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I'm planning on affixing some mosaic tile to a panel of plywood (43" x 44"), and then affixing that tiled panel to the back of an entertainment center which I'm re-purposing to become a bar.

Once I've got the tile on the plywood, I'm not quite sure the best way affix the tiled board to the entertainment center. I thought about leaving a few spots untiled, drilling holes through the board and into the entertainment center in those spots and putting a nut and bolt through to secure it. Then I would just go back and affix the tile over the bolt. I'm not sure if this is feasible. Perhaps using a strong epoxy or adhesive is my best option but that might be too permanent if we wanted to re-purpose the tiled board.

Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!

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How thick is the plywood?

If you're talking about bolting through the plywood into the entertainment center, why not use screws from the entertainment center out into the plywood. That way you would come from the back of the plywood and not disturb the front.

Depending on how the entertainment center is configured, it may be possible to use a recessed French cleat to eliminate the gap that treeNinja mentioned as a downside. If the entertainment center has an open frame, one half of the Frech cleat can be set in the frame, and the other half mounted to the plywood such that when hung, the plywood rests flush on the frame.

  • the plywood I was planning on using was 1/2" thick, but i'm assuming it would need to be thicker if I plan on coming from the entertainment center into the plywood, right? I really like the idea of the french cleat but can't have a noticeable gap between plywood and entertainment center. What kind of screws would you suggest using if drilling into the plywood from the entertainment center? Thanks – mapITout Oct 14 '14 at 18:08
  • How thick is the section of entertainment center you plan to screw through? It's likely that a #10 x 1/2" round head wood screw will do the job. A #8 x 1/2" wood screw would also work, and be slightly smaller in diameter. Here's a chart discussing screw sizing: wlfuller.com/html/wood_screw_chart.html If the piece of the entertainment center is thick enough, you may be able to use a #10 x 5/8" wood screw to gain a little extra grip in the plywood. Measure the entertainment center thickness and add that to the plywood. Keep the screw about 1/16" - 1/8" shorter than the total. – rjbergen Oct 14 '14 at 18:31
  • It's actually not that thick, although there is variation in the thickness. So the round head is important to have from what I gather? – mapITout Oct 14 '14 at 19:44
  • No, the round head isn't required. I just suggested it. A pan head or washer head would work as well. I wouldn't use a flat head or oval because it is easier to overdrive them due to their angled undersides designed for countersinking applications. You may accidentally puncture the front surface of the plywood if you overdrive a flat hear or oval head screw. A round head, pan head, or washer head screw will stop when the flat underside of the head meets the material surface. – rjbergen Oct 14 '14 at 19:49
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Take a look at a French cleat, it will help keep the ply level and supported and will allow you to remove whenever you wanted provided you can lift the plywood off the back.

The two factors here, one are getting the cleat affixed to the ply and the entertainment back, ideally both have enough depth for wood screws. The second is the gap between the ply and the entertainment center the cleat will create.

  • +1 especially if you use a metal french cleat. – bib Oct 14 '14 at 17:18

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