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Wanted - Outdoor Project Advice

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  • Wanted - Outdoor Project Advice

    I've just finished sketching out plans for a new outdoor cabinet for my ceramic cooker (Big Greeen Egg) and a walk up bar on the deck. At the last minute I've been considering doing a ceramic top for both the BBQ cabinet and bar to add some additional interest. I've not had a lot of experiance with tile and was hoping someone could point me in the right direction as far as the use of tile in an outdoor application. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    Wood Dog

  • #2
    I am not a tile expert, but since no one else has responded yet, maybe they are in short supply. Herewith a couple of observations:

    Tiling isn't easy.

    The substrate for the tile HAS to be very rigid; any flexing at all and the tiles will crack. At a minimum, you want 3/4 ply with 1/2 cement board on top of it.

    For installing tile, see any good DIY book or website: steps are: layout dry to establish grids (you want the courses that have to be cut even on both sides); apply mastic with notched trowel; lay tile (pay attention to spacing); let set; spread grout and work it in; sponge off excess grout; let set; polish off the grout haze.

    If you're going to use tile in a location where someone might set a hot pan on it, be sure the tile you select2 won't crack from heat.

    Since the tile will be outdoors, where it is dirty, sealing the grout after it has set up is important or you'll never be able to clean it.

    Good luck.

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    • #3
      RGad

      Thanks for reply. I've been reading everything I can find but there just isn't much out there on outdoor tile applications other than patios/walkways or pools. My biggest concern was the stability of the substructure. I'm sure the tile will not tolerate much movement and with the traditional dimensional changes I've seen when working with PT pine, I was hesitant to go in that direction. I was leaning toward PT plywood for the base(with concrete backer board on top) but wasn't sure if there was something better suited for the base.

      All hints and suggestions are appreciated.

      When I'm done, everyone's invited over!!! Do you guys prefer a thick NY strip with a nice Merlot and a fine cigar or are burgers and beer a better bet???

      Thanks again [img]smile.gif[/img]

      Wood Dog

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      • #4
        The menu is up to you, but give us a lot of advance notice: Atlanta is a long walk from Boston.

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        • #5
          I completed a similar structure last summer. I used the cement board and 3/4" plywood as RGAD suggested. I used 8" floor tile for the finish top. I found that if the table top is ridgid enough, it's actually isolated from any movement in the supporting structure. It's been kept dry all winter (covered) but it's been exposed to a wide range of temperatures up here in Massachusetts. So far, I've seen no cracking in the grout lines. Latex based grout works the best. I think the main focus is to keep moisture from getting between the layers of the top.
          Wayno

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          • #6
            Wayno,

            Thanks for your insight. It's encouraging that you have not had problems "up north". Our winters are a little less challenging down here. I plan to start the project this weekend.

            Thanks again,
            Wood Dog

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