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Old 03-13-2018, 12:40 PM   #1
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Ceramic tile on covered (ish) patio

I want to use some ceramic, semi-gloss, semi-vitreous tiles on our front porch; it's open on two sides, and sometimes water blows in during heavy rain. The tiles themselves say they're not ideal for outdoor use, but given that I want to use them on a mostly covered porch in Northern California (rain is only a concern a few weeks out of the year), I'm wondering if I can get away with them if I seal them properly. If I can, what sealant would you recommend?

(if you want to see them, go to Allmodern dot com and search for sku EML2863)

I'm a first-time homeowner, and our porch is currently a sheet of plywood. I'm hoping to upgrade. I, however, have absolutely no idea what I'm doing.

Thank you!
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Old 03-13-2018, 03:01 PM   #2
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Location: Nashua, NH
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There are a couple of reasons why they may not recommend a tile for exterior use:
1. it can absorb too much moisture and therefore could be damaged by freezing
2. it is quite slippery when wet, and would pose a safety hazard.

There may be more reasons, but I think those two are the main ones.

The area would need to be sloped a minimum of 1/4" per foot away from the house. If it's level, that would be a problem.

Because it could see rainfall, you'd probably want to use a waterproofing membrane underneath the tile and flashing from the house siding onto the waterproofing membrane which may require removing the bottom course of siding to properly install, depending on what's there now. Otherwise, the tile could hold moisture up against the plywood and eventually, rot it out. Neither tile nor grout is waterproof, and a sealer won't change that. Sealers are primarily to help minimize staining IF you clean it up fast enough. IF not, it will still stain.

Then, you need to determine if the porch was built strong enough to support tile in the first place. The 'Deflecto' in the blue bar above can be used to help determine that.
Jim DeBruycker
Not a pro, multiple Schluter Workshops (Schluterville and 2013 and 2014 at Schluter Headquarters), Mapei Training 2014, Laticrete Workshop 2014, Custom Building Products Workshop 2015, and Longtime Forum Participant.
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