a library of common questions and answers

The finish completes the design and functional beauty

Yes. Porcelain tiles or equal can be used as a surface finish with ODFs assemblies. They are available in a broad range of dimensions, thicknesses, colors and types. In general, these materials are a good choice for exterior flooring surfaces.

No. Although they are manufactured in a similar manner as porcelain, there breaking strength and moisture absorption are not suitable for an exterior floor condition. They will fail.

No. Outdoor Floor System® is focused on providing the best supporting structural assemblies for your surface material, purchased from a vendor of your choice. Due to the breadth of surface/flooring materials available, we could never provide enough outdoor floor material choices to meet the limitless creative demands.

This depends on the application requirements. Porcelain tiles are manufactured as a cast-formed, pressed, cut and fired product. Due to this process, the porcelain may have some variance in dimension–length and width–or even thickness, all in a range within an acceptable industry standard. The tolerance range will vary by manufacturer. These tiles can be used without issue and can, in most cases be installed with a consistent 3/32”-1/8” open grout line.

If although precision in spacing or small gaps between tiles or long horizontal alignment of lines is critical, these tiles could be a challenge. For these precise surface finish conditions, rectified tiles are the preferred choice. These tiles have a post production process such as cutting or grinding or other manufacturing method to uniformly size the tile in dimension and create a 90 degree edge face to the surface finish. This makes it possible to place tiles in long straight lines with a narrow 1/16” open gap or grout line. So if your project demands an indoor to outdoor floor, continuous space, a rectified tile is the solution.

MORE: other perspectives on rectified porcelain tile

Not necessarily. Standard porcelain tiles of reasonable quality can be used. These tiles are made from clays and other compatible material, mixed, blended, pressed, fired and glazed. They are recognizable by the color difference between the surface color and the body color. The newer wood plank tiles are a good example of this type of porcelain tile. These are affordable tiles and can be used with Outdoor Floor System®. In addition, they generally have more varied texture and styling. Two important details to consider.

  1. The surface finish is applied so it can wear. Be sure to select a tile with a high “wearability” rating: PEI 3, 4, or the highest, 5.
  2. With a color and texture on the surface only, if a chip occurs, it will reveal the body color that will be different then the surface color.

Full body and thru body porcelains are manufactured with very select materials that are blended and pressed to create a tile that has a uniform color from the body thru the surface. No glazing or coating. Veining or similar variations full the complete tile thickness. These are usually 1/2-5/8” thick. If a chip occurs, there is minimal visual effect since the surface color is the same as the body.

Both types of porcelain can be used.

MORE: full body porcelain or glazed tile
MORE: what is full body

Yes. The porcelain industry grades tiles for exterior use based on a “coefficient of friction” or slip resistance. This does not mean a tile that does not meet this rating will not work or perform.It simply means it may be more slippery than the industry recommends. As a general rule, do not use a high polished or glazed tile. In addition, porcelain tiles will be rated with a “moisture absorption” rate. Tiles used for Outdoor Floor System® applications should be <0.05%.

If a porcelain meets the <0.05% absorption rate and it is installed using Outdoor Floor System® components and assembly, changing temperature and moisture conditions regardless of frequency or severity will not degrade or damage the installation. The success is due to the materials and methods:

  1. In addition to the porcelain tile’s low moisture impact, the GRATEDEX® and elePHOOT® Deck Planks are inert to moisture and have a very low coefficient of expansion contraction. No effect. The tile is then bonded to the Deck Plank using our Hold-Tite® adhesive. This adhesive is also inert to moisture and remains flexible during all temperature swings including subzero temperatures. I will not get brittle or crack.

  2. The right materials combined with the right methods is the secrete sauce. All tile when glue-bonded to Outdoor Floor System® Deck Planks is installed with a 1/16”-1/8” open joint or grout line. This allows water to drip through the tile joints and through the open cells in the Deck Plank. No entrapped moisture. No impact from changing temperatures.
  1. Zero maintenance: Porcelain tile is pressed and fired and sometimes glazed giving the tile a low absorption rate making it resistant to stains and easily cleaned, unlike natural stone which requires regular sealing.
  2. Thin and light-weight: Thin gauged porcelains are 3/8”-5/8” thick, taking up minimal vertical space and easily meeting the weight limits for dead-load surface material for decking applications.
  3. Many options: The quantity of manufacturers, sizes, colors and textures ensures that the is a surface material for every taste and every application.

These are a thicker porcelain tile 3/4” thick. They are full-body porcelains with very high breaking strengths. All 2cm porcelains can be used. They can be placed as a dry-lay or glue-bonded depending on the site requirements. Although they do not need to be glued down since they are a paver grade material, many users prefer to glue-bond using our Hold-Tite® adhesive because it stabilized the surface material, increases the surface strength due to the laminate bond and eliminates any micro movements or the sense of a floating floor.

Thin gauge tiles, either tile or natural stone, do not have enough internal strength to support live loads even when placed over a hard stable surface. Micro movements over time will cause the material to fracture. Alternatively, paver grade tile, stone or concrete can be walked on repeatedly without issue and without a glue-bond to a substrate. To achieve the same strength with a thin gauge material, it must be glue-bonded. Outdoor Floor System® is the optimal solution for using his material in an outdoor floor application. When the thin porcelain or natural stone tile is buttered with our Hold-Tite® adhesive, the tile becomes fixed to the Deck Plank creating a laminated panel, now stronger then the individual strengths of the separate materials. The tile can now perform in the sam manner as a paver but at 1/2 the weight.

Yes. Many natural stone materials can be used with qualifying conditions:

  1. Material must be uniformly gauged in dimension and thickness. Unlike porcelain tiles, natural stone tile is sized by cutting, splitting or honing. This is not always a tight tolerance process. In addition, our application installation does not allow for a bedding or build up layer to adjust for thickness variances greater then 1/16”. All natural stone should be ±16” dimension width, length and thickness.

  2. Not all stone is created equal. More dense stones are better and more resistant to freeze-thaw cycles. Many slates have weak layers and are prone to spitting. Sandstones can crumble and are will absorb more moisture. Select a natural stone with higher density and internal stability.

Brazilian slates are generally consider the highest density and most durable. The quality can vary greatly depending on the global source. The nature of slate is a layered clay pressed together under compression. This makes slate more vulnerable to fracturing or shaling, peeling layers. Generally slate from India and China have softer and weaker layers. This can be identified by looking at the very visible edges of the the stone tile. Compare these to a Brazilian slate which has very tight layers, sometimes nearly invisible. This makes the Brazilian slate more durable. This is because this stone has been under heavier compression making the tone more dense.

This answer is based on the relationship between two variables.: dimension and type of stone or density.

  1. Large dimension, soft stone (i.e. sandstone, travertine) must be glue-bonded or increased thickness to dry-lay.
  2. Large dimension, hard stone (i.e. granite, quartz) can be dry-laid or reduced thickness and glue-bonded.

Bluestone is a cut stone. As a cut stone, it is traditionally only offered in a paver grade, 1”-2” thick. In addition, depending on the source, many vendors do not cut the stone to tight dimensional tolerances as the material is generally mud-set into a bedding material with wide grout lines. The Outdoor Floor System® although, requires a uniform gauge, ±1/16” in all dimensions. The tighter the dimensional tolerance, the happier you will be with the installation. Modular pavers with varied dimension can be used. Flagstone style should not be used.

  1. If the bluestone is available in a 3/4”-7/8” thick, it can be installed as a glue-down assembly using our Hold-Tite® adhesive with 1/16”-1/8” open joints for drainage. The stone must meet the minimum ±1/16” dimensional requirement for best results. This installation should be light weight and meet dead load standard deck framing dimensional construction requirements.

  2. If the bluestone is only a paver grade, 1”-2” thick, it can be dry-laid over the Deck Plank, with 1/16”-1/8” open joints using the PT07 or PT08 DL Paver Spacer and with the optional upgrade, PT09 DL Paver Pad, non-skid material. The stone must meet the minimum ±1/16” dimensional requirement for best results. This installation will require an upgrade in framing dimensions to support the additional paver weight load. Consult an engineer if the deck is >3’ above grade.

Best choices for best results means no sleepless nights

Prices will vary based on the component assemblies and ratio of parts required. As a general rule, prices will vary from approximately $13.00/sf + S&H, base pricing for the GRATEDEX® PK01 to approximately $24.00/sf + S&H, base pricing for the elePHOOT® PK44. These numbers include all of the components included in the System Package assembly. For exact pricing, use the GET System Packages RFQ submission.

Yes. We do offer quantity, Professional and Contractor discounts. These are applied when processing your RFQ. Professional and Contractor discounts require verifiable business information.

Yes. Parts can be purchased al-la-cart. Use the GET System Parts. When parts are purchased individually any System Package warranty referenced by Outdoor Floor System@ is voided.

Product is inventoried in our warehouse in Omaha NE. Most orders ship door-2-door, 7-10 days following payment processing. All System Package orders are shipped LTL freight with lift-gate.

Outdoor Floor System® is selling System Packages into a parallel category along side of traditional decking, mud-set stone and tile and heavy slab pavers on pedestals. In all three categories, we do not sell as apples to apples but rather fruit basket to an apple.

  1. Decking: This of course is a composite or wood product. Regardless of the quality of the material, all materials in this category will require maintenance, will age and degrade year-by-year, and will require replacement before framing reaches it’s life span. Outdoor Floor System@ with a stone or tile finish on the other hand, requires zero-maintenance, will look the same year-after-year as the day installed and will outlast all treated lumber.

  2. Mud-set: This install method often requires a heavy concrete slab, layers of waterproofing, thinest bonding, grouting and sealing. It’s a multistep process, labor intensive, heavy requiring additional framing support and extreme potential for waterproofing failure and tile bond failure. Outdoor Floor System@ with a stone or tile finish on the other hand, is a light-weight assembly that can be supported over standard joist framing, could be completed in one day, reduces or eliminates waterproofing failure and has zero bond failure in 13+ years of installations.

  3. Slab paver: Traditional concrete pavers are supported on pedestals at each paver corner. Pavers are square or rectangle, heavy and must be installed in a structured pattern. Outdoor Floor System@ with a stone or tile finish on the other hand, can be installed with small to large modular dimension tiles or pavers, mixed media such as true and plantings, is light-weight and can support traditional on-grade free-form landscape concepts.

If you are looking for an upgrade in quality and durability, this fruit-basket is the solution.

The important question is the one that provides clarity

Replacement is very simple. Use a hammer and tap the tile to break it into small pieces. Remove the pieces using a small flat bar or stiff putty knife. Be careful not to apply pressure to the edges of adjoining tile. This can cause chipping. Once the small pieces are removed, scrape the adhesive residue from the Deck Plank with the same tool. The surface does not have to be completely free of old adhesive but rather smooth and flat. Once clean, take the new tile, extrude Hold-Tite® adhesive to the back of the tile and trowel with a 3/16” v-notch trowel. Place the tile and set with a little light pressure. Done.

This is a two pat question:

  1. Can the grout lines be filled? Yes, but we do not recommend it. Outdoor Floor System® is designed for maximum durability and zero maintenance. Introducing grout of any type only becomes a maintenance detail over time. If grout must be used, it should be a flexible grout to ensure that it does not crumble as a result of repeated temperature changes expansion and contraction cycles. If no gaps between tiles is important, use a rectified tile who’s dimensions are consistent allowing tiles to be placed with 1/16” gaps.

  2. Is a grouted Outdoor Floor System® installation waterproof? NO. Are assemblies are not designed or intended to be waterproof. If waterproofing over living space or dry space is required, use standard waterproofing building practices and then place one of our assemblies over the waterproofing as a floating floor or elevated terrace platform, such as the GRATEDEX® PK11. This installation practice provides maximum durability for the waterproofing and the finished tile surface.

Getting the right fit is not complex, just a line at a time

This question applies to traditional joist framed decking only. If the intent is to place a stone or tile surface along side of traditional decking boards, the answer is yes, with condition. The GRATEDEX® GX01 Deck Plank is 1” thick. If this thickness plus your stone or tile matches your decking board thickness, then this will work without a problem. Be sure to measure the thickness of your decking boards to ensure a smooth plane between the two meeting surfaces.

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