How to Tile an Exterior

Written by alexis lawrence
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How to Tile an Exterior
Commonly tiled exterior spaces include patios. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

You can install tiles onto most surfaces of your home, including walls, counters and floors, and outside the home as well. To tile an exterior surface of your home, you must use a type of tile that can hold up in all types of weather. Most interior tiles, including ceramic, stone and slate also work on exterior surfaces. Consider the manufacturer's maximum low and high temperature recommendations and select a tile that withstands the temperatures in your region. In all other ways the tiling process is much the same as it is for an interior surface.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Exterior tiles
  • Levelling compound
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Rags
  • Mild soap
  • Tape measure
  • Chalk snap line
  • Tile spacer
  • Tile adhesive
  • Grout
  • Float
  • Sealant
  • Paintbrush

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Buy the appropriate tiles for your exterior surface.

  2. 2

    Prepare the surface on which the tiles are going to be laid. If you are laying floor tiles on a patio or deck, fill any dips in the surface with levelling compound and allow the compound to dry completely. On walls, fill any cracks, holes, or spots where the wall sinks in and allow the compound to dry.

  3. 3

    Sand over the filled areas on either the floor surface or the wall to ensure that the compound sits evenly with the surface. Clean the wall with a mild soap and water, rinse the surface and allow to fully dry.

  4. 4

    Begin laying tiles in the centre of the wall or floor. Measure down the wall or floor, marking the midpoint, and across the wall or floor, marking the midpoint. Snap a chalk line down the middle of the floor or wall and across the middle of the floor or wall to get the exact centre.

  5. 5

    Lay the tile by lining the first tile up with one of the vertical and horizontal lines in the centre of the wall or floor. Lay the next three tiles so that they line up with the lines in the other three sections, placing a tile spacer in the size recommended by the tiles' manufacturer between tiles.

  6. 6

    Secure the tiles to the floor or wall by applying tile adhesive to the surface and pressing tiles against the floor or wall until they hold firm.

  7. 7

    Continue out away from the centre, laying tiles so that they line up with the middle tiles. When you get to the edges of the floor or wall, use a tile saw to cut tiles to size where needed.

  8. 8

    Grout the exterior tiles after the adhesive has dried for at least 24 hours. Spread the grout over the tiles with a float, making sure the spaces between tiles are completely filled, and wipe up any grout from the tiles' surfaces. Continue grouting until you fill all of the areas between the tiles.

  9. 9

    Brush waterproof sealant over the surface of the tile work after the grout has had 48 hours to dry. If you installed a non-porous tile, like ceramic, only brush the sealant onto the grout between the tiles and wipe off any sealant that gets on the surface of the tiles themselves. If you installed a porous tile, like stone, brush the sealant over the tiles and the grout, completely covering the entire surface. Whether sealing the tiles and grout or just the grout, allow the sealant to dry and apply another coat over the top of the first.

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