How to Use Granite Tile Outdoors

Written by kevin mcdermott
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Granite is one of the sturdier types of tile you can lay, but if you lay it outdoors, you still should take some precautions. Outdoor tile, whether it's laid on concrete or a wood porch, often cracks because temperature changes cause movement in the base material under the tile. Outdoor tiling membrane is a fibrous layer that goes between the base material and the tile in order to absorb that movement so it won't cause damage. Make sure you have three or four days of good weather predicted before you start this project.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Notched trowel
  • Thin-set mortar
  • Outdoor tiling membrane
  • Razor knife
  • Chalk snap line
  • Granite tile
  • Spacers
  • Wet saw
  • Grout
  • Grout float
  • Sponge

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  1. 1

    Spread thin-set mortar along one side of the area with a notched trowel, covering the whole length and coming in from the edge by the width of your outdoor tiling membrane. The membrane is usually 4 feet wide.

  2. 2

    Lay a strip of tiling membrane into the mortar. Cut it at the end to fit. Press it down thoroughly throughout the surface by walking over it in small steps.

  3. 3

    Repeat the process to lay the next strip of membrane next to the first one, with the long edges butted against each other. Continue until you've covered the whole floor. Let the mortar set overnight.

  4. 4

    Use a chalk snap line to mark two intersecting lines over the surface of the floor (right over the membrane), making four even sections.

  5. 5

    Use your notched trowel to spread mortar over the intersection of the lines, covering enough area to lay four tiles. Press the first four granite tiles in place at the lines, with spacers between them. (Note: You should be able to make out the lines through the mortar.)

  6. 6

    Spread more mortar and lay tiles out along the lines, working your way toward the walls. Cut the tiles for the edges of the floor on a wet saw.

  7. 7

    Let the mortar dry for a full day. Pull out the spacers.

  8. 8

    Spread grout over the whole floor with a grout float, pressing it into the lines between the tiles. Use a damp sponge to wipe up the excess grout. Let the grout set for at least two days before using the floor.

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