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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Tennessee
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    105

    Default Interior Tiles/Outdoor Use

    Aside from knowing that the use of interior tiles (say kitchen tiles) are not recommended for outdoor use where exposed to the elements due to most interior ceramic tiles being absorbent and can crack in cold temperatures, as well as the fact that they can be a very big slip hazard, are there any codes specifically against the use of these? I did an inspection yesterday where these are used on a front patio and they appear to be the same tiles used in kitchen and bathrooms. Home is vacant and seller is not available to inquire about these at time of inspection. Any advice would be appreciated. i did alert the client as to the risks associated, but should it be addressed in any other fashion, and of course, if not allowed, it would be but I need some basis for this claim.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: Interior Tiles/Outdoor Use

    I would call them an inappropriate use of materials and a slip hazard. Safety concern.
    As they say here, code rules can't predict stupid.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    26,252

    Default Re: Interior Tiles/Outdoor Use

    First, you should specify whether you are referring to floor tiles or wall tiles, and, no, wall tiles are not allowed, or even suitable for, use on the floor.

    Second, how do you know that those floor tiles are not suitable for use outdoors?

    The thin set (dry set) used may be for indoor use or for indoor or outdoor use, and that is unknown too.

    Tiles suitable for outdoor use have a maximum of 3% water absorption, if the tile has a water absorption >3% then it is not suitable for outdoor use; no sure how one can tell that from looking at the tile.

    One could install outdoor tile outside and inside to achieve the matching look you see.

    *I* would not comment on the suitability of tile for indoor or outdoor use based simply on the fact that the same tile is used indoor and outdoor.

    If the tile has been in place for sometime and there is no damage, then it is likely that the tile is indeed suitable for outdoor use.

    However, if the tile has been in place for sometime and the outdoor tile looks weathered, chipped, cracked, spalled, or generally look horrible compared to the indoor tile, the outdoor tile 'might be tile which is not suitable for outdoor use' *or* the tile might just have been abused outdoors and beat to death.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Interior Tiles/Outdoor Use

    Jerry and John, thanks for your quick reply. These are floor tiles. Jerry, if *You* would not comment on the suitability then given the little amount of facts that I have on these, how or would you make any comment as to the potential slip factor. Granted, any surface can become slippery. Are my verbal concerns to client enough? Also, the tiles were just laid two months ago.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Interior Tiles/Outdoor Use

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Subick View Post
    ... how or would you make any comment as to the potential slip factor. Granted, any surface can become slippery. Are my verbal concerns to client enough? Also, the tiles were just laid two months ago.
    Regarding slip factor, I would verbally mention it, and if the floor tiles are bright glazed, then I mention it in the report regardless whether the tiles are indoor or outdoors.

    How 'glossy' is the glaze? High gloss glazing is not as durable as lower gloss glazing, satin glazing, or unglazed tiles (typically, unglazed tiles are much thicker than a similar glazed tile).

    With the tile only having been down two months, one could weight the tile as a digital scale, soak the tile in water overnight or longer (I forget the exact specs of the standard), then weigh the tile again - if the weight after soaking is >3% more than the weight before soaking, the tile is likely *not* suitable for outdoor use, I would mention verbally and in the report how the tile can be checked for a SWAG way to decide if the tile 'might' be suitable for outdoor use as that gives the client some information to address their concerns with if they so decide to (that is if there are extra tiles laying in the hose). By the way, the glaze does not absorb water, only the tile body itself absorbs water.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Interior Tiles/Outdoor Use

    Thanks Jerry, I appreciate your quick, detailed, and informative response. This will be of much help.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Interior Tiles/Outdoor Use

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Regarding slip factor, I would verbally mention it, and if the floor tiles are bright glazed, then I mention it in the report regardless whether the tiles are indoor or outdoors.

    How 'glossy' is the glaze? High gloss glazing is not as durable as lower gloss glazing, satin glazing, or unglazed tiles (typically, unglazed tiles are much thicker than a similar glazed tile).

    With the tile only having been down two months, one could weight the tile as a digital scale, soak the tile in water overnight or longer (I forget the exact specs of the standard), then weigh the tile again - if the weight after soaking is >3% more than the weight before soaking, the tile is likely *not* suitable for outdoor use, I would mention verbally and in the report how the tile can be checked for a SWAG way to decide if the tile 'might' be suitable for outdoor use as that gives the client some information to address their concerns with if they so decide to (that is if there are extra tiles laying in the hose). By the way, the glaze does not absorb water, only the tile body itself absorbs water.
    Along with quality of tiles , Please make sure about the installation and structural problems. There can be problem like tiles can be Loosed or cracked.


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