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Unread 01-25-2010, 11:55 PM   #1
Faye/with/an/E
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What about tile as an exterior siding?

Hi,

I'm new to the forum although I've been learning from ya'll for months. I'm in the middle of two projects: a bathroom shower and a complete house remodel - both in Florida. I want to use porcelain tile - 18x18 or 24x24 for the exterior walls of the one-story contemporary style house built on a slab that I'm remodeling. All the builders in my area think I'm nuts but it seems like a durable, low maintenance, attractive concept to me. I've seen buildings in Chicago, Shanghai, Japan, and Spain (wonderful one by Gaudi in Barcelona!) so I know it's possible. But I can't find advice anywhere.

At this point, the house has T-111 siding that is water-damaged up about 24". I'm planning to remove it since it has mold/mildew issues in areas and replace it with Hardie 4'x8' panels. The interior side of the Hardie will be sprayed with open cell Icynene insulation. Do I need any (other) vapor barrier or do I just tape the seams and add thinset and tile.

Any advice? Tips? I appreciate all the information you provide!
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Unread 01-26-2010, 12:35 AM   #2
Shaughnn
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Hello Faye,
My first thought is that you should check with your local building code to discover the minimum sheathing allowed in your area. Hardibacker doesn't offer much protection against high winds or even a lazy Bubba leaning against the wall on a hot day. Were I in your position, I would look at having the walls prepared for stucco and then have the stucco crew give you a flat wood-troweled finish. You can then stick your tiles directly to the unpainted stucco coat with all of the required flashing in place. Make certain that the stucco crew knows that you'll be sticking a tile to their finished surface so they can allow for it's thickness when installing the flashing, but otherwise you'll be carefree and solid.
Best of luck,
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Unread 01-26-2010, 02:10 AM   #3
Kman
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I don't think Hardi is rated for exterior use, is it? Least ways not the kind you'd use for a tile installation.
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Unread 01-26-2010, 07:28 AM   #4
Brian in San Diego
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin
I don't think Hardi is rated for exterior use, is it?
No, it's not. At least it wasn't when I last checked. For outdoor installation one would have to use Durock or other similar CBU.

Wouldn't durock installed on 16" centers be sufficient for an exterior siding when tile is going to be applied to it? I know the example below is only a fence but it's Durock attached to metal studs on 14" centers but it's a solid as a rock. Is the difference that both sides have the same treatment. It'd take a lot of Bubbas to damage that surface.

Name:  front wall 003a.jpg
Views: 1200
Size:  43.5 KB

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Unread 01-26-2010, 10:48 AM   #5
Faye/with/an/E
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Infomation on Hardie

Here's a link to the stuff that the local contractors use as exterior. It wouldn't let me up the link in but it's made my James Hardie company and is called Hardie Panel Siding. Contractors in the Panhandle of Florida usually put a wood trim on it to make it look like board-and-batten which is a great Florida Cracker look but doesn't fit the the architecture of this house.
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Unread 01-26-2010, 12:40 PM   #6
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Only problem is that it's not rated for a tile installation.

If I was going to invest the money and go this route, I would probably do the standard 1/2" OSB with Tyvek, then 1/2" Durock or Wonderboard, then tile.

The OSB would be more structurally sound than Durock only, and 1/2" Durock is only a few cents more than 1/4".
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Unread 01-26-2010, 04:03 PM   #7
astrojeff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin
I don't think Hardi is rated for exterior use, is it?
I had some Hardibacker sitting outside on the ground for a little over a year now and it's completely crumbled. Whether it's rated for exerior use or not, I wouldn't use it. That hardi siding must be different somehow...
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Unread 01-26-2010, 04:18 PM   #8
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I have seen a beautiful product for exterior use that is made in Italy at a store here in Montreal. Unfortunately, I cannot recall the name, which is of precious little help for you, but, at the very least, you now do know that specific tile products are available for use on exterior walls.

Judging by the other products displayed at that place, I am sure that this product is not inexpensive as this store sold some of the most gorgeous high-end doors I have seen in a long time.
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Unread 01-26-2010, 04:42 PM   #9
gitchi gummi
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I think your tile walls sound like a great idea!!

Why is your T-111 water damaged? Gutters? Grading? Does it touch the ground? Whatever the problem, fix it first.

I have interviewed two stucco contractors here in MN. Hardly Florida weather, but interesting results.

One of them has gone to using cement board panels like Durock attached to the wood sheathing. They tape the seams and then put the finish coat on this. He said his primary reason for doing this was to avoid cracking. He said he had too many customers that complained about cracking with traditional stucco applications.

The other uses a traditional two coat system. If using traditional stucco as a base for your tile, you will want control joints and will need to plan these to work well with your tile (space them to match your tile size so they end up on a joint).

Either way I think you will need some kind of wood sheathing to replace the structural aspect of the T-111. I do not know what is allowed in your area for sheathing. I would recommend you put on a layer of 5/8" plywood over the structure which I assume is wood framing. This will significantly strengthen your wall assembly.

The wood sheathing will need a building paper. Usually with stucco that would be DD (double D) paper which is a heavy tar/felt paper in two layers.

The Hardie Panels can be used as siding. They would traditionally go over your sheathing. Ask Hardie about tiling over their panels? I do not think Durock or others will be much more $$ than Hardie.

Is this a DIY thing?
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Unread 01-26-2010, 05:24 PM   #10
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I think a solid sheathing is required to prevent racking. Depending on where you are in the state, hurricane winds could be a major concern. CBU is realatively inflexible and the stress from strong winds on the structure without the appropriate sheathing probably wouldn't pass code.

While probably more expensive, and may not work with your windows/doors, Wedi installed on the sheathing would give you insulation in addition to a tileable surface. It is rated for outdoor use, at least they show it as the base for numerous tiled things outside in their catalog.
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Unread 01-26-2010, 06:36 PM   #11
gitchi gummi
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You could cut off the bottom 24" of your T-111 if the rest is good. Block between the studs at the seam and attach a like thickness plywood. Consider using treated if the water problem will persist. This would save some cost.

Then some kind of backer board.

Fix the water problem!!!

I assume you will need a grout that is exterior grade.
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Unread 01-26-2010, 06:48 PM   #12
dhagin
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Hi Faye,

You may find this useful.

http://www.laticrete.com/architects/...n_manuals.aspx

http://www.laticrete.com/Portals/0/p...azinestyle.pdf
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Unread 01-26-2010, 10:54 PM   #13
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Have seen Ditra used vertically on the ext wall like (in the pic only longer wall than) you are talking about. Have not done that myself. After you apply you substrate you might be able to make use of this, of course, apply some screws too. It came out nice but do not know about its durability.
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Unread 01-27-2010, 12:31 AM   #14
Faye/with/an/E
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Looks like I've got some reading to do!

Thanks for the information. Dana, the link to Laticrete is great. About 205 pages of information but it is right on target with the questions I need to consider.

The T-111 is damaged primarily from splash. In the 30 year lifetime of the house, the soil has been allowed to accumulate to within less than an inch, in some places, of the bottom of the T-111(my dad is 85 and so the last 10 years have seen a big decline in home maintenance - I've got some catching up to do!). It also had no gutters to control the roof run-off. Some grading and gutter work are essential.

The house has survived 4 direct-hit hurricanes but none were greater than a Cat3 and this is the first year it flooded. One flood was internal from copper water supply lines that have corroded and crumbled and one from heavy rains this fall. Go figure!

The house is gutted from the internal flood, so I've got a lot of work to do. I'll hire subs for electrical, plumbing and probably the drywall. I've talked to two contractors but they don't want to touch the idea of exterior tile so I think I'll tackle it as a DIY project. I've tiled a kitchen backsplash, built concrete counter tops, and outdoor granite patio with a mosaic and am remodeling a bathroom currently at my own home so I'm teachable!

jadnashua - "I think a solid sheathing is required to prevent racking. Depending on where you are in the state, hurricane winds could be a major concern" - What is racking?

And what is OSB?

I'll post photos when I get a chance.
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Unread 01-27-2010, 06:34 AM   #15
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Racking is when the wall experiences a sideways (from the plane of the wall) load and shifts, causing the top plate to move sideways and the studs to tilt. Plywood sheathing acts like a diagonal brace to resist the sideways movement.

OSB is Oriented Strand Board, which is a substitute for plywood. It allows the forest products industry to make more effecient use of trees by using wood that would otherwise be waste.
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