How To Install Outdoor Porcelain Tiles: Laying Porcelain Pavers On Concrete Base with Mortar

It’s okay for an ordinary backyard patio to simply have concrete. However, if you want to create an outdoor space that’s rich and inviting, the best thing you can do is to design it using outdoor porcelain tiles. 

Porcea Stone offers a wide selection of outdoor porcelain tile styles and colors, which you can lay directly on top of your pre-existing concrete base.

After you’ve found the right style that best suits you, the following instructions on how to lay on a concrete base with mortar can help you with your project. Likewise, it will ensure that you will not overlook vital details throughout the installation process.

But first, here are the things you need to prepare:

  • Trisodium phosphate solution or TSP
  • Concrete patch 
  • Concrete sealer
  • Porcea Stone outdoor porcelain tiles/pavers
  • Mortar
  • Trowel
  • Chalk line
  • Grout and grout float
  • Cloths


Prepare The Concrete


Before you start the process of laying on a concrete base with mortar, prepare the concrete properly first. Mix the TSP solution in a bucket. TSP is a powerful cleaner that can eliminate oil, dirt, and grease from surfaces.  Use a brush to scrub the concrete floor with TSP. Let it dry completely.

Afterward, check to see if there are any pits or cracks that require fixing before laying the tiles. Also, use a concrete patch if there are uneven areas so that the entire surface is flat and without defects. Doing so will ensure that the outdoor porcelain tiles will be stable and completely flat. Likewise, you’ll prevent potential cracks from happening over time.


Seal Concrete Surface


When all the repairs on the concrete have dried, it’s time to seal it. This may be an additional step in the entire installation process, and you can skip it, but the little effort you’ll put in will pay in the long run. The application of concrete sealant can help prevent moisture from seeping and settling under the outdoor porcelain tiles. As a result, it will allow the mortar to adhere more tightly as the base will be well prepared.


Make Sure You Already Have A Layout Plan Beforehand


It’s always a good idea to come up with a layout plan for your porcelain pavers from beginning to end. The reason for this is because you may have to cut some of your outdoor tiles at the end so that they’ll fit. It’s advisable if the cut-up pieces are places where they won’t be as obvious. Hence, it’s important to decide where your starting point will be so that you can easily hide these pieces. 

Additionally, it’ll be helpful if you’ll mark where you’ll start on the concrete. So consider snapping a chalk line over the entire length of the area. This line will serve as your reference point to ensure that the first piece you’ll install is even and square.

Porcea Stone’s catalog has some common layout patterns and designs you can consider incorporating into your project. 


Mix The Mortar


You can now mix the mortar and start putting down a layer of it. Mortars come in different variations and they work better with various kinds of porcelain tiles. So when choosing a mortar, make sure that it is compatible with your Porcea Stone outdoor porcelain tile. 

When you have the right one, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Remember not to mix it ahead of time. The last thing you want is for the mortar to set in before you can even start using it.


Mortar Application


Start by spreading the mortar mixture over a little section with your trowel. Avoid spreading out too much. The ideal amount is enough for three to four outdoor tiles at a time. If there’s a sudden emergency and you need to slow down or stop, the large area you’ve covered with mortar may begin to set before you can lay your tiles down. So to save yourself any trouble, do it one small area at a time.


The Importance Of The Mortar Trowel Process


It’s crucial to learn how to properly trowel mortar when installing your outdoor porcelain pavers. When you apply a thin-set mortar incorrectly, your outdoor porcelain installation is bound to fail especially given our unforgiving climate in Canada and the USA.

The many benefits of mortars when you’re laying out your outdoor porcelain tiles include:

  • Supports your outdoor porcelain tiles
  • Provides a link to the substrate
  • Bonds to the back of your outdoor pavers

When you have these fundamental elements right in place, the installation of your Porcea Stone porcelain pavers will not give you any problems for years to come.

How you trowel mortar when setting tiles can make a significant difference. When you install porcelain tiles correctly, they will be able to withstand heavier loads and greater impact. If the mortar is not troweled properly, the space under your tiles will not be supported. This, in turn, can result in weak spots, leading to breakage in your outdoor porcelain tiles by heavy loads or impact.



Install Your Outdoor Porcelain Tiles


Lay your Porcea landscaping pavers in the mortar. Utilize the spacers, ensuring that you’re well within the chalk line. When doing the succeeding rows, apply the spacers again to maintain a square pattern. Avoid touching the tile again once it is all set. Keep in mind that you need to adjust everything even if you only made a tiny adjustment to one tile.

Clean the tiles as you go using a damp rag. It’ll be harder to wipe away the mortar later on if you leave clusters of it dry on the outdoor porcelain tile’s surface. Once you’re done, leave it to dry as per the instruction of the mortar manufacturer.


Grout The Tiles


Mix the tile grout by following the instructions on its package. And then use a grout float to spread it over the landscaping porcelain tiles. Afterward, dampen a cloth and use it to wipe away any excess grout from the tile’s face. Let it sit and set, and then redo the process. 


Time To Clean Up


When the grout has dried up completely, get your wet rag and clean the entire surface of your flooring. As your floor dries, you notice a haze starts to form over the porcelain tiles. When this happens, let it dry thoroughly. And then wash it again using a slightly damp cloth. Doing so will take care of the haze.

If you’re confident that you’ve cleaned all the excess mortar and grout off the floor, and the grout has cured completely, apply a grout sealer. This process will help keep mildew and stains from building up in the long run. Take a look at our gallery to see more pictures of completed projects.