Installing Outdoor Tile

Think outside the box - or in this case - the home.
Tile has been successfully installed outdoors - even in areas where there are extreme climate changes - for decades, even centuries. Parts of the home as demanding as driveways and car ports have been successfully tiled. Any outside area with a reliable substrate is fair game. Even wood decks are now being tiled thanks to underlayment systems that are available to cover the wood joists.

Some keys to a successful outdoor tile installation are as follows:
Down to Earth is a paver TILE, not a paver brick. Be aware that while Down to Earth tile meets or exceeds requirements relating to outdoor tile applications - including freeze/thaw care must be taken to install Down to Earth over a proper substrate - such as a concrete pad - using traditional thinset installation methods. When tiling over an existing concrete slab it must be properly cleaned and prepared to accept thinset mortor. Any existing glue, mortor or paint must be removed.

Correct procedures for installing outdoor tiles must be followed.
As with any tile project, the correct procedures must be followed to ensure success for the life of an outdoor tile installation. Skipping steps or cutting corners either from lack of knowledge or dedication to the project will result in substandard results regardless of the material used. For example, inadequate preparation of the substrate before tiling can negatively affect the outcome. Installation procedures should follow the guidelines outlined in the Tile Council of North America Handbook. We highly recommend a professional installer familiar with tiling outdoors - in your climate - is contracted to do the work.

Additional precautions will need to be taken when tiling outdoors.
It may be necessary, based on the size of the installation, local climate, condition of the substrate and size of the area to be tiled, to use an isolation membrane or other crack suppression material as part of the installation process. Also, based on these same conditions, it may be necessary to include expansion joints periodically throughout the outdoor tile installation, especially where the installation meets a vertical surface. Likewise, based on the type of installation, there may need to be a slight slope to the surface to allow proper drainage and to keep water from pooling on the tile.

Not all outdoor tiles are created equal.
As noted earlier, Down to Earth outdoor ceramic tiles have the right combination of durability, slip resisting characteristics and natural appeal that makes them a 'natural' choice. Other tiles recommended for outdoor use may not perform up to these expectations.