Setting Ceramic Tile Outdoors.
In warm climates particularly, builders have been using ceramic tile outdoors on buildings, walkways and even streets for about 6,000 years.
Tile offer a range of colors and designs unmatched by any other material. It’s also amazingly tough when not exposed to freezing weather. In places like Italy and Mexico you can find exterior tile in good condition despite centuries of wear and tear.
Ceramic tile are the ideal floor covering for both indoor and outdoor applications anywhere in South Florida. Florida has a tropical monsoon climate. All it monthly mean temperatures are above 18°C and features wet and dry seasons. Frost is never an issue here when installing ceramic tile outdoors.
When water freezes or expands in or under tiles, the tile can not handle the pressure and often crack or breaks. Over the last several decades as tile setting and materials have improved that risk has diminished. With the introduction of recent porcelain productions methods and improved setting materials even freezing weather conditions no longer limit the use of high quality ceramic tile. In freezing weather conditions the “Certified Porcelain” label is important. In South Florida ceramic tile labeled as “Certified Porcelain” is probably overkill. Tile stores often claim a vast world of difference between standard, non-certified ceramic tile and “Certified Porcelain Tile.” They do that to justify higher prices for the perceived value that label provides. The truth is that porcelain and ceramic tile can have essentially the same characteristics.
Tips for setting ceramic tile outdoors.
- Use high-quality materials. Expensive tile won’t necessarily outlast moderately priced tile, but with thin-set, grout, sealer and caulk, you get what you pay for.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Mix and use them as instructed.
- Apply tile only to a stable, well-drained slab.
- Allow the tile to expand and contract by placing expansion joints no more than 16 ft. apart and anywhere the tile meets a vertical surface.
- Don’t give water places to enter or hide. That means densely packed and sealed grout joints, caulked expansion joints and no empty pockets in the thin-set.
- Don’t delay maintenance. If grout cracks or a tile comes loose, replace it before a small problem becomes a big one.
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In St. Lucie County Boyer Tile LLC. services Port St. Lucie, St. Lucie West, Tradition, Torino, Tesoro, Lake Charles, Lake Forest, Magnolia Lakes, PGA Village, The Vineyards, St James Golf Club, The Cascades, and Fort Pierce, FL.
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