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Unread 07-15-2022, 06:33 PM   #1
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Porcelain tile for garage - what thickness?

Planning to install porcelain tile in a covered carport in LA. Approach to the carport is driveway (uncovered, pavers) and there is a slot drain that serves as a transition between the materials.

Current carport floor is concrete slab, but we have done a ton of slot cutting to install grade beams and underground conduits, so basically a patchwork (hence the reason to install tile).

I chose an AutoStone tile (10mm/3/8") but it is not available anymore. I found another tile spec'd for exterior use but the salesperson stated that for automobile usage it really needs to be 20mm/3/4". Unfortunately, the pavers on the other side of the slot drain were installed assuming a 3/8" tile in the carport, so any tile thicker than 1/2" wont work.

For those of you who have installed porcelain tile in your garages or carports, what thickness have you used and have you had any issues?

For my installation, I plan on using Red Guard first (we don't have moisture issues it's just preventative), then a proper trowel mortar (no air gaps), and ensuring the tiles are back buttered with thinset as well.

Thank you in advance for sharing your experiences.
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Unread 07-15-2022, 06:54 PM   #2
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Welcome, Jess.

If you don't put that geographic location into your User Profile, the information will be lost before we leave this page.

The 3/8ths" porcelain will be quite adequate for your application if properly installed over a proper substrate.

It's the substrate that worries me most. A photo or two of what you're working with would certainly be helpful. It sounds like you're ending up with a whole lot of construction joints that will need to be honored through the tile surface.

What size, shape, layout do you have in mind for the tiles?

My opinion; worth price charged.

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Unread 07-18-2022, 03:44 PM   #3
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Hello and thanks for your reply, CX!

Likely field size will be 12x24, with the long side against the drain. That gives us the shorter edge to adjust for the slope. Haven’t decided if it will be a horizontal stack or running bond, was thinking the former.

The last photo shows 3/4” plywood along the slot drain, if I did 3/4” pavers it would be the same height which is too high. Another idea I had is I could do 3/4” pavers throughout and then do 2 rows of 3/8” thick pavers, sloped adjacent to the drain.
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Unread 07-18-2022, 04:14 PM   #4
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If the substrate is solid, the thickness of the tile isn't really all that important as long as you properly set the tile. The key here is to get as close to 100% thinset coverage as possible, and to use a suitable thinset that can handle the moisture and temperature extremes of your area.

But, the substrate needs to be suitable. Lots of cracks or expansion joints means that's tougher to do. If any of the cracks are not level, you should not tile it. Tile installations can be done to handle expansion, but not vertical displacement.
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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Unread 07-18-2022, 04:15 PM   #5
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You dont need 3/4", that's nonsense. I've done quite a few Auto Stables and all have been 3/8". I have a 4000 sqft garage coming up and its 19"x36" 3/8" porcelain.
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