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Unread 04-08-2021, 08:45 PM   #1
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Location: Northern AL
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Covered back porch large tile installation

Greetings all. Back in 2004 John, CX and Davy helped me complete a shower tile project that turned out great. Thanks! More than 15 years later I’m ready to try another project. I have a covered back porch that’s 10’ x 15.75’. The surface is a broom swept concrete slab. It’s 8 years old and has a hairline crack running the entire length that hasn’t moved in 8 years. I’d like to put down 18” x 18” Continental Slate Field Tile tiles. First question…is that a bad idea? Second question…what thinset should I use for large format tiles, outdoors, in an area that might get wet but not submerged and on a concrete surface with a hairline crack? Is Laticrete 125 the best option (pricey)? Looking for any lessons learned/suggestions or point me to a thread (couldn’t find one). I'm in Northern Alabama so it does get hot/cold (mostly hot).

Last edited by cx; 04-08-2021 at 09:17 PM. Reason: Add Link
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Unread 04-08-2021, 09:22 PM   #2
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Welcome back, Jim.

First, if you don't add that geographic location to your User Profile the information will be lost before we leave this page.

Second, I've added a link to your post. Is that the tile we're talking about? If not, please spell out a link and a moderator will light it up for you. That way we'll all be on the same page.

Is the concrete slab (on grade, I'm guessing?) sloped away from the building at least 1/4" per horizontal foot?

If you have freeze/thaw in your area I'd strongly recommend you use a waterproofing membrane over the concrete (presuming proper slope) and if you're not in a freeze/thaw area I'd recommend it anyway. many such are also crack isolation products, which would help with your existing crack and any new ones that might be waiting in the wings.

This crack you have. Does it have any difference in height from one side to the other?

We can discuss bonding mortars, but I think the 125 is for interior use only. Been a while since I've looked that up.

Let's start with that. And photos are always helpful.

My opinion; worth price charged.


Last edited by cx; 04-08-2021 at 09:31 PM.
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Unread 04-09-2021, 04:11 PM   #3
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Yep. That's the tile. The slab is on grade sloped away from the house. The crack is 1/32" wide and there's no height difference on either side of the crack. It does freeze/thaw here during the winter. The porch does get wet in a good thunderstorm but dries quickly. Pic attached.


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Unread 04-10-2021, 02:30 PM   #4
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Hi Jim. Glad to have you back.

I'll second the motion to use a tiling mat. Schluter Ditra is a good one. Put it down with a quality dry set (un-modified) mortar. Set the tiles with the same stuff.

Ditra does not guarantee the crack won't become a problem in the future, but then, nobody does.
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