How to Make a Trivet

Attention gift givers: Create these wood-and-tile trivets for your friends that love to cook—and add a touch of class to any table.

tile trivet

You’ll need:

  • 6- or 8-in. square tiles (there are a jillion colors and styles—go wild!)
  • 1-in. x 3/4-in. wood strips for the frame
  • 1/2-in. thick plywood for the base
  • 1/4-in. thick plywood risers to elevate the tile above the frame
  • Clear polyurethane finish and clear silicone sealant

You only need a few basic tools, a selection of nice tiles and some scraps of your favorite wood.

Here’s how to build ’em:

routing frame for tile trivet

  • Cut four frame pieces with 45-degree miters on each end. Cut the miters across the 3/4-in. width so the finished trivet will be 1 in. high. The inner or “tile-side” length of the miter should be 1/16 to 1/8 in. longer than the tile. NOTE: Measure your tile first! A nominal 6- or 8-in. tile is often a tad smaller or larger than the stated dimension.
  • Glue the frame together, using wood glue and masking tape (or corner clamps) to secure the corners. Let the frame joints dry a couple of hours.
  • Using a handheld router or router table, rout a 5/8-in. deep recess on the inside bottom of the frame for the base. You can rout the recess in the frame pieces before cutting them to length, but it’s hard to line up the edges when gluing the frame pieces together. If you rout the recess after gluing, make a series of several shallow cuts. NOTE: Our design sets a 1/4-in. thick tile about 1/8 in. above the level of the frame when assembled. Measure your tile’s thickness, as well as the plywood thicknesses for the base and riser, and adjust the rabbet depth so your tile rises “proud” from the frame by at least 1/8 in.
  • Rout a decorative profile on the upper edge of the frame if you wish. Sand the frame and apply your favorite finish.
  • Cut the 1/2-in. plywood floor to fit the recess in the bottom of the frame and glue it in with wood glue.
  • Cut and glue in the 1/4-in. plywood “tile riser” with wood glue, then run a crisscross bead of silicone on the riser and set in and center the tile. Apply a bead of clear silicone sealant to seal the narrow slit between the frame and the tile. That’s it.

gluing tile in trivet

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