Can Ceramic Tile, Glass Tile And Stone Tile Be Installed In Hot Temperatures?


Can Ceramic Tile, Glass Tile and Stone Tile be Installed in Hot Temperatures? - I work for The Home Depot in Florida in the flooring department. Outside temperatures at this time of the year, or most of the year, can be in the 90's and we stock and sell ceramic tiles for outdoor use. I am telling customers that are wanting to install to a cement pad or base in full sun that it could be dangerous as the surface temperature of the tile could cause dangerous burning and it would be safer to install pavers, which are thicker and not glazed. Am I giving the correct advise?


ANSWER - The answer is yes, there is a concern about too hot of temperatures or too high humidity to install ceramic, glass or stone tile.
The thickness of the tile or whether it is unglazed or glazed tile doesn't matter.

The manufacturers of the thin-set mortar adhesives typically require their products to be stored and used within certain temperature ranges.  Typically it is between 40 degrees F and 90 degrees F.

That means that the setting materials, the tile, and the substrate can't exceed those temperatures during installation or storage.  Humidity can be an issue too because high humidity will retard the curing of some materials.  And wind can compound the problems in terms of causing lower or high temperatures and causing materials to dry too quick and possibly skin over losing its tackiness (ability to bond).

So if your customers are going to install an appropriate exterior tile considering slip resistance, and resistance to moisture and wear, then they have to monitor temperatures.  There are a number of ways of doing that.  We are doing a big outdoor job in Palm Springs right now where the temperatures are over 110 degrees F during the day, so the tile is being installed at night.  Even then temperatures can exceed 90 degrees F at night, so the installers will put ice in buckets of water  and wash down surfaces before installing.   Often shading will suffice during the day light hours by putting up shading clothes to reduce temperatures, which can reduce them by 15 degrees or more.   You can tent areas and have air exchangers and misters working to keep the temperatures down.

So it is important that manufacturers' data sheets are followed if your clients want the products to perform as they should and if they want to maintain the manufacturer's warranty.

Our University of Ceramic Tile and Stone campus at does have several online training courses teaching the basics about ceramic and glass tile, natural stone, and for tile installations.

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