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How to Put Ceramic Tile on a Wood Deck

Is the wood on your outdoor deck fading and losing its appeal? You can cover your wooden deck with tile, as long as you address a significant structural issue before you start. You must install extra support under the deck to prevent it from moving, which would break the tile. Once that's taken care of, have fun choosing beautiful new ceramic tiles at your local home supply store.


Learn how to put ceramic tile on a wood deck.
  1. Add additional support to your wooden deck frame. Install an extra 2-inch by 10-inch board between every two floor joists under the deck. Attach the boards with 3-inch galvanized decking screws. Then install 2-inch by 10-inch boards as cross bracing between the joists and to the support posts that hold up the deck.
  2. Check that your deck is firmly attached to your house. If your deck is a free-standing structure, make sure the supporting posts are cemented at least 24 inches deep in the ground.
  3. Take off the old boards on your deck and replace them with 3/4-inch plywood. Install a cement backer board to the new plywood deck.
  4. Choose matted-surface ceramic tiles for your deck, as smooth tiles tend to be too become slippery when wet. To install the ceramic tile, paint a layer of exterior thinset on the back of each tile. Place each tile side by side on the deck, starting from one corner and working your way across your deck.
  5. Drill 1/4-inch holes with an electric drill, through the ceramic tiles, the backer board and the plywood. Drill the holes about 20 inches apart, in the spaces between the tiles where you will apply grouting. Spray sealer into each hole and let it run through to the bottom side of the deck. Apply outdoor grout on the joints, and then seal the joints with a concrete sealer to preserve the ceramic tile installation.

Things You Will Need

  • 2 x 10 inch boards
  • Galvanized decking screws
  • 3/4 inch plywood
  • Cement backer board
  • Ceramic tiles
  • Paintbrush
  • Thinset
  • Electric drill
  • Outdoor grout
  • Concrete sealer

Tip

  • It is recommended to install ceramic tile on your wood deck on a clear day with mild, pleasant temperatures.

About the Author

Tzvi Raphael has worked with Fortune 500 companies helping them to maximize their online brand exposure through innovative Web design, content, and marketing. Additionally, Raphael is a writer for multiple high-traffic blogs and websites including eHow and Weight Ladder.

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