How-To Videos

Installing Tile Outside on a Concrete Porch or Patio

By: Danny Lipford

Tiled entrance to stone house.

Here are some tips to consider when installing tile on a concrete slab outdoors, such as on a porch or patio.

When installing tile outside:

  • Choose a tile with a slip resistant surface that’s rated for outdoor use.
  • Porcelain tile is more durable and absorbs water less than ceramic tile.
  • Clean the concrete slab thoroughly before laying tile.
  • Apply a waterproofing membrane, such as RedGard, to the slab before tiling.
  • Use a polymer-modified, dry-set mortar adhesive that’s rated for outdoor use.
  • Cover the slab completely with the tile adhesive, and apply it to the back of the tiles as well.
  • Choose a grout that resists stains and fading.
Installing tile outdoors on a concrete patio.

Installing tile outdoors on a concrete patio.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Print   Video Transcript

Danny Lipford: Often, people want to cover a concrete patio or porch with tile and need to know how that differs from indoor tile installation.

For starters, moisture and cracking are bigger concerns outside, so you need to apply a waterproofing and crack-isolating membrane to the slab before you begin. This RedGard goes on pink and turns red when it’s dry.

To secure the tiles, use a polymer-modified, dry-set mortar that is rated for outdoor use and wet conditions. Full coverage of the mortar’s very important, so it’s a good idea to back butter the titles in addition to applying mortar on the slab.

The tile itself should also be rated for outdoor use, and, as a general rule, porcelain tends to be more durable than ceramic. Of course, it should also have a slip-resistant surface.

Finally, choose a grout that will resist stains and fading, so your project will still look good for years to come.


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13 Comments on “Installing Tile Outside on a Concrete Porch or Patio”

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  • Constance Wiegand Says:
    November 12th, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    My small back coverded cement patio has some larger cracks and I would like to cover it with slate or whatever you think would be better price and endurance. I also live in cold Pa. Thank you for any help. Connie Wiegand

  • Donna Says:
    August 27th, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    I have some tile coming loose from the concrete on our front porch. I would like to re-adhere it. Can you tell me what products/steps it will take? I can send pictures of the problem if that would help. Thanks, donna

  • Sharon Richards Says:
    July 30th, 2017 at 7:15 am

    Want to tile our covered front porch. Home built in 50 ‘s and porch has several layers of paint. Can we scrape any loose paint and then apply the red gard or do we have to remove all the paint to ensure a good seal? Thanks in advance!

  • pat leonard Says:
    April 25th, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    would like to install porcelain tile to my section is about a half inch lower from shifting.any suggestions.thanks

  • Todd Brooke Says:
    March 29th, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    I have tile laid on my porch, unfortunately, some of the tile has came loose, the grout is old and worn away. What steps should I take to fix this current problem. Please note that there is only a few problems that are loose, not the entire area.

  • jan Says:
    March 12th, 2017 at 7:29 am

    I have metal railing that has rusted and weakened the corners of front porch one corner has broken off can you re-glue that piece and if so what product to use? could I take out the old railings then use a brick on top of that also what products to use.. trying to fix rather then having to repour a whole new front step thanks for any direction you might give

  • Marty Says:
    January 29th, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Hi, I want to tile over a patio that is 12 years old. About-5 years ago, I attempted to stain it and seal it. A lot of that has worn off. The patio is stable with no cracks. But there is one long expansion joint.

    Do I have to clean off the old stain/seal?. If yes with what?. Once cleaned do I apply redguard to entire surface or just over expansion joint area?

  • Robert rojo Says:
    December 16th, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Please can u provide with the tile name or number that is on the picture please so i can buy it

  • Joe Says:
    August 21st, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    I’m wanting to lay an interlocking mosaic tile over an existing concrete porch that has a brick border. Would I need to cut the concrete down the thickness of the tile to make the tile and brick flush

  • Sam Says:
    August 21st, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Hey so we have a porch that they had glued carpet to and he has tried just about everything to change it like painting it and he out epoxy on it which only lasted a year nothing seems to work so I was telling him about tileing the it and he was like I don’t wanna waste the money if it’s not going to stick just wondering if you knew anything we could do and if tileing would work!?

  • Cindy Cummins Says:
    June 14th, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Hi! We are wanting to tile over a concrete pad (26 years old) and have stained and then painted over the years. Having trouble removing all of the paint layer on top of the stain. Is this a problem? Or does it have to be completely free of paint before tiling. Wanting to put porcelain tiles over it and live in midwest , so there are cold winters.

  • Kevin Says:
    May 6th, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Hi, I want to tile over a patio that is 15 years old. About 10 years ago, I attempted to stain it… not seal it. A lot of that has worn off. The patio is stable with no cracks.

    Can I just clean it with TSP? And, do I really need the membrane as the patio has shown itself to be stable.

  • Shirley Says:
    September 5th, 2015 at 7:00 am

    I have a slate driveway and the slate has broken in small areas. I need to repair this. It is slate on concrete. Would I use this same technique?

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Installing Tile Outside on a Concrete Porch or Patio