Upgrade your Exterior for Spring!
Well, spring is upon us. It is time to embark on your exterior projects! Consider adding splitface to the exterior of your house, tiling your deck, or getting that built-in stone barbecue you have been dreaming of! Before you start, you will probably have a few questions or concerns: Is my tile rated for exterior projects? What about natural stone? What do I need to do for upkeep? Let’s get to answering your questions.
When using a man-made product like porcelain, always check with your tile supplier to find out if the tile you are interested in is rated for exterior. All tiles have a rating which includes the frost, slip, water absorbency and colour-wear ratings. These figures will determine if the product is suitable for the outdoors. Frost proof is mandatory. A full body porcelain would also be best for outside because it has colour all the way through the body of the tile. This way, if the tile gets chipped, it will not be as noticeable. Avoid choosing polished porcelain, as this would create a dangerously slippery surface.
Selecting a natural stone suitable for exterior is a bit trickier, as each stone has a different density. Most slates can go outside, however, check with the supplier to be sure. Rough, natural slate is much more common in exteriors, as it provides more grip and less slip. Travertine is a no-no for most exterior projects, unless you are getting a mason product that is at least 2 inches thick. Now, if we lived in sunny Arizona we wouldn’t have this problem, but here in Alberta, and especially Calgary, we have many freeze and thaws a year. When it’s warm out, water goes into the stone. When the weather turns chilly, the water expands while freezing, which breaks the travertine.
Mason stone, slate or quartz splitface are perfect for the exterior of any house. This month we are featuring our new Mason series that has interlocking capabilities so all pieces fit seamlessly together. Each stone is carefully placed on a mesh to eliminate the linear look the average splitface has. They have a long life span, and look fantastic. They are thick enough to handle Alberta weather, and can greatly improve the look (and therefore the value) of your house.
After your beautiful exterior project is all done, seal it up to protect it from the elements. Whether you have used porcelain, slate or mason travertine, sealing offers protection that will prolong the life of your stone. Sealing is an easy process, and can be done by the contractor or homeowner. You will want to put on two thin, even coats of Dry Treat sealant, which will give you up to 25 years of protection. This can be done with a foam brush or a low impact sprayer for larger areas.
Now that you are armed with all the questions you will need to ask, and information on the proper care for your new exterior, you are all ready to go out and start planning!
If you have any other questions about exterior stone, or caring for it, please feel free to call our showroom and talk to one of our many talented sales associates. Mention this blog and receive 5% off your tile purchase!