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Old 04-25-2007, 12:06 AM   #1
Stew
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Exterior Tile, mortar/grout recommendations?

We're in the middle of a deck/tiling job, installed on top of a garage (the tiled portion is roughly 16' x 8'). We had an engineer design the walls/rafters of the garage and we've completed that part of the project - thus deflection isn't a concern.

My concern is weather related, since Colorado's weather patterns bring a little bit of everything, and often times a lot of everything (a blizzard today, 80 degree weather this weekend).

Being an exterior application, what type of mortar and grout is recommended?

Any other advice to prevent mother nature from causing us heart-ache (we are using Schluter Ditra & 18" porcelain tile).

Thanks for the help,

Tom
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Old 04-25-2007, 01:21 AM   #2
Shaughnn
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Tom,
My recommendation is that you look into Schluter's TROBA-Plus membrane instead of just using the DITRA. Troba-Plus is similar to DITRA but it's cells are larger and it encorporates weep holes which will allow moisture to drain THROUGH the membrane rather than collect in the mortar and cause vapor-related efflorescence. As well, it will prevent the accumulation of moisture which could then freeze in the mortar and create a failure of the installation. Of course, this will require a waterproofing layer under the TROBA mat and a dry pack mortar bed above it, but I think that these are relatively small considerations for the enviroment which you are planning to subject your tile to. The Schluter website has videos and all sorts of comparative information for you to base your decision on.
Best of luck,
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:04 PM   #3
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Thanks Shaughnn.

What grout do you recommend for this application? Would epoxy grout minimize water absorption? If epoxy isn't an option, then what type of sanded grout is recommended, and how about sealers?

Thanks for any helpful information you can lend,

Tom
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Old 04-26-2007, 07:38 AM   #4
Shaughnn
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Hi Stew,
Grout recommendations are awkward without seeing what you've got available and what you are planning to install. I carry several grout sample boxes with with me and usually offer a client a few colors to choose from. Epoxy will reduce your percolation into the tile and substrate but it will also trap vapor underneath, which can lead to domage if precautions aren't taken during construction and planning.
Shaughnn
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Old 04-26-2007, 11:44 AM   #5
Scooter
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Typical exterior spec would be from ground up:

sloped mortar bed
membrane
Troba Drainage Mat
sloped mortar bed
thinset
tile

Note: Troba is not a waterproof membrane--it is a drainage mat and has holes in it for that purpose
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:57 AM   #6
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got a question, sounds like with the system described, the water will seep through and eventually get into the mortar bed, simular to a shower pan, right? Got a little concern about how the bed will ever dry out. My way of thinking says that any water left in the bed through the summer and fall rains, or when snow melts and saturates the bed, it WILL freeze and cause the the breakage that is trying to be avoided. Wouldn't tile set right over kerdi or detra be less likely to retain water? I would think the less water allowed under or between the tile would be better. If the tile is laied directly over kerdi, there would be little chance of water getting under the tile. While the grout may crack and freeze, the tile wouldn't. Right???? Or am I looking at this the wrong way. Thanks for the input, I would like to do a deck the simular way, and don't want to do it more than once. Good advice in this column
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Old 04-27-2007, 04:55 PM   #7
jadnashua
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No matter what you do, there will be some moisture getting to the setting bed. That is why the recommendation to have a slope under there, just like in a shower. So, any moisture has a chance of flowing out. I don't claim to be anywhere near an expert on this.
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Old 04-28-2007, 08:29 AM   #8
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will the troba give enough to allow for some frost movement and still not crack anything??
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Old 04-28-2007, 08:34 AM   #9
Shaughnn
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Tim,
TROBA allows the mortar bed to drain, and thereby reduces the opportunity for freezing pressures to develope in the first place.
Shaughnn
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