Attempting home renovations on your own can be a daunting task, especially if this is your first experience with DIY. However, not everyone has the budget to hire a professional team for their residential patio or deck installation. If you plan to install porcelain outdoor tiles in your backyard, but you’re unsure of where or how to start, follow these steps for an easy and beautiful porcelain paver installation.
1. Mark out the area
Before you start handling the tiles, you’ll need to mark out and prepare the area where you’re going to install your new patio or deck. Measure out the area, and mark it with posts and string. Multiply the length and width of the area to calculate the square footage, then multiply that figure by 1.1 to allow 10 percent extra space for cuts and wastage.
2. Prep the area
Once you know exactly where the tiles will be placed, you’ll need to prepare the area to ensure a long-lasting installation. This may mean digging out the area, adding a sub-base, or leveling the surface with supports like Tile Tech’s adjustable deck pedestals, depending on your existing terrain and hardscaping. Make sure that you create a small slope to allow for proper drainage. Not having sufficient run-off space can result in pools forming on the surface of the tiles, which can make them slippery, dirty, and generally dangerous.
3. Apply the mortar
You’ll need to add a layer of mortar between your base and your tiles in order to give the tiles something to adhere to. This is a mixture of sand, cement, and water that is spread over the entire area. Make sure your mixture is able to bind together without any visible moisture — this means that you’ve achieved the right texture for the job. Once the mixture is created, spread a thick layer across the marked area.
4. Prep the tiles
Once the area is fully prepped, you’re ready to start handling your porcelain pavers. Since porcelain pavers are nonabsorbent, they’ll need a primer applied in order to ensure proper adhesion to the cement base. Combine slurry powder with water and mix for three to five minutes until you have a smooth, lump-free consistency. Apply this slurry primer to the underside of your porcelain tile with a brush or paint roller in thin, even layers.
5. Lay the tiles
Once each porcelain outdoor tile is primed, begin laying them one by one. Your first tile is the most important, so take extra time to place it correctly. Make sure that you start in a corner, using a wall or your marking string as a clear edge. It sets the angle for the rest of the patio, so it needs to be perfectly lined up. The concrete base should give you some time to adjust the tile if needed. Once the first tile is set, continue down the row, priming and laying each tile with the same precision. Leave a 3 to 5 mm gap between each tile, using spacers to ensure accuracy and consistency.
6. Grout the tile
Once all of the tiles have been placed, give them at least 12 hours to set. During this time, do not step on the pavers. Once they’ve set, it’s time to grout the tile. The grout serves as a waterproof barrier for the tile, so be generous in your application. Push as much grout as possible in between the tiles, and smooth it over the top. Clean off grout residue every few tiles as you go, so it doesn’t harden and become difficult to remove later.
Whether you’re a DIY master or a first-time patio builder, Tile Tech makes it easy to create a level and beautiful outdoor deck or patio. Our porcelain pavers are high-quality, long-lasting, and, best of all, easy to install. Pair any of our porcelain outdoor tiles with our adjustable deck pedestals for a foolproof installation that can be completed in as little as a few hours. With hundreds of unique porcelain pavers to choose from, there’s a match for any home. To find out more about our products or installation, give us a call at (888) 380-5575 today. We’re always happy to provide a catalog, product sample, or free quote on your next project.