Installing Tile Outside on a Concrete Porch or Patio

Here are some tips to consider when installing tile on a concrete slab outdoors, such as on a porch or patio.

When installing tile outside:

  • Choose a tile with a slip resistant surface that’s rated for outdoor use.
  • Porcelain tile is more durable and absorbs water less than ceramic tile.
  • Clean the concrete slab thoroughly before laying tile.
  • Apply a waterproofing membrane, such as RedGard, to the slab before tiling.
  • Use a polymer-modified, dry-set mortar adhesive that’s rated for outdoor use.
  • Cover the slab completely with the tile adhesive, and apply it to the back of the tiles as well.
  • Choose a grout that resists stains and fading.
Installing tile outdoors on a concrete patio.
Installing tile outdoors on a concrete patio.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT
Danny Lipford: Often, people want to cover a concrete patio or porch with tile and need to know how that differs from indoor tile installation.

For starters, moisture and cracking are bigger concerns outside, so you need to apply a waterproofing and crack-isolating membrane to the slab before you begin. This RedGard goes on pink and turns red when it’s dry.

To secure the tiles, use a polymer-modified, dry-set mortar that is rated for outdoor use and wet conditions. Full coverage of the mortar’s very important, so it’s a good idea to back butter the titles in addition to applying mortar on the slab.

The tile itself should also be rated for outdoor use, and, as a general rule, porcelain tends to be more durable than ceramic. Of course, it should also have a slip-resistant surface.

Finally, choose a grout that will resist stains and fading, so your project will still look good for years to come.

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