I have a small(ish) - about 12ft x 12ft concrete pad on the back of the house covered by the house's roof with 2 walls exposed. The concrete pad appears to be solid - no major cracks, flat and level.

Dad and I just finished laying ceramic tile for my brother in a sun room on a concrete pad also - we used a blue tile membrane (tile store recommended it) and it worked out really well - easy to use, cut, install and the tile feels nice and solid.

Using this same material and installing my porcelain tile on it; preparing the surface properly (scraping, cleaning with power washer, etc...) is there any reason I can't or shouldn't install tile outside in a state where it can snow pretty significantly in the winter? In Buffalo, NY, so we can expect 1 foot of snow or 12 any given season. Even when it snows, the roof keeps most of the pad pretty clean.

The purpose is just to dress up the space. I built a brick pizza oven on this pad years ago; have this tile left over so... why not use it.

  • 1
    The primary concern is the freeze/thaw cycle and the amount of moisture that your slab will absorb. If it doesn't have a slope there's not a lot you can do to prevent movement. If it does, do everything you can to waterproof and isolate the tile from any potential movement.
    – isherwood
    Sep 14, 2016 at 15:21
  • The pad doesn't have any expansion joints so I would assume, assuming it doesn't crack down the middle (it's been here for > 6 years; I think late 90s) I would think the pad would move as 1 solid piece? On one side of the pad is a flag stone patio with 6 inches of gravel below it so drainage should be good there. On the otherwise is the neighbors driveway separated by a foot of dirt. I can check for level and see if there is a pitch to it.
    – lsiunsuex
    Sep 14, 2016 at 16:15
  • 1
    I'm in a worse climate than you and I see the occasional clay quarry tile outdoors. It'll break up over the years, but I'm not saying you shouldn't do it. Be aware of how slippery porcelain could be, though.
    – isherwood
    Sep 14, 2016 at 16:33


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.