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April 07, 2016 • Mike Huber

Outdoor Porcelain Tile Installation Challenges

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As with most situations in life, it’s alway best to walk in being prepared. If you’re considering using porcelain tile for your outdoor patio or walkway design, learn more about the common installation challenges before getting started!


ASPECT RATIO  Outdoor porcelain tile tends to be very large (24x24, 24x48, etc.). And since the product is usually only 20mm (3/4") thick, it makes them a bit more difficult to install. You’ll need to take extra care during the installation, as the tiles may tend to wobble.

ALIGNMENT  When installing outdoor porcelain tile, you’ll definitely want to utilize spacers to properly align each tile within the design. Spacers will not only help to maintain proportional joints, but they’ll also help prevent rotational and lateral movement during the installation process. Never butt the tile edges because they will chip over time.

CUTTING  Cutting porcelain tile can present its own set of challenges. Experience and technique are a must for this job! Ideally, porcelain tile should be cut using a wet saw with a continuous rim tile blade. However, no matter what, cutting curves is difficult (but not impossible!).

INSTALLATION METHODS  There are limited methods for installing porcelain tile in an outdoor setting. Whether you choose to install on a concrete slab with thinset or by using a comprehensive system like the Gator Tile System, be sure to familiarize yourself with the tools and techniques needed to get the job done right. (Note: Installing porcelain on a sand setting bed can present many issues and is not recommended. Another important installation tip: Never compact porcelain tile because it will break!)

EDGING  Due to the height of the tile, a low profile edge restraint is required for the proper installation of outdoor porcelain tile.


Overcome installation challenges by going into your job prepared! Learn all the secrets to a successful outdoor porcelain tile installation by downloading a copy of your free Gator Tile System Installation Guide today.