Crafty / DIY

Modern Tile Lamp, DIY Lighting Project

We’ve all heard this simple truth before; lighting is crucial to the design and function of a room.  And when a lamp like this one comes into a space there’s a hefty statement to be made.


This lamp exudes an air of masculinity and strength, and yet it’s rustic and refined all at once. Perfect for the cultivated, masculine office I’m designing for my husband.

lampon copy

BUT the best part of this lamp is that it the design can be replicated and even modified using any tile that speaks to the style you want to create in your room.


For this project, I used simple building techniques and the easy-to-use tile saw from Ryobi Power Tools.


I’ve done a good bit of tile work during my DIY adventures. In fact, tiling was probably the first DIY home project I tackled many years ago. This saw was not only easy to use, but the portable tabletop design makes it easy for even a light-weight like me to carry, even with water in the trough. Yet it is remarkably sturdy and makes clean, precise cuts every time.

I’ve included a sketch of the size and scale I wanted the lamp to have upon completing.


Here are the steps to building your own tile lamp.

  1. The dimensions of your lamp will be dictated to some degree by the size of your lampshade. I would suggest finding a shade before beginning to build. The width of your base should never be wider than the shade.cutwood
  2. Cut pieces of board to the lamp base dimensions subtracting out the depth of the tile. The square box built for this project was 11″ wide by 5.5″ deep and 11″ tall.boxbuild
  3. Build your lamp base using a nail gun like the Ryobi AirStrike. Start with one side of the box and work your way around until the box is completely formed. drilboxlid
  4. Cut and nail the inside top of your base to become your “lid.” For this lamp the lid is 9.75″ by 4″. Drill a hole in the top of your lid to accommodate the thread of the lamp kit.depthoftile
  5. Determine the depth of the tile selected for your tile lamp. The natural stone used varied in depth, but I used the thickest point of 1/2 inch as my depth. This measurement is the amount of overhang you will have on each side of the front and the back of the lamp. By doing this you hide the seams from the front view.waterbucket
  6. Set up your Ryobi Tile saw with water in the base. Here’s a safety tip: Since you are working with water and electricity, if you are using an extension cord, place the cord and your connection into a dry bucket. This will keep water from accidentally dampening the connection during the changing of water, etc.cuttile
  7. Cut the front and back pieces of your tile to desired size including the overhang. For the lamp shown this was 12″. If your tile has overhang for seaming together, you’ll want to make a straight cut to remove those pieces.cuttile2
  8. Cut the pieces of tile to fit the sides of the box. If you are using mortar instead of Simple Mat, you may choose to add about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch to allow for the additional depth added by the mortar.dryfit
  9. Dry fit your pieces around the lamp.plierscut
  10. Cut a hole or cut a piece of the tile to make space in the back of your lamp base for the cord. Use pliers to hold small pieces of tile if necessary.markhole
  11. Mark and drill a hole in the base to accommodate the cord in the box.cutmesh
  12. For a clean finish, you will likely need to cut off the pieces of visible mesh. Use a sharp blade along the edge of the tile.mortarmix
  13. Mix up your mortar. For this small project, I found 2 (8 oz) cups of mortar to about 1 cup water was plenty. The consistency of your mortar should be a little bit thicker than peanut butter. OR you can purchase a small container of premixed mortar.mortarspread
  14. Using a notched trowel, spread one side of the box with mortar and apply tiles.bungie
  15. The base will need to be upright as it dries. As an extra precaution, and to insure the tile fits snugly against the wooden base, secure a bungie cord around the base during dry time; ORsimplemat
  16. You may also choose to use a product called Simple Mat that is like an extra large tile tape. Simply cut pieces to fit the box, working on one side at a time.groutcaulk
  17. If your tile requires grout, do so the next day; OR right away if using Simple Mat.Even if no grout is necessary for your chosen tile, you may still find you need to fill some small gaps where the tiles meet on the sides or along the top. For this I used a small amount of tile grout caulk, matching the overall color of the tile.
  18. Paint the top of your base to match the overall color of your tile. Then,wire your lamp according to lamp kit instructions.pipethreadThe extension from the lamp base to the lamp kit was rather small in this design, only 3/4″, but I still chose to cover the threaded rod with a piece of aluminum pipe painted flat black.
  19. Cut a piece of wood to fit the bottom of your lamp. This one was 13″ wide by 7″ deep. I painted the base flat black and followed with a super high gloss top coat. Attach with wood glue.lampbase
  20. Add lamp shade and turn on your lamp!

lampon copy



So are you ready to create your own tile lamp?

{{This post was brought to you in partnership with RYOBI Powertools. All opinions are my own.Initially this post contained a giveaway.  The winner was chosen and sent a Tile Saw. Links and affiliate links have been included for your convenience.  When  you click on an Affiliate link and make a purchase, at no cost to you, I make a very small commission and you help support this blog.}}


  • Christina
    March 2, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Oh how cool is that lamp?! I love it!! Thanks for offering such an awesome giveaway – I’d LOVE to win!! 🙂

  • Kristen
    March 2, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    What a great idea!

  • Giveaways 4 Mom
    March 2, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Now this is one cool lamp. I would love to have one.

  • Krista
    March 3, 2015 at 2:07 am

    Love the lamp! and super fun giveaway!

  • Cristy Mishkula
    March 3, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Wow, I love this lamp! So modern!

  • Bobbie Taylor
    March 10, 2015 at 9:39 am

    love the lamp, I’m going to make an effort to make one.

  • Bobbie Taylor
    March 10, 2015 at 9:40 am

    great lamp

  • Melanie lozeau
    June 25, 2023 at 9:47 am

    That’s great but I’d use different colored tiles

    • Leslie
      August 24, 2023 at 1:05 pm

      thanks. I was wanting to create a lamp that was more masculine in style. I’m sure many options are available to you.


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