DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

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henfeather 04-19-2006 05:13 AM

newby with questions
hi, i'm new to this and all sites, and am so pleased to come across this wealth of knowledge! greatly enjoy diy projects - a lot of enthusiasm, limited experience, less technical knowledge.
just built cabin at the tx coast and am hoping to gain much insight on next project of installing a tiled concrete patio. have a lot of mixed types of ceramic floor tile i'd like to install over a concrete base. when wet, the ground is sticky, black gumbo mud - when dry is quite hard and tends to develop sizeable cracks. never mixed concrete, nor installed exterior tile, so don't even know what questions to ask.
any suggestions regarding basic considerations before my sister and i wade into this project? thx!

Square Eye 04-19-2006 08:07 PM

Hey, welcome to the forum.

For any patio, you will have to dig down through the loose soil and get to stable ground. Some people will tell you to dig and pour a footer and fill it with rock. While this may be necessary in the North, in Texas, where the frost line is not so deep, You should be able to just remove the loose soil,(a foot deep around the edges?, less in the middle) lay a vapor barrier, and fill the middle with rock, tapering the rock down around the edges so that the concrete will go all of the way to the ground around the edges. This will contain the rock and keep some of the moisture out from under the floor, it also gives you a footer and more support around the edges. It would be good to float some rebar in these edges too. Loose Florida coast sand would require an entirely different approach. The soil conditions are definitely a consideration when pouring a concrete patio.

Tom in KY, where a patio will crack if it's not properly done.

henfeather 04-20-2006 09:07 PM

Thanks for the input. Clearly I need to give this some consideration, and while I like to do things myself, I may be forced to hire out the digging since the ground in that area is a force to be reckoned with. I checked out your gallery - the new porch looks great!


Square Eye 04-20-2006 10:06 PM

Thank you Henfeather,

A cracked up patio isn't very pretty. Digging ain't no fun either.

I'm building a big gazebo at the same house right now. I'll post pics soon.

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