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Old 03-13-2007, 02:23 AM   #1
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Tile on my deck


I am tired of Redwood and I am not thrilled with the composits. So my plan is to put tile on my 1,200 sq. ft. Denver Colorado deck. Temperature goes from below zero to over 100.
Here is the plan: Redwood comes off. 1/2" plywood is glued and screwed to the 2x8 joists that are 1' on center. 1/2" cement board to be glued and screwed to the plywood and 18" - 2' porcelian title set on the cement board. The structure of the deck is built well above code, but not enough for a cement pour. I had one tile layer tell me that if I use M Flex (whatever that is) that all would be well. I am at the point where the plywood is glued and screwed. Do you tile aficionados think I am nuts?

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Old 03-13-2007, 07:19 AM   #2
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Tile on my deck


Interesting, I am by no means a tile guru but PLEASE post pics after work is completed!

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Old 03-13-2007, 12:25 PM   #3
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Tile on my deck


I would of used 3/4" T&G exterior plywood, I would also thin set the 1/2" cement board with screws but remember this is a exterior application so make sure any thin set and fasteners are for exterior applications.
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Old 03-13-2007, 03:56 PM   #4
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Tile on my deck


cofirst -

If you try it, your are certainly playing against the odds, no matter how much planning and research you do. Doing everything right will only delay the eventual problems. It is not like puting tileon a floor in a home.

I worry when people get concerned with fractions of an inch and attachment details while the are other more important items.

Your existing structure may be built well above code, but that only means it is better than a minimum structure on a strength basis. Distortion and deflection, which are critical for tile, but are not anticipated and addressed in deck design. I certainly hope the deck is not elevated, since would then require additional bracking.

You are attempting to do many things contrary to basic construction principles.

1. You have a flexible structure (wood) and are planning to install a brittle, rigid surface on it. - A definite incompatibility since a deck is no where near as rigid as the interior of a home.

2. You have one of the worst exposure conditions possible. - A wide range of annual temperatures (100+ degrees) plus the fact that you will have a significant temperature differential daily between the surface and the bottom of the deck. Your high altitude radiant exposure can increase the problems.

3. Your deck is good sized and will be subjected to substantial expansion and contraction. Even a reinforced concrete slab on a uniform moisture grade must have control joints to permit movement from expansion and contraction. You must allow for this and each joint will be a continual maintenence problem and point of moisture entrance.

4. Your brittle, rigid surface has that has very low moisture absorpttion, while the under side of the deck (plywood, 2xs, etc.) will absorb moisture causing expansion. This exists summer and winter and is subject to wide humidity variations.

5. Tile requires grout, which is very susceptable to moisture absorption and cracking. No matter what kind of grout you use, it will not thave bond and tensile strength to overcome the distortion due to temperature and moisture in an outside exposure on a wood deck structure. - Polymers and other additives have their limts.

You have an ambitious project. Please post photos of the tiled deck when completed.

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Old 03-13-2007, 08:41 PM   #5
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Tile on my deck


Quote:
Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
cofirst -

If you try it, your are certainly playing against the odds, no matter how much planning and research you do. Doing everything right will only delay the eventual problems. It is not like puting tileon a floor in a home.

I worry when people get concerned with fractions of an inch and attachment details while the are other more important items.

Your existing structure may be built well above code, but that only means it is better than a minimum structure on a strength basis. Distortion and deflection, which are critical for tile, but are not anticipated and addressed in deck design. I certainly hope the deck is not elevated, since would then require additional bracking.

You are attempting to do many things contrary to basic construction principles.

1. You have a flexible structure (wood) and are planning to install a brittle, rigid surface on it. - A definite incompatibility since a deck is no where near as rigid as the interior of a home.

2. You have one of the worst exposure conditions possible. - A wide range of annual temperatures (100+ degrees) plus the fact that you will have a significant temperature differential daily between the surface and the bottom of the deck. Your high altitude radiant exposure can increase the problems.

3. Your deck is good sized and will be subjected to substantial expansion and contraction. Even a reinforced concrete slab on a uniform moisture grade must have control joints to permit movement from expansion and contraction. You must allow for this and each joint will be a continual maintenence problem and point of moisture entrance.

4. Your brittle, rigid surface has that has very low moisture absorpttion, while the under side of the deck (plywood, 2xs, etc.) will absorb moisture causing expansion. This exists summer and winter and is subject to wide humidity variations.

5. Tile requires grout, which is very susceptable to moisture absorption and cracking. No matter what kind of grout you use, it will not thave bond and tensile strength to overcome the distortion due to temperature and moisture in an outside exposure on a wood deck structure. - Polymers and other additives have their limts.

You have an ambitious project. Please post photos of the tiled deck when completed.

************

When I read this post question....I was thinking the exact same points that ConcreteMasonry listed.

My chief concern is the 'flexing' and the 'deflection' of such a raised exterior structure. That is a HUGE negative factor that damages tile work. Add to this, the fact that a deck (Exterior 'floor') is exposed to the elements is going to expand and contract unlike an interior floor....especially in such harsh/extreme seasonal changes as your region of the country. In addition, to the temps, you have snow and ice.....ICE...will pummel any exterior surface with temperature fluctuations (Expansion and contraction and melting)

I am not saying it can't be done. You could add bridging in between the joists. You could add additional beam/footing supports, you could also use a ditra membrane over the substrate material...
But the fact of the matter is that you will have alot of effective things working against you.....

As stated, If you are determined to undertake this......continue to do your research...and keep us posted...
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Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 03-13-2007 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 03-13-2007, 10:51 PM   #6
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Tile on my deck


I was at the Deck Expo a couple weeks ago and someone was offering "tiles" for decks. Since the product did not interest me I did not get any info.

This is a site that I found on Google, generally I will not recommend a product if I do not use a product so you are on your own. If you use the product, please post your results.

http://www.ezytile.com/FAQS.htm
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Old 03-14-2007, 07:42 AM   #7
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Tile on my deck


Quote:
Originally Posted by fhivinylwindows View Post
I was at the Deck Expo a couple weeks ago and someone was offering "tiles" for decks. Since the product did not interest me I did not get any info.

This is a site that I found on Google, generally I will not recommend a product if I do not use a product so you are on your own. If you use the product, please post your results.

http://www.ezytile.com/FAQS.htm

Very interesting product, thanks for sharing that link....
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Old 03-17-2007, 05:36 PM   #8
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Tile on my deck


Here is the new plan:
Break up the tile into sections that are framed in redwood and add caulking between the tile and the wood trim. Each section should be no more that 8x8. I am told by "Floor and Decor" tile store that I can use a flexible tile cement called M-Flex and that there should be alot less grout line cracks over time. I will post pictures when I am finished and I will keep you posted as time goes by.
Steve
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Old 03-17-2007, 11:08 PM   #9
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Tile on my deck


Cofirst,

Don't get all excited that someone told you using M flex might give you some kind of edge. The use of modified thinset mortar is the basic type for this kind of project. You will be no better off using that product as compared to any number of other brands.

I have a few questions for now. What is the unsupported span of those 2x8 joists? What kind of lumber is it? Treated or regular? What kind of plywood, grade, is it T&G, why only 1/2". Is the surface of the decking sloped. or is it fairly flat?

There's lot more but that's a good start.

Jaz
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Old 03-17-2007, 11:23 PM   #10
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Tile on my deck


Quote:
Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
Cofirst,
I have a few questions for now. What is the unsupported span of those 2x8 joists? What kind of lumber is it? Treated or regular? What kind of plywood, grade, is it T&G, why only 1/2". Is the surface of the decking sloped. or is it fairly flat?
There's lot more but that's a good start.
Jaz
...all good and pertinent questions....

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