Ceramic top outdoor table

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Forum topic by TurnTurnTurn posted 11-08-2012 01:21 AM 2820 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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614 posts in 3286 days

11-08-2012 01:21 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am making some tables to use on my deck. I have made the table base with wolmanized southern pine. I am planning to make the table top with exterior plywood and cover it with ceramic tile and then frame the ceramic tile with a 3 inch wide pine, then fill the seams with grout. My concern is wood movement that will crack the grout lines I am hoping the exterior plywood will eliminate this problem, but I am not sure that it will. I am looking for any suggestions you may have regarding how to make the top that will last in the ever changing humidity.

-- TurnTurnTurn

3 replies so far

View RogerM's profile


798 posts in 2576 days

#1 posted 11-08-2012 01:36 AM

Sounds like an interesting project but I believe you may be heading for trouble. It has been my experience that you need a means to separate the tile from the plywood to allow it to expand and contract independent from the tile. May I suggest two possible solutions. First, consider putting down a backer board (this can be a cement board or hardi-backer) which you can get from the big box stores. This stuff usually comes in 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch thickness and is specifically made for doing tile work on floors and bathroom walls. You put it down on the plywood with screws then put the tile down on it with thin set. The second option would be to use a new type of membrane which you can get from most tile stores. It is usually orange in color and is flexible. From what I understand, you would put it down on the plywood with thin set then put the tile on it also with thin set. I hope this helps.


-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

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614 posts in 3286 days

#2 posted 11-08-2012 01:51 AM

Thanks Roger M from Aiken!!!! Small world, I am planning a long weekend in Aiken in early December.

-- TurnTurnTurn

View Ted's profile


2873 posts in 2388 days

#3 posted 11-08-2012 02:01 AM

Roger is right on about isolating the tile. If you go with backer board, I think Hardy Backer is the recommended choice for outdoor use. DurRock is not rated for outdoor, if I recall. The second option he referred to is Ditra. I did a quick google search and found this – The article shows it being used on a floor, but the same applies to exterior applications.

There’s a bunch of really great folks at who will gladly offer some of the best tile advice you’ll find.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

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