Our patio porch has been an ongoing project for several years. In this post, I will share how we installed tile on our porch.
This is a picture of our porch floor before we installed the tile but after we laid the brick edging (brink roll lock). It was a cold day so we lit the fireplace for some warmth. Even Daisy helped! We laid out the tile and did a lot of measuring to determine where we wanted our middle row.
We used 12×24 tiles. We wanted a brick (staggered) pattern so I used a square to mark the middle of the first few tiles until our pattern was established as a result of using spacers. We mixed the thin-set mortar in a Home Depot bucket using an electric drill and a paddle. Go, Neal, Go! Knee pads are essential! Daisy liked chewing on our knew pads. We used our center line as our guide. There are several steps when installing the tile.
1.) Apply thin-set on the concrete floor using a trowel – – making even grooves in the thin-set. Be sure the thickness of your thin-set is consistent; this will help level the tile.
2.) Place one tile at a time checking to be sure each tile is level after placement. Check to be sure the tile is level in all directions.
3.) Use spacers between each tile. The size of the spaces determines the width of your grout line. With a large sponge, we gently wiped down each tile after installing to remove the excess thin-set on the surface of the tile. In this picture below, you can see Neal checking levelness. He checked levelness vertically and horizontally. We made slow but steady progress. You only have one opportunity to get this right, so DO NOT RUSH! Here is a closeup of how the thin-set looked after Neal applied with the trowel and created the grooves. Again, it is essential to get this consistent so the tile will lay flat and there are no air pockets under each tile.
Here is a close up of the spacers. We used several spacers on all sides of each tile to ensure consistency of the future grout lines. Slow, but steady progress . . . Checking level both ways. I followed behind Neal and wiped down all tiles in each section. It is essential not to put your weight on each tile as you are wiping them down. Humm . . . somebody chewed up my gloves! This is a picture over 24 hours later after removing the spacers (before grout). Now came the tedious task of cutting the remaining pieces around the perimeter. We rented a tile saw from Home Depot. We measured and used a square (ensuring straight lines) to determine where to cut each tile. The parts that have X will be cut and discarded. Neal carefully cut each tile. Here you can see some of the cut tiles. And here are more cut tiles. The picture below shows all the installed tile before the grout. So now it is time to add grout. We used polyblend sanded grout (see picture below). We spread the grout over the tile using a rubber grout float. I followed behind Neal wiping the access mortar off the tiles. It is important not to wipe too hard initially so as not to wipe out the mortar. Wipe light initially and then when the mortar begins to dry, you can wipe the tiles again. We continued by added grout and wiping down a section at a time. We filled in all the crevices, including where it bordered the brick roll lock. The next day, we mopped a final time to remove any remaining mortar from the tile surface. Here is a closeup next to the brick. And the final result!
Click HERE to learn how we totally transformed our porch. Here is a picture at night.
Click HERE to learn how we built our porch fireplace.
Click HERE to learn how we built our porch columns.
Click HERE to learn how we installed our barn wood ceiling on our porch.
Click HERE to learn how we installed our simulated stone.
Click HERE to learn how we installed our brick roll lock on our porch.
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Tell us what you think about our project and/or ask questions by posting a comment below. ?
14 thoughts on “How to Install Tile on a Porch Floor”
Where did you buy this tile? What is the pattern name?
We purchased the tile from South Eastern Salvage. It is a dark gray. I don’t remember the specific name of the tile. It was discounted, but we were delighted to get this at quite a discount!
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Is it a porcelain tile? Looks great! Considering tiling our front porch, but ceramic would not hold up.
Yes, this is porcelain tile. Porcelain is much better than ceramic for outside areas. I hope this helps.
Let me know how your porch tiling project goes.
Really pretty! Great blog.
Where do you start with the fist tile?
We started with the first tile in the center after carefully measuring. We painstakingly laid out the tile to calculate where to place the center tile. I hope this helps!
I continue to be amazed at the two of you. I love everything about the porch, but my favorites are the fireplace, the floor, and the ceiling. I guess that includes almost everything. Beautifully done.
Thanks so much for your affirming words! We learned a lot through the process and are now trying to decide our next fall project! Stay tuned!
Love everything about your porch! Does the tile have to be special for outdoors?
Thank you for reading our blog and posting a question. Yes, the tile is frost proof to be able to handle cold temperatures. We also used ceramic tile, which is better for outside. I hope this helps!
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I’ve tried to find more info on how to do this! We recently built a new home and the builder did a horrible job on the cement of our back porch. I was trying to figure out how I could “cover” it. We live in Colorado though with extreme temperatures….how can I make this work? I saw you used a frost proof tile (which I’ve never heard of before) I’m thinking that might be too slick for our kids. I’d love to do a brick floor…do you think that will work? Thanks for your thoughts! 🙂
Thank you so much for reading our blog and for posting this detailed comment and question.
I think you could do a brick floor. Brick and/or brick pavers can tolerate all weather conditions. They also have texture to prevent slipping as you mention. We actually used brick pavers on our backyard patio two houses ago and they worked great! However, we did not install them over concrete. We created a base of gravel and then filled in with sand between the pavers after they were installed.
I did a little research on YouTube (we do tons of research before beginning a project) and YES, there are several examples of people installing brick over concrete. Like us, they used sand, which helps to level them (especially if your patio is uneven). Also, pay attention to the height. For example, is there a door leading to this area and thus the brick and/or brick pavers would raise the height of the porch. It is details like this that also need to be thought through.
If you decide to move forward, please keep me posted on how it goes.
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