A ready-made base makes this side-table project especially simple: Just add your own top.
For our base, we selected a small side table with a 22-inch-square top from Ikea's Lack series (from $9.99, available in 13 colors; ikea-usa.com or 800/434-4532).
For the surface, we chose Kirei Board - an environmentally friendly, plywoodlike product from Japan (kireiusa.com or 619/236-9924 for dealers). The result is a piece that's eco-conscious and stylish.
A wide variety of green materials are suitable for tabletops.
You can use precut, 2-foot-square steppingstones, such as Arizona flagstone or Connecticut bluestone; glass or ceramic tile; recycled wood, either left weathered or remilled; sustainably harvested woods; and flooring products such as Marmoleum (a combination of linseed, wood flour, and pine resin over a jute backing; (themarmoleumstore.com or 866/627-6653) or cork.
Other options include precast concrete, straw- or wheatboard, or Dakota Burl (environbiocomposites.com or 800/324-8187).
Putting it together
Kirei Board is a strong, lightweight building material made from stalks of sorghum bound together with a non-outgassing glue. Normally, the stalks are burned or become landfill. It comes in three thicknesses; for this project, we used a 3/4-inch-thick panel.
We cut our Kirei panel to 22 inches square to fit the Ikea table and sealed it with polyurethane.
Then we mounted the table, upside down, to the Kirei panel using screws and Liquid Nails Paneling & Molding Adhesive (liquidnails.com or 800/634-0015).
We used a few screws to hold the panel in place while the glue dried (be sure to choose screws that will not penetrate the Kirei panel's top surface).
Use masonry glue for stone, concrete, or tile tops.
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