How to Glue Tile to Wood for a Durable and Long-Lasting Finish

Gluing tile to wood is a great option to create a stunning and durable floor. However, the process can be tricky and requires suitable materials and techniques to ensure a successful installation.

However, it is critical to use suitable glue and apply it correctly to guarantee that your tiles stay in place. Today, I will explain step-by-step instructions and expert tips on gluing tile to wood to achieve a beautiful and long-lasting result.

Why Need To Apply Glue Tiles To Wood?

Gluing tile to wood has many advantages. Wood is a natural material that can provide warmth and beauty to any place. Tile is a popular choice for flooring because it is long-lasting and easy to maintain.

Gluing tiles into the wood, level the surface of the wooden materials, take the measurements, spread the glue, scrape up any drips or spills, and then put the tiles in the wood. We will discuss it in detail below.

Here are some benefits of gluing tile to wood.


For starters, it is super cost-effective, which is always good. Plus, it’s also a time-saver since it only requires some of the time-consuming steps that other methods might need. 

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Creates A Gorgeous Look

Gluing tiles into wood can create a unique, gorgeous look that impresses your guests. Whether you want a sleek and modern feel or a more rustic, cozy vibe, a tile-and-wood combination can make your vision a reality. Plus, the texture and natural variation of wood combined with the color and pattern of tiles create an eye-catching, multi-dimensional, aesthetically pleasing effect. 


Gluing tiles to wood can also provide a durable, long-lasting bond that can withstand daily wear and tear. And, since adhesive can work with various tile materials, such as ceramic, porcelain, or natural stone, it’s a versatile option that can fit any style or design you might have in mind.

Step-By-Step Process of Gluing Tiles to Wood

Step 1: Level The Wood Surface

The first step is to smooth the surface of the wood before proceeding with the main procedure. Wood filler is an excellent choice for this. With the wood filler, search for significant gaps, cracks, and holes on the wooden surface. 

If you skip this step, it will cause a slew of issues later on. These gaps will prevent the tiles from being adequately glued. It would be best to wait until the wood filler has completely dried after applying it.

Step 2: Add A Piece Of Crack Isolation Membrane To Your Materials

You should also add a piece of crack isolation membrane to your materials. It will act as a barrier between the wood and the tile and unite them when the wood attempts to shrink or stretch, and the tiles do not.

Step 3: Take Measurements

After adding a piece of crack isolation membrane to your materials, draw a design on the wooden surface with a chalk line tool. Create the marking, whether an essential mosaic or simply some dispersed tiles on the table.

Step 4: Spread the Glue

Spread the mastic glue over the wooden surface where you will glue the tiles. You must keep the layer at least as thick as the tiles.

Tips: How to Remove Super Glue from Granite: The 6 Easiest Steps

Step 5: Scrape Up Any Drips Or Spills

If you leave excess mastic glue on your wooden board, it will be tough to remove once it has dried. Follow the chalk outline and scrape up any drips or spills. If the mastic glue has hardened on the surface, remove the glue using a mastic remover. Let the mastic glue dry on the wooden surface for the time specified in the box’s instruction manual.

Step 6: Put The Tile

Arrange the tile on the wooden board in the mastic glue. Stick to your design’s chalk markings. Push the tiles gently to ensure appropriate placement on the wooden board.

Adjust a level on the upper section of the tiles after placing a few tiles in a one-square-foot space. You will be able to see if the tiles are evenly spread, and you will not have a bumpy countertop or table. Tap down uneven tiles with a level or a rubber mallet. Continue this until you have covered the entire wooden surface with your design.

If the tiles are crossing the boundaries of the wooden area, use the tile cutter to remove the extra inches. If there are any little gaps, fill them with the cut tiles.

Step 7: Fill The Gaps in Your Design

Grout is a filler that is made up of water, cement, and sand. This mixture will be required to fill the gaps in your design. The dough’s consistency should be homogeneous and thick. Using a rubber grout float, lift a large scoop of grout and inspect the surface. If it looks right, apply it between the joints where the gaps are visible.

Step 8: Sponge Off Any Excess Grout

Once the group powder mixture has been applied in the gaps between the tiles, sponge off any excess grout. The upper side of the tiles should be clean, as removing the grout mixture would be a big task.

Step 9: Ensure That The Mixture Has Set Properly Between The Gaps

Continue sponging after twenty minutes to ensure all the extra mixture has been cleaned off the wooden slab. You must ensure that the mixture is appropriately set between the gaps. Let the grout mixture set in for twenty-four hours once you notice it is no longer pouring out of the joints.

Step 10: Paint the Wood

Paint the wood to protect it from water damage or staining from the grout or glue. Apply two coats of wooden primer and let them dry before proceeding. Next, choose the appropriate wooden paint to compliment the color of your tiles. 

If you picked multicolored tiles, you could always paint the table legs white, beige, or cream. You can experiment with different colors here to match your home decor.

We recommend using a sprayer rather than a paintbrush. The time required is much less, and the outcome is far better. There will be no brush bristles stuck to the painted wood. Depending on your chosen paint, you might need a thinner.

After the first coat of paint has dried, apply the second coat. If needed, apply a third or fourth coat and repeat the vacuuming and tack cloth process after each coat of paint. Use sealing wax to protect the final finish. It will give the surface an excellent gloss and a professional appearance.

Read: How to Remove Old Wood Glue from Wood: Easy Methods Ever


Can You Use Any Tile In Wood?

Hardwood is a classic and high-end flooring option, but ceramic tile is durable and affordable. Combining the two materials in a single space gives a personalized style. The best option is to use glazed ceramic tile or dense unglazed ceramic tile.

How Long Will It Take For The Glue To Dry And Set?

Depending on the type of glue used, it may take anywhere from 24 hours to a week for the glue to properly cure. If you try to grout too quickly, the tiles will shift.

What Type Of Glue Is Best For Gluing Tiles To Wood?

Mastic glue is the least costly and best to glue tiles to wood. Mastic bonds the tile to a wooden subfloor, backsplash, or plywood.

Experts guide: Can You Cut Tile with a Miter Saw: Precise Steps and Tips

Final Words

In conclusion, gluing tile to wood can be a great way to create a beautiful and durable floor. You will have some benefits from gluing tile to wood, such as its cost-effectiveness, durability, and gorgeous look. Follow the steps discussed in this article to glue tiles to the wood properly. 

With the right materials and techniques, you can achieve a stunning result that will last for years to come. Let the glue dry for at least 24 hours, and don’t try to grout too quickly, or the tiles will shift. After putting the tile into the wood, sponge off any excess grout, and ensure that the mixture has appropriately been set between the gaps.

Hey, I'm George Fanton. I've over nine years of experience in the woodworking industry. I've cultivated a deep interest in practical wood and tasks. I enjoy sharing new information on woodworking technology to maintain my expertise in the current woodworking industries.

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