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Thread: Tile or slate on wood deck

  1. #1
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    Default Tile or slate on wood deck

    Is there a way to put tile or slate or pavers on a wood deck? I’ve got a sloped location on clay soil. And I’m not all that interested in attempting any sort of slab.

    I have 16 fairly nice piers poured in a 25’x25’ grid. This was going to be my cabin foundation but I moved the cabin to another spot nearby.

    A wood deck is easy. But they longevity in our blasting sun isn’t great.

    What’s the right way to do this? A rigid wood structure with 3/4 exterior ply, then slate glued down with no space? Or a couple of layers of 3/4 ply? Advantech?

    Any thoughts appreciated.

    Thanks
    Tom

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Tile or slate on wood deck

    Build more piers to reduce the span, then pour concrete with mesh reinforcing onto the piers supported on cement board sheets. Then lay your tiles, like a Roman hypocaust floor.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Tile or slate on wood deck

    It depends on how the end result should look. For something like in the picture you would need to build a roadbed, dig the whole area out, put in a layer of compacted crushed stone, geotextile, then fine compacted sand, then the pavers. Whole paved area surrounded by a french drain.
    What you are proposing will look like a raised deck. For that you build a frame strong enough to carry the weight, cover with something rot resistant and glue the pavers on.
    How should it look?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Tile or slate on wood deck

    Yes. The pic was not a great example other than it being masonry and generally located in front of my similar cabin in a similar way. It was inspirational for me.

    The roman floor is an interesting idea. I think I saw a show once where several old british guys went someplace (turkey maybe) and built a little Roman spa in a similar fashion. They were on a budget and a timeline. It did not go as planned.

    I think if I have to pour more piers, I might just take the existing piers out instead. About as much work either way. Then I could go in with compacted road bed etc. That might be the best approach aesthetically. I’m balking at pulling out my earlier work.

    It will be a raised deck. I can get the frame built. What is the right rot resistant cover. Maybe treated ply and cement board over it? Then seal up the cement board with something like redguard bathroom sealer, then set the tiles?

    I’ve seen tiles set on second floor patios of some nicer houses. I don’t recall if they could handle grout or if they were just butted. And I always thought it would cause problems every 10 years or so due to moisture.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Tile or slate on wood deck

    I'd build with pressure treated 2 x 6 decking with 1/2" gaps over pressure treated framing so it can breath easily and lay concrete pavers directly over that. A lip around the perimeter might be a good idea and it would look better. No adhesive necessary.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Tile or slate on wood deck

    What the cover is can vary. Boards out of the same wood as the frame, plywood (seal the edges with epoxy), Al-foam sandwich, etc. The important thing is that the frame + cover are rigid enough to take the weight of the pavers + furniture + people without flexing. This will require a much heavier construction then you probably imagine.
    The tiling itself is another job. You can not glue the tiles directly to the wood (if you want it to last), you have to use a separation mat. The ones for outdoor use also waterproof, besides transmiting loads and decoupling the layers. Some mats have air channels on the wood side for ventilation. The mats get glued to the wood deck, then you glue on the tiles with a flexible cement either over a screed layer or directly to the mat. Grouts or seamless is your choice. The mat manufacturer usually has a complete system, with all the materials needed for the entire sequence from wood to tile. This is done every day over here in houses that have wood intermediate floors, I imagine it is not different in the USA.

    Cost is an issue, it could well be that the compacted rock + sand is significantly cheaper. All you need are 4-6 inches of gravel and 2 inches of sand plus installation costs (mini excavator and vibrating plate rent, plus labour). Why do you need to pull the piers? Just leave them there and use them as bases for fixed furniture like a bench or table or simply a pedestal for a flower pot. Tile them over or clad them with wood for looks, or get all creative and transform them into art (statues, greek columns, whatever you fancy).

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Tile or slate on wood deck

    Very easy to achieve - lay 3/4” to 1” cement floor sheet over joists at @ 18" centres then glue your slate or tiles over that. Don’t bother trying to glue them to wood - they won’t last, the wood will move and flex, the tiles will break and lift and the wood will rot.

    If you want pavers you don’t need either a slab or the piers and sub-floor, just a flat sand base to lay them on. If it’s on a slope build a retaining wall and back-fill with sand/road base
    Larks

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Tile or slate on wood deck

    Thanks everyone. Good thoughts.

    Interesting Larks, I don’t think we have the cement floor sheet here in that thickness. I see it on the Aussie sites.

    I’ve only seen that type product as 1/4-1/2 inch backer board for bathroom tiles.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Tile or slate on wood deck

    I wonder if you’d have it under a different name - it’s commonly used here for bathroom floors under tile, where the rest of the house might be yellow tongue particle board or tongue and groove timber flooring.

    What would you use in the US in a bathroom under tiles in a timber bearer and joist structured house?
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

    LPBC Beneficiary

    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Tile or slate on wood deck

    We do have cement board underlayment. I’ve seen 1/4 over plywood. But I’ve not seen the beefy stuff you refer to that could provide the structural strength as well as the waterproof nature.

    It may well be here and I just have not run across it.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Tile or slate on wood deck

    I did some research along these lines This article makes some good points, I thought.
    https://www.deckmagazine.com/design-...-a-tile-deck_o

    What I gathered from my research was the importance of creating a watertight barrier between the tiles and wood substrate, I suppose that is because a deck outside, exposed to the weather sees a lot more water than your average bathroom floor is likely to see.Otherwise it isn't that much different than tiling any other floor.
    Steve

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Tile or slate on wood deck

    We used this: https://duradek.com
    Heute ist so ein schöne Tag...

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Tile or slate on wood deck

    I am not suggesting this for Tom's project, but this is what we use in wet rooms.
    https://www.southern-timber.co.uk/pr...ooring-18mm-2/
    I have laid cork tiles, and my kids house has ceramic tiles laid in it.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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