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Can I Install Tiles on Composite or Wood Decks?

Installing tile over a standard deck frame in an exterior environment is a recipe for trouble. The combination of tile, grout, wood and water in an environment with temperature and moisture fluctuations makes it nearly impossible to get the long-term performance that most occupants expect. For a deck that is partially enclosed under a roof and protected from heavy precipitation, a conventional tile floor could probably be achieved, but otherwise, proprietary systems designed for deck applications should be considered.

There are a few products on the market that allow for a finished tile look on an elevated wood-framed deck. Some systems involv special tiles designed to install without grout in a grid system. These systems allow for movement and drainage. There are also systems designed for dry-laid pavers to be installed on decks, providing a similar look to a tile floor. New products are consistently being developed and brought to market, so it’s worth exploring if a tile deck is the look you are interested in. In evaluating such a product, keep in mind the environment it will be installed in. It will likely need to accommodate differential movement between materials and provide water drainage.

Tile Deck
Tile Deck

You can install stone deck tiles using a structural grate system in between the joists.


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No; this is not a recommended practice.

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Introduction to Decking

Spacing between deck boards provides several critical functions, such as drainage & drying. Learn how to space and stagger deck boards at Decks.com.

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Learn how to build a set of box platforms to act as stairs for a low deck. You don't need to cut stair stringers.

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Learn how to build stairs using 2x12 stringers. Watch our step-by-step DIY video. Review the code requirements for stair construction.

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Building an ADA Deck Ramp

Learn how to build an ADA-accessible wheelchair ramp onto your deck to meet building codes. Ramps must have a 1:12 slope.

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Create a free account and get instant & exclusive access to all that Decks.com has to offer:

Checkmark 1,000+ How-To articles
Checkmark 80+ Free Deck Plans
Checkmark Deck Planning Calculators
Checkmark Free & Simple Deck Design Tool
Decking Installation

Can I Install Tiles on Composite or Wood Decks?

Installing tile over a standard deck frame in an exterior environment is a recipe for trouble. The combination of tile, grout, wood and water in an environment with temperature and moisture fluctuations makes it nearly impossible to get the long-term performance that most occupants expect. For a deck that is partially enclosed under a roof and protected from heavy precipitation, a conventional tile floor could probably be achieved, but otherwise, proprietary systems designed for deck applications should be considered.

There are a few products on the market that allow for a finished tile look on an elevated wood-framed deck. Some systems involv special tiles designed to install without grout in a grid system. These systems allow for movement and drainage. There are also systems designed for dry-laid pavers to be installed on decks, providing a similar look to a tile floor. New products are consistently being developed and brought to market, so it’s worth exploring if a tile deck is the look you are interested in. In evaluating such a product, keep in mind the environment it will be installed in. It will likely need to accommodate differential movement between materials and provide water drainage.

Tile Deck
Tile Deck

You can install stone deck tiles using a structural grate system in between the joists.


Popular Decking Articles
Decking Installation

Decking Patterns

Installing your decking at a 45-degree angle is a popular style for decks. This can be done to reduce decking seams or just for appearance.

Decking Installation

Decking Patterns

Installing your decking at a 45-degree angle is a popular style for decks. This can be done to reduce decking seams or just for appearance.

Decking Installation

Installing Composite Decking

Learn about how to install composite decking. Topics include expansion and contraction issues and hidden fastener systems.

Next Step: Stairs Articles
Staircases

Box Steps and Stairs

Learn how to build a set of box platforms to act as stairs for a low deck. You don't need to cut stair stringers.

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Closed Stair Risers

Learn about the benefits of installing riser boards on your deck stairs.

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Stair Tread Nosing

Learn how to install treads to overlap the riser boards.

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Explore Articles by Topic

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