Turning a wooden porch into a tile porch is very doable, as long as a careful approach is followed. Using tiles offers better design flair, and increased durability. The tiles can be installed over the wooden surface, but a layer of concrete should be installed as an underlayment first, to prevent wood shifting from damaging them.
Tools and Materials
- 5/8 inch thick cement boards
- Thinset mortar
- Notched Trowel
- 1 to 1/12-inch galvanized screws
- Tile spacers
- Sanded grout
- Grout float
- Flooring tiles
- Chalk liner
- Drywall tape
- Tape measure
Step 1 – Install the Underlayment
Measure the entire surface area of the porch, to get a correct estimate on the number of cement boards to be used. After obtaining enough materials, clean the entire area. Remove any trace of debris and dust, using a broom or a vacuum cleaner. Determine the best way to line up the cement boards on the porch. It is best to install the boards one at a time. Mix thinset mortar and spread it evenly on a manageable area. Press the board on top of the mortar and flush with the edges of the porch.
Secure the board to the wood by driving galvanized screws near the edges using a screw gun. Space each screw 6 inches away from all other screws. Allow the head to sink into the cement completely. Add the other boards, until every surface area is covered. Use a jigsaw to cut the boards to fit the edges. Seal the seams with a drywall tape, and cover it completely with a thin, even layer of thinset mortar. Ensure that the mortar is set totally flat on the surface. Allow it to cure overnight.
Step 2 – Prepare the Underlayment for Tiling
Divide the surface area into 4 equal quadrants. Find the center of each edge of the porch, and mark it with a chalk. Snap 2 intersecting lines on both centers. The lines should intersect exactly at the center of the porch.
Step 3 – Lay the Tiles
Start laying tiles from the middle. Spread thinset mortar enough to accommodate 4 tiles on each quadrant. Keep the tiles spaced, using tile spacers, and check if they are all level with each other. Ensure that the thinset is spread evenly, so that the surface of the porch will be level after tiling.
From the middle, install the tiles one after the other, moving towards the edges. Use the lines as a guide. Spread the mortar evenly, lay the tiles, and continue until every square foot is covered. When the edges are reached, use a tile cutter to cut and fit the tiles into place. Remove the spacers after the mortar is set and let it cure overnight.
Step 4 – Grout the Joints
Mix sanded grout into a container according to manufacturer’s instructions. Apply the grout in between the tiles, using a grout float. When every joint is properly grouted, wait for 20 minutes before wiping the excess grout with a damp cloth. Wait for the grout to cure.