December 01, 2021 2 min read

Here is some advice for customers planning on installing tile outdoors, such as on a porch, patio, verandah or balcony.

  1. Lay a concrete slab first. While concrete paving stones can be laid on a gravel base, tile cannot. The slightest irregularity in the base will lead to tiles cracking.
  2. Using a level make sure the slab is flat, or use a thin cord to create a fractional slope for drainage. If the slab is an old cracked one it may be necessary to lay a screed. Also even if you are tiling on an existing slab remember to install a waterproof membrane to prevent rising damp.
  3. Choose a tile with a slip resistant surface that’s rated for outdoor use. The tile should either have an 'R' rating or a Dynamic Coefficient of Friction rating of at least those listed below. You should find these ratings on the specification sheet for the tile.

Slip resistance:

R    DCoF

Slip rating
DCoF: 0.42

>R11                  >0.42

  1. Porcelain tile is more durable and absorbs water less than ceramic tile so is less prone to cracking as a consequence of extremes of temperature.
  2. Clean the concrete slab thoroughly before laying tile.
  3. Apply a waterproofing membrane to the slab before tiling or groundwater will seep up and lead to problems like efflourescence and apparent colour changes.
  4. Use a dry-set adhesive that’s rated for outdoor use, preferably epoxy based or with added polymers.
  5. Section by section, cover the slab completely with the tile adhesive. Apply it to the back of the tiles too. Never use a spot-technique outdoors - the tiles will crack.
  6. Choose a epoxy based grout that resists stains and fading. Grouting is critically important outdoors. Because of the greater temperature ranged experienced the tiles will expand and contract so expansion gaps are essential.

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What Tiles for Porches?

December 01, 2021 2 min read

Porcelain tiles have properties that make them a good choice for outdoor use. Porcelain tiles are fired under pressure during manufacturing. The refined clay and sand used to make them are fused together with higher temperatures than those used to produce other ceramics. That process makes the tiles more moisture and wear resistant, allowing them to endure all types of weather conditions; ideal for entrances.