Exterior Tile Condensation Problem [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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12-12-2016, 06:35 PM

New to this forum, but I really need to solve this tile problem.

We have an 800 square foot, exterior, covered, ceramic tile patio in Houston. The tiles were specified to be slip-resistant, but I do not know the specifications. Directly after installation, we had someone put Dupont Stonetech Heavy-duty Sealer on the tile. This was about two years ago. I did not witness the work.

Each winter, as in now, about 1/2 of the tiles on this patio floor are completely wet with water condensation. The other half looks pretty good and they are dry. Despite using slip-resistant tile, the wet area is very slippery and I, myself, fell and slid several feet yesterday. My wife's mother who is very non-mobile is out there at this moment and this is not good...

Can anyone suggest a solution? Since 1/2 of the patio is more or less dry and good, there must be something I am missing.

Thanks for the help!

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Tool Guy - Kg
12-12-2016, 07:11 PM
Hi, Arnold. :wave:

If they're sweating, warmer moist air is hitting cooler tiles a the moisture in the air is reaching the dew point. Something is different with the temperature that it's not all dry or all wet.

Is the entire area exposed to the sun, wind, and weather equally? Or is the dry portion exposed to more sun and/or wind?

Do you have a picture?


12-12-2016, 07:40 PM
Thanks for the help.

The dryer area might have a tiny bit more exposure to sun than the wet area, but it has been almost total clouds these last days. I will take a photo tomorrow in the light. The one clear difference between the wet and dry areas is that the dry area gets almost no foot traffic. The wet area is where we walk daily with much more foot traffic.

12-13-2016, 08:25 AM
Here are two photos showing the condensation problem. Last evening, the area in the second photo was dry while the area in the first photo was as wet as shown in the photo. These two photos were taken at 8AM today when it was foggy outside.

I am sure that this water is just the natural consequence of living in Houston with very high humidity air coming into contact with a cooler tile surface. Probably there is no cost-effective solution......

I guess that brings me to Plan-B, which is to apply some sort of product to the tile that will make it more slip-resistant. I went to Home Depot and bought a product called InvisiTread slip resistant treatment. I just have a feeling that this product will not work as well as I want. Has anyone tried it or is there a different approach?

12-13-2016, 09:26 AM
If the areas -- wet and dry -- are exposed to the same environment , outside one , then the construction -- layers , occupied or non occupied space under , etc. -- is different and the tiles are '' reacting '' to it , by creating the condensation problem . Or ,
Not enough air movement over the wet area , could you try to circulate the air by having a fan pushing the air -- not necessarily directed to the floor .

If you wipe the wet area , how fast it comes back to the original wet state ?

Todd Groettum
12-13-2016, 10:45 AM
Moisture is a fickle mistress....Some questions
1- Was new concrete poured?
2- was a hydrostatic pressure test done?

Hydrostatic pressure = moisture being forced up through concrete

New concrete can take time to cure and should be cured a minimum 28 days before setting finish flooring...

Do you have proper drainage around the area, rain gutters to channel moisture away from the slab etc...

So much info needed so very many miles away :cool:

12-13-2016, 02:54 PM
I think it is a combination of high humidity, cool tile, and minimal airflow.

It has now cleared up a bit outside and warmed up some too. I think because of this, the tiles are starting to dry off and maybe 75% of them are now mostly dry. There is not much breeze out there.

These tiles have been down since the house was constructed two years ago. I am quite sure that it was considerably longer than 28-days after the concrete was poured that the tiles were put down. The patio tiles were one of the last things done and I think they were placed directly on the concrete and yes, since this is Houston, there are always water drainage issues around the house......

We have a big overhead fan out there. The fan blades are about 10' above the tile, but I could see if it helped.

Dave Gobis
12-13-2016, 05:16 PM
It is probably condensation caused by temperature variation in the tile. Just a guess on my part. I have a few pictures buried someplace that shows a dewpoint problem but it looks similar to this. You can see the temperature range at the photo at the bottom of the picture. If you know someone with an infared camera they could check your floor. This one shows the effect of sunlight coming through the window.

12-13-2016, 06:12 PM
The idea with the fan , is to create horizontal movement from a hidden corner to the opening which lead to the driveway . When the tiles are wet , just put a fan -- doesn't need to be facing the tiles -- and create an air movement and see what is happening .

What Dave is suggesting , is also a good idea to determine how the swings of temperature are affecting your tiles/slab .

Todd Groettum
12-14-2016, 06:29 AM
Well the one thing i do remember about houston was how hard it rains when it does... While there back in oh 1982 or there abouts it rained for 1 hour in july and the brazos rose 9 feet...

Now, i am not one to argue with Da Man ( Dave Gobis) so if he believes its a temperature variance i will defer to his judgement on that....the questions were mainly to cover some bases.. :)

Dave Gobis
12-14-2016, 07:57 AM
Not saying it is, but suggesting it is a good possibility. Been doing TCNA calls and emails a long time and this is an annual event in the early winter and late spring, slabs sweat.

argile tile
12-14-2016, 11:36 PM
ironic, i think of Texas as being a maker of good looking good price/quality non-slip tile at HD :)

i question the tile. it's outdoor tile i imagine. wet tile shouldn't be slippery. i'd ask the manufacturer what this is all about. dew rain, you should not fear to walk on wet tile outdoors, it's always wet outdoors

12-15-2016, 04:25 PM
I am sure that the tile met whatever specifications are required for outdoor tile. I know it came from one of the biggest tile companies here, Daltile. It was put in by a top builder and of course inspected.

On the other hand, I also know that it can be slippery since I myself slipped and fell on it the other day. But, the area where I slipped is sloped. When you exit the house at the patio door, there is an approximate 24" length of sloped tile that drops down from the house floor level 4-5" to the patio level. It is that sloped area where I slipped and when it is wet, you do not want to step on that sloped area because it is slippery.....

12-15-2016, 05:42 PM
i question the tile. it's outdoor tile i imagine. I know of no ceramic tile industry category for "outdoor tile," Argile. If you have a source for that information, please share it with us.

There is a category for Slip-resistant tile, but they usually have a very obviously textured surface. Some ceramic tiles do have a higher coefficient of friction, though, but that will be stated by the manufacturer if the tiles are tested to meet ANSI A137.1.

But wet ceramic tiles are slippery. Some are just slipperier than others.

My opinion; worth price charged.

11-29-2018, 05:08 PM

I know it’s been a while since this thread was created, but I, too, live in Houston and have had the same frustrating problem Gerrha described. In my case, the ceramic tile is laid onto the floor of a raised covered patio that runs the length of the rear of the house.

We are having a large Christmas party in three weeks and we need the overflow space. With the constant temperature swings during the month of December, I am at a loss on what to do in the event we have the wet tile problem the night of the party. Gerrha, did you ever find any solution to your problem?

Does anyone have any suggestions for any type of outdoor runners/cut-to-size mats or carpet that we can have ready to drop down the day of the party if we are faced with this predicament?

I will attempt to attach a photo to this post, if it helps.