Today I am writing an informational article for you on using porcelain tiles to pave a porch, outdoors. I just came back from helping my Mother and Father in law in Montreal with their home. Their steps and front balcony were falling apart and need some TLC. Little did I know how much I would learn on this trip! I would like to convey this new information to you without really promoting it as a DIY project.
My mother in law wanted to lay down patio stones on an existing cement porch. The cement was pitting very badly on the stairway and we wanted to do something before it began to crumble. Her neighbors used patio stones on their steps for the same reason, but we found out during some investigation that in 2-3 years, they would eventually come up. The reason this would happen is that the cement patio stones hold water. Over time the water would get trapped between the existing cement and the new patio stones and would crack and break or come up due to extreme weather conditions. Montreal is well known for its bitter cold winters.
The good news is that you can use porcelain tile outside. Wow! Incredible! Never thought you could tile outside in a cold and wet climate like Montreal has. There is also a special mortar which is a polymer modified porcelain tile mortar. It is a dry ingredient you mix with water specifically made for porcelain tile used indoors and outdoors. The grout is also specific to being used outdoors and needs no sealing which is a great advantage. It is called fushion Pro #60; quite expensive ($54.97) but well worth it. It comes in a small 15lb bucket. It goes along way.
I also learned you have to have a Diamond Blade for your wet saw. Conventional tiling methods will not cut Porcelain. I also had to drill holes for the railing post. This was also done with a Diamond cutting drill bit.
Tip: You only find the drill bits near the tile not in the tool crib where you find the saw blades.
Learning all this has really inspired me. Just think of the outdoor projects we can come up with and know will with stand even our worst winters.
On another note; To God be the Glory. We had many obstacles and somehow He got us through many difficulties during this trip. He was there when my truck broke down! My brother in law and his son were available to help fix the truck. Fortunately we did not start laying patio stones before we found out that the idea would only work for a couple years. He stopped the rain long enough for me to finish the job before I had to head back to America. His presence was with me all the way doing what I felt was His work.