Installing Outdoor Flooring? Do This for the Best Results! | Ep. 164

Concrete walkway in front of house with pavers
Hands down, the best outdoor flooring for this walkway is porcelain tiling. Read on to learn the best way to install it. (Photo courtesy of John Oozoonian)

John Oozoonian is installing some outdoor flooring for a friend. He wants to know the best way to lay down porcelain tile on a concrete porch and walkway.

Hands down, the best outdoor flooring he could use in this space is porcelain tile because it’s more durable and absorbs less water. Make sure the porcelain tile is slip-resistant and rated for outdoor use.

Be sure to pressure wash the concrete before you lay down the tile. After cleaning the slab, put down a water-proofing membrane. Apply two coats of RedGard Waterproofing and Crack Prevention Membrane by Custom Building Products. This membrane is like coating your concrete with liquid rubber, ensuring no moisture can seep up into your tile.

The best adhesive to use when laying down this outdoor flooring is a polymer-modified, dry-set, thin-set mortar. Try Custom Building Products’ VersaBond White Fortified Thinset Mortar. All you have to do is add water, and your mix is ready for your tile installation.

Apply the mortar to the surface with a notched trowel to set it. When you press the tile down, you’re flattening the mortar, squeezing out air, and creating suction. The notched trowel applies the mortar in lines, so there’s space for the air to escape and keep the mortar application even. The size of the notch depends on the size of the tile. Read the tile packaging to find the size you need.

When installing tile outdoors you need to “back butter” it, meaning also put mortar on the back of the tiles. Doing this will ensure your tiles stay put!

Skip to [9:10] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Podcast.

Also on this episode:

  • Danny’s Soil Mixture Recommendation for Raised Beds
  • Cleaning a Long Dryer Vent
  • Daich’s Tracsafe Anti-Slip Color Coat
  • Installing Cable Deck Railing on a Pond Deck
  • Chelsea’s Review of Her Favorite Paint Sprayer

Best New Product

 RYOBI 18V ONE+  5-1/2 inch Flooring SawThis portable flooring saw will save you back-and-forth trips to the wood saw table. Learn more>> 

Simple Solutions

Trimming Hard-to-Reach Branches — A pair of loppers is the perfect tool to trim tree branches, especially branches you can easily reach. But what happens when you want to trim a branch that’s 10 or 12 feet in the air? You can’t easily reach it with the loppers, but you can extend the handles with a PVC pipe.

Go out and buy a 10-foot-long PVC pipe and cut it in half. Then simply take the handles of the lopper and slip them inside the pipe. I used a 1¼-inch diameter pipe and it fits perfectly. Now, with five feet of extra reach, you can easily trim high branches without using a ladder.

Watch: How to Trim Out-of-Reach Trees

Clean and Disinfect Cutting Boards — Cut a lemon in half crosswise, then sprinkle coarse salt onto the cutting board. Use the cut side of the lemon to scrub the salt into the cutting board. Scrub for 2 – 3 minutes, adding more salt, if necessary. Wipe the board clean and let it dry overnight.

If it’s a wooden cutting board, treat it with food-grade mineral oil (not vegetable oil) or cutting-board oil made specifically for wood. 

Watch: How to Clean and Disinfect a Wood Cutting Board

Question of the Week

Q: After applying the grout on my kitchen tile, it turned out to be a different color than what was on the bag. Can I stain or paint it to get the color I want?

A: Grout color is influenced by tile color and light. Fortunately, you don’t have to remove the grout if you don’t like the color. If it’s not sealed yet, you can alter it with a colored stain. 

First, clean the grout well with a tile-and-grout cleaner. Next, apply an acid wash to open up the pores of the grout so it will accept the stain, then add coloring. 

Try Aqua Mix Grout Colorant or Polyblend Grout Renew. Both are water-based epoxies made by Custom Building Products. Pick a color slightly lighter than the color you’re wanting because it will dry darker.

Skip to [34:57] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Podcast.

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