There are several reasons you would want to use tiles for your outdoor space, and there are several tile brands available, but the brand for people generally is porcelain tile. Due to their popularity and wide acceptability, many people are curious about how to install outdoor porcelain tiles.
Before delving in-depth into how to lay them, it is important to note why this tile has attained the status of wide acceptability. The first reason is that it blends very well with many finishes such as wood, imitation stones, and others; apart from this, it is easier to clean than other alternatives, elegantly designed, and fit to withstand outdoor weather variations.
Why use Porcelain tile in an outdoor space
Outdoor space is characterized by harsh weather, and porcelain tile is solid, rarely slips, and is resistant to freezing in cold weather. Even though there are a couple of ways to lay porcelain tiles outdoors, the most straightforward and cost-saving way is to install them over a concrete base; this will be discussed shortly.
Materials for installing outdoor porcelain tile
Installing outdoor porcelain tile can be tedious but can be much more fun, faster, and more efficient if you have the right tools and materials; some of those tools are:
- A tile cutter (Electric is preferable as it is faster, efficient, and cuts better)
- Wheelbarrow for moving materials
- Brush or grout float
- Vacuum Pump
- Tape measure
- Rubber mallet
- A trowel for cement leveling
- Spirit level
- Suction cup (Helps in lifting and installing)
- Bucket and sponges for cleaning materials
- Grouting for bridging joints between the tiles
- Cement/ Tile adhesives, sandbags, and mortar for the solid base
- The porcelain tiles
Installing outdoor porcelain tile
Prepare the base
Your base could either be on top of an existing outdoor patio, or you could have it removed and use the solid top exposed as your base. The first option is faster and more cost-effective, and the two options have been time-tested and proved reliable. On the other hand, if you are starting fresh on new or raw ground, you need to form a base by yourself. A standard base should be between 5 to 10cm and concrete.
Prime the tiles
The base of tiles is usually dry; however, they contain hair and bubbles, and the effect of this is that when you lay them, they might glue initially, but with time, they get detached from their base. Soaking the tile for a few minutes was recommended as this allows the base air to escape, thereby reducing the porosity.
For priming porcelain tiles, wetting with water is enough to remove and replace the porous air with water and make your tile glue better to the base.
Mix the cement or adhesive
There is a need for clarifications here before going further. Two primary materials are used to glue your tile to the base: cement and adhesive. Cement is the most popular choice, and this could be because it is cheaper than adhesive. Opting for cement is as simple as mixing it with some sharp sand and water in the appropriate proportion.
You can mix the cement or adhesive with a mixer, leading to the next stage. Much will be explained later in this article if you’re curious about the best of these two options. If you opt for adhesive, there is instruction always printed on its package as to the water-to-powder rate.
Lay the tiles
Whatever mix you go with, either cement or adhesive, add the mixture to the base and carefully lay your first tile. After placing the tile, you can make it firm by pressing it. A rubber mallet will make the laying much easier, and to ensure it has the right level, use the spirit level to adjust it.
Follow the pattern of the first tile to lay subsequent tiles. Note that the first tile is susceptible; an error with it can ruin the whole project because it serves as the base with which other tiles will align. Also, avoid stepping on any tiles until you are confident that your cement/adhesive has become dry.
After putting each tile, check its slope and level with the spirit level. For long-term safety, kindly avoid misalignments; this reduces trip risks and makes the project worthwhile.
Apply the grout
After you’ve installed your outdoor porcelain tile, it’s time to apply the grout. Grouting is a simple process that involves mixing water with grout additives and then pressing the mixture into the joints between tiles. Grout can be purchased at most home improvement stores or online, but if you’re in the market for some DIY grout, here’s what you need:
- 1 cup of water per 1/2 pound of grout additive (if using a premixed kit)
- Pour 1/2 cup of water into a bucket containing enough grout additive to fill a one-quart container (if using premixed)
- Add additional water as needed to achieve the consistency desired by applying it with your brush, squeegee, or similar tool (if using premixed)
Cleaning up after applying grout is essential to the overall success of your project. Be sure to clean up any excess grout that has fallen off the tile.
You can use a damp sponge or cloth to wipe up as much grout as possible. Still, you must clean the area thoroughly before applying grout to prevent any residue from getting onto the surrounding tiles. Now you have tile laid and installed, but you will need to know how to clean your new floor occasionally to keep it looking good for long.
How to clean grout from tiles after tiling Without Bleach
Cleaning grout from tiles after tiling is surprisingly easy; However, not many people c Here are a few tips:
- If your tile has been pre-treated, use a rag or sponge dipped in water to remove any excess grout or residue.
- If you’re using masonry sealant, use a microfiber cloth and some water to remove any excess grout or debris that may have gotten on the tile during installation.
- Don’t scrub! Grouting is a very fine material that can be easily damaged by scrubbing. Instead, use a damp mop to wipe away any debris or stains accumulated in the grout lines.
- Use warm water: If you’re using lukewarm water, it will take forever for the grout to get clean—it will get soaked up and stay wet all day long! To avoid this, use hot water and let it sit for 30 seconds before rinsing with warm water.
- Consider baking soda: Baking soda is an excellent cleaner for grouts because it removes stains from porous surfaces like stone and concrete (whereas other cleaners remove dirt). It’s also inexpensive and easy to find at any grocery store or drugstore; follow these instructions from Wikihow for how to use it best.
- Use warm water and vinegar to clean grout stains from hard surfaces like tile floors and bathroom walls, but do not use this method if your floor contains porcelain tiles, as they will chip easily when exposed to acidic cleaners like vinegar or lemon juice. If you’re using lemon juice instead, apply it with a paintbrush first so that minor scratches don’t get cut during application (this also helps prevent damage if any accidental splashes happen). Then rinse well with warm water afterward.
Precautions while installing outdoor porcelain tile
- Wear a mask while mixing cement or adhesives
- Wear gloves when working with heavy materials and cement. Gloves won’t prevent you from big drops, but they’ll stop lesser scrapes and keep your hands safe from cement and other irritating things.
- Make sure children and pets are kept away from cement and work areas.
- It is impossible to lay a patio or work with cement in the rain, so save this project for sunny days only.
- Make sure you have the right equipment and tools available. Noting will compensate for the lack of some essential equipment. For instance, you have no alternatives to the cutter, mixer, and spirit level.
- Maintain a clean work environment and clean up yourself each day. This allows you to avoid harm while maintaining high situational awareness in your work environment.
You can lay porcelain tiles on sand and cement.
Porcelain tiles are one of the most durable and can be laid on sand and cement. With a little bit of preparation and a lot of care, you can use a tile adhesive to make your project easier.
Porcelain tiles are an excellent choice for outdoor paved areas and kitchen or bathroom renovation projects because they are strong and durable—they won’t break if dropped and don’t need to be sealed with a sealer like ceramic tiles.
If you want to use porcelain tiles on your sand and cement floor, follow these steps:
- Clean the surface of your floor thoroughly. Use an absorbent pad or sponge to remove dirt and grime from the floor. You may also want to use a power washer if it has been damaged by water or other substances in the past.
- Mix the mortar according to package directions (you can use mortar that comes in a bag or mix it yourself). You’ll need about 1/4 cup per square foot of tile area (e.g., 1 square foot = 4 inches x 4 inches x 4 inches).
- Apply mortar evenly with a trowel or roller on the surface to hold a tile
- lay your first tile starting from the edge base on the design you desire to use.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 and follows the video below for better clarity
What should you use for your outdoor porcelain tile: Cement or Adhesive?
Cement is the most widely used material for laying porcelain tiles. It is cementitious and has enjoyed traditional acceptance amongst tile layers. What cement does is keep things together; therefore, your cement is what glues your tile to the base.
To lay porcelain tile with cement, you’ll have to mix it with sharp sand and water. After the proper mixture, you can paste some on the base surface and lay your tile on it. It has a reputation as both the cheapest and the most accessible gluing material for tiling and requires little or no professional expertise.
When it comes to porcelain tile installation, many people are now opting for tile adhesive. To glue tiles to the wall or floor, you may use adhesive. Tile adhesive is a type of polymer-based adhesive substance with a high degree of toughness.
This type of material is distinct from the material used in traditional construction. Cement and sand, or pure cement, are the traditional building materials. It is, in essence, a factory-processed “glue” that keeps the tiles in their proper position.
It should be noted that while it doesn’t yet enjoy the same level of widespread use and acceptability as cement, this has been blamed on several factors that include high cost and the need for some level of technical expertise.
Note that having known the difference between adhesives and cement, it is up to you to decide which works for you depending on your financial capacity, technical expertise, and preference. Both materials have proven very effective.
Finally, this article has taken you through the details of porcelain tile installation outdoors. Having noted what porcelain tiles are, it has also stated the tools and materials needed, precautions to be taken, and offered a concise explanation of the difference between the two main Tile gluing material, adhesives, and cement.
How to remove dried grout from porcelain tile
You can remove dried grout from porcelain tile using a grout stripper or remover. These products are available at any hardware store or home improvement center. They should be designed explicitly to remove dried grout from porcelain tile for better effectiveness.
Most of these products contain acids or enzymes that will dissolve the dried grout and allow you to clean the surface without damaging the surrounding tiles.
Clean-eez grout cleaner is one of the best options for removing dried grout from your tile. This product contains chemicals that can dissolve and remove the dried grout from your tile. It comes with a stiff brush that lets you scrub the surface of your tiles comfortably without kneeling.
- Apply clean-eez grout cleaner to the area you want to clean
- Let it sit for five minutes, then scrub with a hard-bristled brush or toothbrush.
- Rinse and dry the tiles thoroughly with a soft cloth or sponge
- Apply more grout cleaner to any areas that need it and let it sit for another five minutes before scrubbing again
Alternatively; you can use the method below to clean dried grout from your tile
- Remove the old grout by scraping it off with a putty knife or wire brush.
- Clean the tile’s surface with warm, soapy water and a scrubbing brush or nylon bristle brush.
- Rinse any excess soap and let the tiles dry before applying the new grout.
Best Grout Cleaner
Rejuvenate No Scrub Tile & Grout Everyday Cleaner
No scrub everyday cleaner is a powerful formula that cleans and protects tile and grout, removing dirt and stains. The revitalizing and cleaning power of Rejuvenate No Scrub Tile & Grout Everyday Cleaner is made for easy use to revitalize and clean tile and grout. Destroy stains with this specially formulated formula that cleans, degreases, and kills bacteria with soft scrubbing.
Gently lift soap scum, dirt, soap residue, and other impurities from most hard surfaces. For tile floors:2 capfuls per quart of clean water. For grout:1 capful per gallon of clean water. Dilute with ten parts water to one part cleaner in a bucket or spray bottle (no more than two pumps to 1 gallon). Let stand 10 minutes before gently scrubbing.
The Crown Choice Grout Cleaning Brush
The Crown Choice Grout Cleaning Brush gives you a simple, fast way to clean your floors and can also be used for scrubbing bathrooms, showers, tile, kitchen, shower, and other surfaces. The bristles are stiffer than ordinary brushes, and the rigid head can reach those hard-to-reach places.
With its large bristles, this scrub brush is designed to reach all the dark corners, cracks, and crevices needed to clean grout in your bathroom, shower, tile, and floor. This is made from coarse nylon fibers; the cleaning brush has a stiff, durable bristle that is ideal for scrubbing kitchen floors, bathtubs, shower walls, and cleaning corners.
GROUT SENSATION CECOMINOD081935 Tile &Grout Cleaner
Grout sensation Cecominod is formulated specially to attack stubborn stains and cleans without bleaching, leaving newly restored surfaces with a clean white appearance. The product also has an excellent effect on adhesive residues and creates a naturally smooth surface in hard-to-clean areas such as shower bases and bathtubs.
It works non-residually to remove dirt, fats and oils, calcium carbonate, and lime without leaving a film inhibiting air circulation. It works on sealed porcelain, ceramic, marble, limestone, and other surfaces with constant abrasive cleaning power.
How to clean grout Like a Professional
When it comes to cleaning grout, you want to clean it professionally. Here are some tips for getting the job done right:
- Use only mild detergents and other household cleaners. Never use harsh chemicals or acids on your grout—they can damage the surface of your tile and cause permanent discoloration.
- Use a soft-bristle brush to scrub away dirt from the grout lines. Then rinse with clean water and allow them to air dry completely before applying sealer or paint over them.
- If you have a lot of grout, use a foam pad or squeegee to apply pressure and create suction as you scrub away dirt from the tiles. This makes it easy to remove later on when using an acid cleaner like muriatic acid or lemon juice mixed with several tablespoons of baking soda per gallon of water (use less if utilizing bottled lemon juice).
The best homemade tile grout cleaner
There are a lot of different ways to clean tile grout. You can use a commercial product, but that’s not the best option because it’s expensive and toxic. Of course, you can’t go wrong with vinegar.
But if you want to make your tile grout cleaner, or if you want to save money by going all-natural, then try this recipe for homemade tile grout cleaner.
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 2 cups hot water
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly dissolved. Pour into a spray bottle and use it wherever you need it.
If you want an extra power boost when removing stubborn stains on your tiles, try combining baking soda with hydrogen peroxide. Baking soda absorbs grease, while hydrogen peroxide eliminates bacteria and mold build-up that may cause discoloration over time (or even helps prevent new stains from forming).