Hi Bunnings Community,
Good day and I hope you are all well.
I am not sure if I am doing enough search on the topics here but I am looking for a suggestion or maybe an explanation of why not so many people prefer porcelain tile deck on their alfresco space? I am always seeing people do their decking in wood. I understand and in my opinion, it looks nicer and classy as me myself love wood accents. But I would like to try something different.
We have a step-down alfresco of about 140mm high and is concrete. And we would like to have it tiled. The reason being is we would like to have an illusion of seamless extended living area and the tiles we will be using are the same color and style as that of our floor tiles but will definitely be for outdoor use.
That being said, the alfresco tiles will need to be raised to the height of our existing floor. What could be the best solution to achieve this in the most possible/practical way? Should concrete be poured to the entire alfresco slab then put the tiles over it? Im not sure if there will be an issue with this structurally with too much thickness or too much weight of the additional concrete sitting on top of the alfresco slab? Another option I am seeing is should I use timber joists and instead of putting wood decking, I will be putting tiles? Or I can put a big plywood on top of the joists first then lay my tiles on it? The last thing I can think of is using adjustable pedestal system, position them on the floor, adjust the height and then put the tiles on top. Though I have seen this being done mostly on pavers with the thin gaps/spacing between each other which don't get filled in with grout or caulk.
I am not sure if what I am trying to do is not advisable or is not cost effective or has an effect on structure or airflow to the house or something else as I don't see many people doing this kind of setup.
Thanks in advance who may be able to share their thoughts or point me to the correct direction.
Your concreted alfresco area was designed to have tiles on it. It's only been the last several years since this trend of low-level decks has been established and become popular. With the low clearance, these areas were never designed to have decks built upon them. There's absolutely nothing wrong with tiling your area, and if done right will not only look sensational, but there will be much less maintenance involved than a timber deck.
I'd suggest that tiling over Hardie Panel Compressed Sheet might be the most feasible solution, and it can be laid over timber or lightweight steel joists. This gives you a flat surface to tile over. If you were considering pouring another slab, it would be best to employ the services of a qualified tradesperson to assess the viability of this solution.
As you mentioned, other items need to be considered when laying a new external floor. You'll want to avoid covering any weeper vents in your brickwork, and how the area will drain water needs to be assessed.
Please let me know if you have further questions.