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Cork-Backed Tiles

February 10th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

When Mr. Noile and I started eating hot pot for dinner, we realized that it would be a great idea to have something larger than a trivet to put underneath our cast iron kettle when it is on the table.  The solution turned out to be more versatile than we expected:

tl-bwl-400I found 12in by 12in sheets of ceramic (technically, these may be glass) tiles at a local hardware store, and cemented them to a thin layer of cork.

Here’s what one of those squares looks like:

tl-sngl-400I made four, so that we could use them in various configurations.  Here’s our table with the tiles arranged by twos:

tl-twtw-400Four in a row, down the center of the table, they look like one continuous set of tiles:

tl-tps-nosp-300Using just three, with spaces between, looks completely different (yeah, it also looks different because my photographic skills need help; working on that):

tl-trpl-300One advantage to these mats is that they store very easily, as they’re quite thin.  We tend to keep two on the table, and two more on a coffee table in the dining room, which gives us a place to put cups or snacks if we’re sitting there.

Finding very thin cork for the backing was a little tricky; an office supply store had thin cork, but only in pieces too small for these tiles.  I found a roll at a local office/art supply place, and used an Olfa cutter and a steel ruler to cut it to size.

I tried several different adhesives before I found the right one; you’ll probably have to experiment, as what you’ll need will depend on your particular tiles, and the backing on which they’re sitting.

Attaching the tiles to the cork required some dexterity, since there are small spaces between each tile.  I had to put a drop of adhesive on the back of each tile; I managed this by doing the first row, and then applying adhesive and rolling the tiles onto the cork row by row.   I put weights (stacks of heavy cook books) on the tiles until the adhesive had set — in this case, overnight.

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