I want to build a tile-topped table for our front-porch. The tile area will
be 36x36 in. I plan a hardwood edge around it. It won't get rained on but
will see large temperature extremes (live in Illinois, we had -27 degrees F
when I first got here, to +100 on some days). Main use of table will be for
eating. I started to read up on this topic using google groups and this
group, but still have some questions.
(1) Tile base: the overwhelming preference seems to be for plywood (rather
than particle board, MDF). However, there are mixed opinions on whether one
needs a cement-type board between the tile and plywood. Any comments on
whether I need this, for this size table? Also, much of the plywood I have
seen at Home Depot, Menards is not exactly flat. How do I deal with that?
(2) Should add some cross braces below the plywood for support, for this
(3) Expansion/contraction of the wood. Any advice for dealing with this?
Should I make an over-sized groove in the hardwood frame for the tile base
so it "floats" -- but is that not a recipe for cracked grout along the
Any help appreciated. Thanks! Adriaan