As the weather is getting warmer, more people are thinking about exterior projects. We’ve done a lot of porches and decks that last beautifully — and we’ve re-done many that were done incorrectly by others. Uncovered, exterior decks with tile are some of the most difficult installations in our industry. They require many different components of an integrated system to make them perform correctly.
Uncovered decks can have very broad thermal (temperature) swings that far surpass the high and low reported temperatures of the day. As a result, these installations have to be designed to move with this expansion and contraction.
The key components of this type of installation are:
1) movement joints
2) prevention of water intrusion (waterproofing)
3) flashing at dissimilar surfaces
4) 95% mortar coverage on the back of the tile to ensure the tiles are
Some less-knowledgeable installers might suggest that epoxy grout will help prevent future grout cracking, but the type of grout will not determine the success or failure of any system’s performance. Movement joints are far more important, and, if they are not present, the system will most likely fail regardless of the type of grout used.
Make sure your exterior improvements last through many future seasons by investing in a tile contractor with the experience and knowledge to perform a long-lasting installation.