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I have a question for anyone who can give an educated answer. My Reputation is on the line here and also my money as I personally guarantee my own work and would like to not have to replace this on my own, but if this will work then I would love to have this in my portfolio, so Please read all of this before you comment with serious help.

There is a customer with a back deck that she had tiled a few years ago and they definitely did it way wrong as it is falling apart.they had the tile directly over plywoods and nothing else. I am wondering if it could be done properly

Now here is the scenario...

It is a wood frame deck.
It's foundational posts are poured concrete pillars, most likely down to bedrock, as she lives on a ravine hillside and there is bedrock (limestone) exposed in many parts of the surrounding area... Central Texas Area. It is in a shady area but will see lots of rain when it comes.

The wood frame is sound, I would guess that 3/4 inch plywood and 3/4 inch backer board, both laid out in a brick pattern. The mortar I would use is the Ultraflex LFT, The grout I would use is the Bostick Urethane, a never seal grout. We would like to use a slate tile and understand that it would require a liberal amount of sealant for the tile every few years. I am also guessing a drip edge to keep the edge boards from getting wet, as much as possible. I know wood and stone react differently to weather and temperature.

There it is. Please only serious answers as I would like to know if this can be done or if it should be done.

Thanks:thumbup:
 

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Yes it can be done.

But not by just slapping tile on with ultraflex LFT.

Wait for Angus to explain checking for an l/720 deflection, proper slope, water proofing, edge protection etc.
 

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General Contractor
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There is tiles on the market today which designed to be installed on wood decks without using grout and they come as a grid system so it can have movement and drainage at the same time.

Other then that, installing tile over wood deck is asking for trouble... If you willing to take a chance, you will have to slope the tile surface... If you use marine plywood and backerboard (make sure its exterior rated cement backerboard) like you said, make sure to leave gaps between boards and fill them with dry mortar, and in addition to that you should use ditra on top... maybe, just maybe you get away with it. Be sure to use ditra installation specs if they have it ( I used this method doing tiles over concrete patio and never had a call back)

I'm sure tile guys here will give you better tips on this than me... Good luck
 

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Ditto the other comments; recognize that the tile and grout and sealer don't keep water from the structure - the Ditra (or other membrane), edge details, flashing, etc., keep the water from the structure, and the tile is just a finish layer on top of that. If that doesn't make sense, then study up on it or decline the job.

Natural stone is a tough choice on an open deck - most decks aren't rigid enough for it, and the moisture that most likely gets underneath is an issue.

I'd go for 1 1/8 sturdifloor at least, rather than the 3/4 ply.
 

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Nail Driving Fool
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Deflection and water are your enemies. This isn't laying a tile shower over a concrete pan. This is wood in the weather that will expand, contract, and quite possibly warp with age.

I don't have an answer for you.

I build quite a few decks and do a lot of tile work. I'm not sure I would even attempt such a job. Not saying it can't be done, but I honestly don't know how to go about doing it right.
 

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Slate would not be my choice for the finished surface.....something porcelain with a good freeze/thaw rating would be better. A slate substitute.

I know global warming is here to stay but why chance it! :clover:


__________
Mike
 

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Head Light Bulb Changer
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Wouldn't it be more cost-effective to pour a suspended slab (since you already have the concrete pillars) and lay tile over that? Then you don't have to worry about dissimilar materials expansion/contraction characteristics. Just my thoughts, as I personally would never attempt tiling a wooden deck structure.
 

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Wouldn't it be more cost-effective to pour a suspended slab (since you already have the concrete pillars) and lay tile over that? Then you don't have to worry about dissimilar materials expansion/contraction characteristics. Just my thoughts, as I personally would never attempt tiling a wooden deck structure.
This is what I thought after reading the OP's post.
 

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Wouldn't it be more cost-effective to pour a suspended slab (since you already have the concrete pillars) and lay tile over that? Then you don't have to worry about dissimilar materials expansion/contraction characteristics. Just my thoughts, as I personally would never attempt tiling a wooden deck structure.
This is the only way to go seen the alternative fail to many times
 

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You posted, "The wood frame is sound." What is sound. What kind of joists are they. 2x6 ? 2x8 ? 2x10 ?
How far do they span? If they have a beam in the middle, what is it? How is it attatched to the house? If you are going to add alot of weight to the deck it needs to hold to the house. Ledger board failures are unfortunately common.
As someone earlier posted, does it have slope or is it level? Or, is it lower in the middle compared to the sides?
 
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