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How to Install Exterior Tile: A Comprehensive Guide

Transforming your outdated garden spaces can be easy if you have the right mindset and vision. Now is the perfect time to enhance your outdoor space to make it look as stylish and comfortable as your home.

By tiling your outdoor walls, you can instantly improve the visual appeal of any outdoor living space, garden tiles, or patio. You can easily add privacy, protection from the environment, and depth and texture to any area. 

If you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional contractor, this in-depth guide on how to install exterior tile will surely be helpful for you.

If you are interested, you can also click to understand our this article DIY Guide to Glaze Ceramic Tile at Home.

Working With Tiles

Tiles require the use of special tools, such as a large tile saw. Luckily, you can rent these tools from any equipment rental company or a home improvement shop. Maybe ask your friends and family if they have it.

In either case, consider getting a demo of how to use this tool safely and effectively if you’ve not used it before.Another thing to consider is the kind of base you’ll be installing the tile onto.

One of the most common substrates is a concrete slab, but you can also use a cement board or other similar materials. The installation process mentioned in this guide is for concrete, but you can use the same guide for most tile substrates.

Tools And Materials You’ll Need

Using the right tools is important when working with outdoor tiles. Before beginning the outdoor tile installation process you’ll need:

  • A tile cutter. This is specifically made for cutting tiles.
  • A trowel to apply adhesive to the back of the tiles.
  • Safety equipment like gloves, dust masks, and goggles.
  • Other tools such as a notched trowel.
  • A leveling system to ensure the tiles are installed evenly.
  • A grout float is also needed to apply grout between the tiles.


By using the right tools, you can make sure your outdoor tile project goes successful. Proper preparation and attention to detail are the key points when working with exterior wall tiles.

Make sure to take the time to collect the required tools before you begin the process and follow the process properly for a successful outcome of the project.

How to Install Exterior Tile?

Following is the installation process of tiling an exterior wall.

1- Prepare Your Wall For Tiling

Clear your wall’s surface of any debris or dirt by using a stiff brush and water. This step is crucial because a properly prepared surface will ease the application and will make your tiles long-lasting.

If you’re going to use a thin-set mortar, don’t worry about any gaps or cracks. But, if you’re gonna use a polyurethane-based adhesive, we recommend filling gaps at this stage. Make sure you allow the surface to dry properly before you move on to the next stage.

2- Install Your Tiles

  • Start by marking the surface in the center. Do it from left to right and from top to bottom. 
  • Now from the center point, mark both horizontal and vertical lines.
  • Begin from the top left of your surface and mark the height and width of one tile, including the spacing of the grout required.
  • Repeat it till it reaches the center of your surface. Grout spacers will help in making this stage easier. 
  • Connect the marks with a straightedge and use a leveler to make sure your lines are perfectly vertical and horizontal. When you start tilling, you’ll begin from the intersection of the actual vertical and horizontal lines going outwards.
  • Now apply the adhesive in quadrants of around 3 square feet, making sure that the application is evenly done.
  • Lay your first tile and push strongly to make sure the tile sticks to the adhesive or mortar. Insert tile spacers, lay the next tile, and repeat the process until it’s done.

3- Dry

Once you complete the tiling process, allow your walls to dry for around 24 hours before you start the grouting process.

How to Install Exterior Tile

4- Apply Your Grout

Now remove the tile spacers and apply your grout to fill in the gaps.

5- Apply Your Sealing Agent

Once your grout is dry, apply the sealing agent to protect the tiles.

Why Would You Want to Tile Exterior Walls?

In outside spaces, different finishes can frequently be applied to walls to create different finishes. By choosing the perfect outdoor tiles, you can easily transform your outdoor space and give it a more stylish look that will easily make it look trendy in the 21st century. Following are some reasons to use exterior wall tiles.

  • Create Visual Interest
  • Weather Protection
  • Increased Durability
  • Low Maintenance
  • Improved Insulation
  • Increased Property Value
  • Customization and Design Flexibility
  • Protection from Humidity

1- Create Visual Interest

Decorative wall finishes like shingle, pebble dashing, or cladding are what most people use for outdoor finishes. But, using outdoor tiles instead is a more durable option.

Using outdoor tiles on your walls will allow you to add pops of color, add interesting patterns and textures, as well as create separate areas.

2- Weather Protection

Outdoor tiling provides an extra layer of protection against different weather conditions. This can include rain, snow, wind, and storms. High-quality outdoor tiles are weather-resistant and durable. They help protect the structure under the tiles from any damage.

3- Increased Durability

Outdoor tiled walls are more durable than other wall finishes such as stucco or paint. They can withstand any temperature, exposure to sun, and moisture making them a long-lasting option for outdoor.

4- Low Maintenance

As compared to other outdoor wall materials, tiles can be really low maintenance. They don’t need to be repainted often and can be cleaned easily, which makes them a cost-effective option.

5- Improved Insulation

Some kinds of outdoor wall tiles can contribute to more insulation, helping in regulating indoor temperatures and lessen energy costs. This can specifically be helpful for countries with extreme weather conditions.

6- Increased Property Value

Tiled exteriors can add more value to every house, as they contribute to its visuals and durability of it. This can be a great benefit while renting out or selling your property.

7- Customization and Design Flexibility

Exterior tiling has a better chance of customization, letting designers and homeowners create a unique pattern. This flexibility in design can allow you to add a personal touch to the exterior of a property.

8- Protection from Humidity

In humid areas, exterior wall tiling can protect the walls from humidity, preventing moisture from seeping into the walls and causing problems like mold, damage, or mildew.

When considering exterior wall tiles, it’s important to pick the right type of tiles that are specifically designed for the outdoors and are suitable for local climate conditions. Moreover, getting the exterior wall tiles properly installed by a professional will also help in ensuring the efficiency of the solution.

Picking The Best Outdoor Tile For Your Home

Choosing the right kind of exterior tiles is important when you want to make your home’s exterior look better. Transform your house’s exterior with the perfect outdoor tiles from us.

Our premium range of weather-resistant tiles not only helps in making your property look better but also ensures long-lasting protection from the environment. So, check our catalog and pick the best for yourself.

Click for our article: Which tiles are best for outdoors?


When to Install Outdoor Tiles?

The best time to install exterior tiles is when the temperature outside is between 50°-100° F. Colder temperatures will increase the cure period which will result in the weakening of the mortar and the grout that holds your tiles in place. Higher temperatures will result in the mortar and grout curing quickly, causing a poor bond.

Can You Install Tiles Directly On A Wall?

Yes! You can install tiles directly on a concrete wall. To achieve a long-lasting finish, you should:

  • Make sure the surface is clean and doesn’t contain any dirt.
  • Make sure that any existing gaps are filled/sealed properly.
  • Let the wall dry properly before you install the tiles.

Which Adhesive And Grout To Use For Outdoor Wall Tiles?

  • Grout: Picking a suitable grout for your tiling project depends on various factors, including the type of tile you choose and the surface of the base surface.
  • Adhesive: Polyurethane-based adhesive and Modified thin-set mortar are both great for external use. Both are water-resistant and can withstand temperature fluctuations, and they are stronger than typical adhesives like unmodified mortar or mastic.

What Kind Of Tile Is Best For Outdoor Use?

Because of the high weather conditions and temperature variations, outdoor tiles must be far more durable than interior tiles. As a result, porcelain tiles are the ‘go-to’ option for outdoor use.

They are fired at exceptionally high temperatures, ensuring their resistance to freezing in the winter and cracking in the summer. For outdoor use, granite, slate, marble, and limestone tiles are common options if you want to go for a natural stone finish.

Whatever tile you choose, just make sure it is specifically for outdoors. You may check our tile collection over hereIf you have any questions can we George ceramics, we have a professional staff to answer your doubts.

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