Tiling Outdoor Concrete Patio, Help Please.......

Old 11-28-12, 01:28 PM
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Tiling Outdoor Concrete Patio, Help Please.......

Hello All,

I'm going to install some "interlocking" porcelain tile, for my wife's friends, on an existing concrete patio (10ft x 40ft) and need a little input. They purchased all the supplies from Lowe's.

The tile can be seen HERE. They are using Mapei thinset and Mapei grout (sanded), both polymer based for outdoors, as recommended to them.

Anyhow, I have a few questions in regards to expansion joints and cracks....

1) They state their patio was a single pour with no expansion joints. They do have some typical settling cracks which has arisen through the years.

They told me some pro's looked at the slab and these cracks and stated this was no issue.

(a) What should I fill these cracks with and will the polymer based thinset, with use of 1/2 trowel, allow enough expansion so as to prevent the tile from ever cracking above?

(b) Shoud I use some isolation membrane for the large cracks or all cracks? If so can someone recommend something affordable and easy to put down? As possibly found at Lowe's or HD?

2) I've read that it is recommended to have a 1/4in. tile expansion joint every 8ft to 10ft. and to use caulking in lieu of grout for those joints?

Is this necessary as their tile is an interlocking brick/rock pattern? There is only about 1/32 in. where it interlocks between the tile. Therefore there is virtually no grout lines when staggering and interlocking the tiles as I assume such was meant(see pic 1). I could run parallel rows (not staggered) and that would create long grout lines (see pic 2). I'd have to create 4 sections(10ft x 10ft) to allow these 1/4in. expansion joints but that breaks up the brick/rock pattern?

3) Can anyone recommend a grout which is already stain resistant (no sealing required); otherwise, an additive they've worked with that is easy, effective and affordable? I was considering such as Grout Boost.

Your input is appreciated,
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Old 11-28-12, 08:20 PM
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Is there a roof over the patio? Who manufactured the tiles? I would contact them.
Old 11-28-12, 08:46 PM
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I will comment on one thing... the layout:

Since it seems the tiles are irregular on one side and interlock in one direction, but have clean lines in the opposite direction (16" on center?) I'd be inclined to make 2 cuts in the pad to create predictable control joints. a 40' long pad could be cut into 3 equal pieces... 160" each (13'4") Since 160" is divisible by 16, you could have 10 rows of tile on each pad, if you oriented the tile in that direction. You would then be able to have two caulk joints in the tile layout, each one would be directly over the control joints you cut in the cement. If the layout on 10 rows of tile grows slightly (and winds up being 162", for example), you would want to adjust the cuts in the pad to account for that, so that each 10 row layout ends and begins at an expansion joint.

This would mean you would basically be laying 3 separate sections of tile... each 10' x 13'4. (roughly)
Old 12-02-12, 11:43 PM
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If it were mine, and regardless what the "pros" told someone, I would sawcut some deep control joints at the 1/3 points of the slab (13'-4" apart, as others suggested). Then I'd seal the existing, meandering slab cracks in an effort to make the slab and tile layout "move" at the sawn joint locations (where I'd put expansion joints in the tile array, over the sawn joints).

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