Top Tips on Creating Chandler Outside Tile Floors that can Weather the Winter
Tile floors aren’t just for your kitchen and bath. They can create beautiful outdoor spaces, such as patios and entertaining areas.
Tile is the ideal choice for your outdoor entertaining space because it can withstand a great deal of damage, such as from sand and gravel, water, and storms. In fact, there are structures throughout the world that feature outdoor tile flooring that is hundreds of years old and still looks beautiful.
Tile isn’t a great choice for cooler climates because water that freezes and expands can cause the tile to crack and crumble over time. But tile is perfectly suited for the Arizona climate. It performs well in the warm temperatures, and it can withstand damage from the abundance of sand and gravel, as well as the severe storms that occur in the monsoon season.
Chandler isn’t immune to colder temperatures though, and many areas can reach below freezing in the winter. Here are a few things you can do to ensure that your new tile floors can weather the winter and beyond:
Use the Highest-Quality Materials
The better quality the tile, the more likely it is to stand up to wear and tear. This isn’t always true though. Some high-end tile, like porcelain, is also relatively soft compared to other types of tile. It can easily scratch and stain.
It is especially important that you choose the highest-quality grout, thin set, caulk and sealer you can afford. The better the materials, the stronger the bond will be for your tile, the more water-tight it will be, and the better it will be able to resist stains and water damage.
Follow Instructions Exactly
Laying tile is not an easy task, and we always recommend hiring a professional to do the job for you. Tile is a big investment, and you don’t want to lose all that money because you made an amateur mistake. It’s better to hire a pro and truly get your money’s worth in your new floors.
However, if you insist on doing it yourself, make sure that you follow the instructions word for word. Mix the thin set and grout exactly as the manufacturer specifies. Even slight variations in the ratio of water to materials will weaken the bond and weaken your floors. Minor problems will include cracking tile or crumbling grout, and major problems will include a weakened subfloor due to water damage and the spread of mold.
Start with the Right Foundation
Everything under the tile floor will have as big an impact on its health as everything it experiences on the surface. You need the right foundation to ensure the longevity of the floor.
The foundation should be stable, and it should be well-drained. It should not shift, and it should not allow any room for puddles. There shouldn’t even be room for cracks that will allow in moisture or pests.
A shifting slab or one that allows water to stand will cause the tile floors to crumble.
Place Expansion Joints Properly
Expansion joints are metal bars that allow the tile to expand and contract with temperature changes without cracking. Not only must the expansion joints be placed to protect the tile, but they must also be placed in the proper location.
The expansion joints must be placed no more than 16 feet apart in any direction. The joints must also be placed anywhere that the tile meets a vertical surface, such as the wall of the house or steps leading up the door of the house.
The placement of the expansion joints is easy for amateurs to get wrong, which is yet another reason to call a professional to install the tile floor.
Make the Floor Water-Tight
Water is the enemy of tile floor. Water that gets into and under the tile can break it down and cause it to buckle or crack. Yet you can’t keep water off of your Chandler outdoor tile floors. Every monsoon season, the floors will be flooded with water.
What you can do is make your floors water-tight by sealing them well. Grout should be densely packed between the tile, and it should be sealed well. The expansion joints should be caulked, as should any other area where the tile meets another surface. There should be no air pockets in the thin set.
Even the smallest space allows water to penetrate the tile and the subfloor. Don’t give water a chance to destroy your beautiful tile floor.
Keep Up with Maintenance
Sticking to the recommended maintenance for your tile floor is one of the most important things you can do after the tile is already laid.
Clean the tile with the recommended cleaners. Some tile, like ceramic, only needs an all-purpose cleaner. However, you should always use a specialty cleaner for the grout. Harsh chemicals can clean the grout but will also break it down.
Take care of any small repairs as soon as they become necessary. If a tile develops a crack or becomes loose, replace it immediately. If the grout starts to crack, fill it. Leaving these seemingly minor issues unaddressed will allow moisture to penetrate and other major problems to form. Take care of the issues early when they are easy and inexpensive to repair.
If you let the maintenance fall by the wayside, Desert Tile and Grout Care offers professional Chandler tile floor cleaning and ceramic tile restoration that can help restore your floors to like-new condition. We offer powerful solutions that can lift years of dirt and staining, making your floors look beautiful. In extreme cases, we can stain or colorize tile that has been permanently discolored or faded. We also offer sealing that will protect the tile and clean your Chandler grout. Professional tile floor cleaning should be part of your routine maintenance. Call us to schedule your professional tile floor cleaning or to learn more about our ceramic tile restoration services. We work with all types of tile, such as Mexican and Saltillo tiles or stone tiles.