Installing Tiles in Cold Weather

Now that we’ve been engulfed by the cold grasp of winter’s claws, it’s time to start thinking about how the unforgiving drop in temperature is going to affect our daily lives. Now, when it comes to tiling in cold weather, it can be a whole other story as not only is it challenging, but it’s also potentially disastrous if not done right.

As the ground freezes and thaws, moisture levels change, which causes subfloors and tiles to expand, contract and, in some cases, even crack. However, with the proper installation materials, you can have your tiles withstand this onslaught for much longer with little to no trouble.

That is why, in today’s blog, we’re exploring everything you need to know about cold weather tile installation. Luckily for you, we have an extensive range of outdoor tiles to choose from, suitable for all weathers. So, come and explore our fantastic selection on our website or visit us in person at our tile showrooms in Preston and Bolton.


Can You Tile Outside in Cold Weather?

In short, yes, you can tile outside in cold weather. However, tiling isn’t the same process when completed under these conditions, and there are several factors you need to take into consideration before you go ahead and begin.

If you’re wondering, “will ceramic tiles crack in the cold” then you would be correct in believing that this is possible. However, if installed correctly, as we will explain, you can ensure that using ceramic tiles will not be an issue when the temperature drops.


Beautiful garden outdoor patio


What Temperature Can You Lay Tile in?

The optimum temperature for laying tile is between around 10°C and 37°C. However, during winter, the average temperature in the UK is about 7°C, meaning that if you’re planning on laying tiles outdoors, you may need to wait until the temperature rises slightly; otherwise, you could face some issues.

Furthermore, let us explain how to install tiles in cold weather safely and professionally.


Tile Selection

If you’re beginning an outdoor tile installation, you need to be aware that your tiles will be the first thing the cold weather has its way with. That’s why it’s incredibly important that you verify that your tiles are frost resistant. Of course, you might not know if your tile is frost resistant or not, and that’s okay – denser, less porous materials such as porcelain tend to have more frost resistance, while your ceramic tile will suffer significantly from the cold.

By industry standards, any tile with a porosity of more than 5% should never be used outside. We have a vast variety of outdoor tiles available on our website, including:


Prepare your Sub-Surfaces

The fluctuating expansions and contractions caused by the freeze/thaw cycle will put tremendous strain on the substrate, which can cause it to crack. Waterproofing and crack isolation membranes will not only help you isolate these cracks but also prevent any further in-plane cracks in the sub-floor from telegraphing the tile. You can pick up these waterproofing and crack fighting solutions from any good DIY shop.


Outdoor marble tiles in a patio



Mortar being used in freezing or thawing conditions has to perform, and you need to ensure that the one you choose is up for that challenge. If you want mortar that has been designed to combat the freezing conditions winter brings, you want to look at getting a polymer-modified thin-set mortar. It combines bond strength and flexibility to allow for shifts in the substrate caused by changes in moisture level.


Grouts and Sealants

When selecting your grout, always choose a polymer grout as they have a lower water absorption level which is excellent for colder weather. However, you will find that most standard grouts will be mixed with grout additives rather than water, which means you’ll have a stronger, denser, and more resistant to freeze and thaw damage, as well as water penetration.

If you’re thinking of tiling this winter, just remember that there are plenty of products available to keep your tiles from the harm that the cold weather can do. Additionally, we have a fantastic array of tiles for you to start your project with.


Outdoor Tiles at Roccia

If you’re looking for the tiles to start your winter tiling project, look no further as we stock a vast range here at Roccia, both online and in our incredible showrooms in Preston and Bolton. We have a great selection of outdoor tiles, including anti-slip outdoor tiles; browse our best sellers to find the perfect tiles for your outdoor tiling project.

Not only this, but our range offers a choice of sizes, materials, textures, and colours, so there’s no need to settle for anything less than the outdoor tiles of your dreams. To find out more about our incredible range of tiles including bathroom tiles, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by giving us a call on 01772 382716, and a member of our friendly and knowledgeable team will be more than happy to offer advice and assistance.

Roccia’s New Year Tile Sale

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