted 06-22-2008 04:51 PM

I think Betsy must have seen me do one of my tile top tables. I usually use several coats of pure tung oil, followed by a coat of shellac. I tape off the edges with blue tape and apply the grout. After it dries, I sand off the shellac and apply several coats of tung oil/varnish mix.

View MrWoody's profile


321 posts in 3803 days

#3 posted 06-22-2008 06:07 PM

I have done what you are talking about. The tung oil varnish (a couple coats at least) will be fine as long as you let it dry well. A couple of days depending on your humidity levels. Do mask off the frame prior to grouting. We will be expecting pictures when you are done. <bg>

-- If we learn from our mistakes, I'm getting a fantastic education.

View matter's profile


210 posts in 3798 days

#4 posted 06-22-2008 11:14 PM

When I combine tile& wood I usually use a colour matched caulking as a substitute for grout. Mapei makes a colour match for almost every grout that they produce, so I make my choice and head to Brolain Distributers for a tube. It cleans up nicely, and is less likely to bleed into the wood.

-- The only easy wood project is a fire

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3925 days

#5 posted 06-22-2008 11:17 PM

matched caulking would be a great alternative! Matter—- what’s the price difference?

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Rob 's profile


216 posts in 3696 days

#6 posted 06-23-2008 02:18 AM

Thanks for the tips everyone, I think I have my bearings now. I wasn’t even thinking of masking off the wood but I definitely will. And thanks for the Brolain recommendation Matter; I looked them up and wouldn’t you know it, they are right here in my hometown. How convenient is that!

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