In order to build a raised tile patio, you need one of several things to happen: you need to either live someplace in Europe where drastic seasonal climate change isn’t an issue, or you need to be the recipient of some miraculous intervention. Needless to say, a raised patio with tiling isn’t generally a recommended option.
However, if you like the look of tiles and just can’t settle for anything else on your raised patio, you’re finally in luck – several companies have recently come up with something called interlocking patio tiles, that keep the look of wood but have the installation convenience of tiling.
What’s even better about these patio tiles is that you can make the tiling waterproof by easily installing an EPDM sheet underneath and then snapping the tiles together overtop. This is actually ideal for a patio that’s raised – even at deck heights of up to 6 feet – since it’ll provide you with a dry area underneath.
Preparing For Tile Installation
Preparation for these tiles is minimal – you don’t need any special adhesives, nails, or complicated power tools. Weekend warriors and industry professionals can tackle building a patio in this way without issue, since all the necessary materials are inside the tile box. Your initial requirement, however, is that your patio surface is level and well drained.
1) Measure your patio area to determine how many patio tiles you’ll need. For example, 12 tiles of SwiftDeck brand can cover 12 square feet of space. Be sure to factor in whether you’ll need extra tiles to be cut to fit around corners, odd areas, or curves in the patio shape. Also, don’t forget to measure and lay down an EPDM sheet to keep the area underneath dry.
Installing Your Raised Patio Tiles
2) Begin installation by laying down your patio tiles, starting at one corner of the area that you’re covering. Get the first tile into its position, and then push the adjacent tile down to lock it in place – this will make the special connector tabs on either side of the tile engage and lock together.
3) Continue laying down the tiles and locking them into place like this until your required deck area is completely covered in tiles. Double check to ensure that all the tiles are locked into place securely to all adjacent tiles.
4) If you’re running into trouble with corners, posts, or pipes, there’s an easy solution. Measure the space you need on the tile, then take a jigsaw or handsaw and cut the tile into the shape and size you need. Take the tile back to your patio and simply lock it into place! To make things even easier, create a cardboard template of your tile to help avoid errors in cutting your tile to the right shape. When you place the tile back down, be sure to reinstall any necessary screws, in order to be certain the odd-shaped tile is securely attached to the base of your patio.
5) If you’re annoyed at seeing the plastic connector tabs on the edges of the tiles, there are reducer strips available for purchase that click into place on the outer edged tiles of the patio. There are also corner pieces available if you’re planning on placing reducers along more than one patio side.
Now, invite others over to admire your new raised tile patio!
photo by Les Chatfield