4 Factors In Outdoor Tile Applications

outdoor tilesAn attractive tile surface can make a patio or porch a perfect spot for enjoying nice weather in the coming months. But the wrong type of tile, an inadequate substrate, improper mortars, or using the wrong grout will leave you wishing you could go back in time and do the job over again.

Tile for outdoor applications should have a porosity level of 3% or less. This means it will not absorb moisture and subsequently be damaged in the freeze/thaw cycle. In Montreal, that is very important! Any tile you choose should be verified as suitable for outdoor use in the weather you expect for your area.

The substrate, or surface the tile is installed upon, has similar considerations. The best tile available will not withstand being attached to a surface that expands and contracts more than the tile does during freezing and thawing. Waterproofing and crack isolation membranes are often used to stabilize substrates, but the best solutions have been developed by the professionals in your specific location because any unique variables are accounted for.

Mortar should combine bond strength with flexibility to keep substrate and tile together as they respond to the temperature and moisture levels. There will generally be an admixture to increase performance in cold weather, and experts suggest the bonding mortar have complete contact between tile and substrate in freeze/thaw environments.

Grout and Sealant
Grouts and sealants also are important to the life of a tile installation, particularly outdoors. Polymer modified grouts and grout additives to increase resistance to freeze/thaw damage, sealants, and caulks all have been formulated for use in harsh weather conditions, and those particular products should be used. This is not the place for using up leftover grout from the kitchen project because it will not hold up to the climate.

Your Outdoor Tile System
All of the materials used in tile installation work together as a system. Each of these four factors are essential in outdoor applications and leaving one part out leaves your job open to damage from the changes in temperature and moisture levels.

You can find the perfect outdoor tile flooring at Éco Dépôt Céramique. We can also answer many of your questions about tile and help you design an outdoor space you will be pleased with for many years.