Ceramic tile can be used in the garden to create a resting area for the times when you want to relax outside enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. By using ceramic tile in the garden, you will create an area that is delightfully relaxing as well as one that is much easier to maintain and clean than wood.
Create A Wonderful Resting Area
Choose a square area in your garden that will be sized appropriately where you will not have to cut your ceramic tiles. If your tiles are 12 inches square, and you wish to have an area that measures 8 1/4 feet by 5 1/2 feet, then round your measurements up to the nearest foot (9 by 6 ft) so that you will not have to cut your tiles at the edges.
Preparing The Base For Your Ceramic Tile
You cannot lay ceramic tile in the garden directly on dirt, so you will need to build a concrete base for it to lie on. Build a wooden frame using 2 by 4 lumber pieces, sized appropriately for both your tile and to allow for 1/4 inch spacing between each tile piece.
Clear the area that you wish to put the ceramic tile-resting place in your garden making sure that it is level. Place your wooden frame on this area, and then fill with pre-mixed concrete. Level the concrete and let it dry for 48 hours.
Laying Your Ceramic Tile
Consider tile made of slate or porcelain. Make sure that the tile has a rough texture. Ceramic tile in the garden will get wet frequently so you want to be sure to use a tile that has texture that is not slippery so as to make your resting area safer.
Using a chalk line, make a straight line directly across the center of your area. You will use this as a guide to lay 4 by 4 square groups of tiles along one edge of the line one group at a time. When laying your tiles, be sure to use a tile spacer to allow for 1/4 inch spacing between each tile.
Once one line of groups of tiles has been positioned, start on one end and apply enough tile adhesive with a notched trowel to cover enough space for one 4 by 4 tile section. You should use Flexibond tile adhesive for this since these tiles will be used on concrete outdoors. The concrete will settle over time, and if you do not use a flexible adhesive, the tiles could possibly crack as the concrete settles.
Lay the four tiles onto the adhesive, being sure to use your spacers between each tile while pressing down to work the adhesive into the tile. If a tile sits too high, you can use a rubber mallet to knock it down so that it is level with the rest of the tiles.
Once you have laid four tiles, you can work your way down the middle line, laying the rest of your 4 by 4 groups of tiles until the area on one side of the chalk line is covered. Once that is done, you will then want to do the other half of the concrete.
When using ceramic tile in the garden, you want to be sure that you apply just enough tile adhesive for 4 tiles at a time. The tile adhesive dries fast, and if you place tile on adhesive that is too dry then the tile could buckle and pop off. Allow the tiles to set for about 24 hours before applying the grout.
Grouting Your Ceramic Tile
To apply the grout, first remove the spacers between each tile. Mix your grout as per the instructions on the container and, using a rubber float, apply your grout by sweeping the grout over your tiles using a 45-degree angle sweeping motion while working the grout into the crevices.
Wipe excess grout off of the tiles with a wet sponge being careful not to remove any grout between the spaces. Allow 24 hours for the grout to dry then clean with a dry cloth.