Page 8 - ProInstaller July-August 2023
P. 8

Exterior Tile Installations:

        Porcelain Paver Technology Creates

        New Opportunities for Tile Installers

        By Bart Bettiga, NTCA executive director

          nstalling ceramic tile in exterior applications can be
          tricky at times. Until recently, these installations would
       I tail bonding the tile to the substrate, and because of
        climactic conditions and water management challenges,
        designers and architects have often shied away from
        specifying or using ceramic and porcelain tile in many of
        these applications. Some complications include the weight
        of an exterior tile assembly on a structure. Other issues can
        stem from acceptable temperature ranges (in both cold
        and hot weather climates) where the tile can successfully
        be installed and for the mortar to cure. Further, exterior tile
        assemblies have experienced installation issues related to
        moisture such as efflorescence (mineral deposits left on
        the tile that is hard to remove) and long-term freeze/thaw
        damage causing a condition called spalling (exploding of
        the finish).
                                                                 Proper training and education is essential for the
                                                               successful installation of gauged porcelain tile pavers
                                                                           on pedestal assemblies.

           Porcelain tile pavers 2cm or thicker are being specified
           and installed in numerous exterior applications, including   Today, with the development of gauged porcelain pavers in
              commercial and residential rooftops and decks.   thicker formats used in conjunction with pedestal systems,
                                                            many of the complications that exist in bonded installations
                                                            can be avoided. Even without using pedestals to support
                                                            the system, thicker format porcelain pavers can often be
                                                            installed on sand and gravel beds without bonding the
                                                            porcelain tile. Like natural stone pavers, porcelain tile
                                                            pavers may at times be installed by landscape contractors.
                                                            However, many landscape contractors are hesitant to
                                                            invest in the proper tools and saws needed to cut the   Photos courtesy of National Tile Contractors Association
                                                            material and may not be educated on pedestal installation
                                                            systems. This presents a unique opportunity for the tile
                                                            contractor to be hired for this growing market.

                                                            Specifiers and architects are increasingly selecting
                                                            porcelain tile pavers for elevated, unbonded installations,
                                                            utilizing the pedestal system. These assemblies manage
                                                            water below the finished paver, are lighter than many
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