Tile Fix Direct Blog

External Tiling

Marmox Sloping Board & SoundBoard Now Available at Tile Fix Direct

We’ve been stocking Marmox products since the beginning of Tile Fix Direct over 10 years ago and today Multiboard tile backer boards and Showerlay shower trays are still two of our best selling products. So we’re excited to add two more to our range – Sloping Board and SoundBoard. Sloping Board is designed to create a fall on balconies or in wet rooms while SoundBoard provides soundproofing for floors – read on to find out more.

Marmox Sloping Board

Sloping Board only differs from standard Multiboard in thickness; at the thinner end it measures 10mm thick with the slope extending to 33mm at the thicker end. The 1200x1200mm boards are still made of XPS foam sandwiched between two layers of patented polymer-concrete and has all the same properties – it’s waterproof, insulating, lightweight and perfect for tiling. The 10mm to 33mm slope may sound like an odd choice but it’s actually been designed to allow you to extend the slope indefinitely using 20mm thick boards as per the diagram below.

Sloping Board can be used internally and externally to create a self-draining tiled surface, in fact it was originally developed for use on balconies but is also a great solution for wet rooms or communal showering areas where a drainage channel is set against a wall. Tiling a balcony or terrace can often be difficult due to the fluctuations in temperature which can cause cracked tiles, but Marmox Sloping Board absorbs a large amount of the lateral movement in the sub floor making tiling a balcony a much safer prospect. When installed using Marmox waterproofing products it’s easy to create a leak-free tiled balcony above a habitable space.

Order Marmox Sloping Board at Tile Fix Direct.

Marmox SoundBoard

Impact sound can be a big concern when tiling floors in flats and apartments, in fact many local authorities do not allow tiled bathroom floors in shared accommodation for this very reason. Impact sound, illustrated by the red arrow in the diagram below, is often increased by tiling a floor making a solution like SoundBoard extremely important.

Marmox SoundBoard has a layer of rubber foam on one side that stops the vibrations transferring to the room below, reducing the impact sound by 20db. The boards are available in two thicknesses: 8mm and 12mm; the difference in the two thicknesses is that the 12mm board provides more thermal insulation than the 8mm version.

SoundBoard is much more than just soundproofing; it also acts as a decoupling layer to absorb lateral movement and prevent cracks in the tiles as well as being totally waterproof and providing thermal insulation.

  • Reduces sound (DLW) by 20db
  • Reduces heat loss by up to 60%
  • Load bearing – 30 tonnes/m2
  • Easy to cut with a saw or knife
  • Ready to receive tiles
  • fully waterproof

You can buy Marmox 8mm SoundBoard and Marmox 12mm SoundBoard online now.

How To Install The Eterno Ivica Adjustable Paving Support Pedestal System

After a steady rise in popularity over the last couple of years, it seems porcelain paving is here to stay. It’s easy to see why it has become the material of choice for homeowners; it’s available in a range of designs, has a slip resistant surface and isn’t affected by the changing British weather. But when it comes to installation, there is some debate around which method is best. A traditional solid base and tile adhesive seems the best route to go down, but if you are installing porcelain pavers onto a balcony or terrace this is not a practical option – this is where pedestals come in.

What is a paving pedestal system?

These plastic pedestals don’t look like much but they can be used to create a tiled area on balconies and terraces quite easily. Most systems involve using a series of plastic pedestals to support the tiles and create a raised floor. There are a number of different types available including adjustable, self-levelling and extendable. This system is relatively mess-free and uses no adhesive or grout, leaving the joints between the tiles completely open. The base will need to have the correct falls and be fully waterproofed to allow the water to drain away below the tiles.

Benefits of the Eterno Ivica paving pedestal system

There are a range of benefits of using Eterno pedestals on balconies and terraces, we’ve listed some of them below:

  • Self-levelling head for easy installation
  • Better thermal insulation
  • Improved acoustic insulation
  • Significantly lighter
  • Hides pipes and equipment
  • Flat & level surface
  • Excellent absorption of structural movement
  • Quick drainage through open joints
  • Very strong & resistant to loads
  • Easy to remove or replace a single tile

How to install Eterno Ivica paving pedestals

Eterno Ivica pedestals are relatively easy to install – we have outlined the basic instructions below.

  1. Measure the height you want your finished patio to sit at and take away the thickness of the tile – this will give you the height of the pedestal you will need. Patio height – tile thickness = pedestal height.
  2. Use a length of string to mark the finished patio height across the whole area –
    the pedestals will need to be adjusted in some areas to accommodate the falls in the base – check it is level using a spirit level.
  3. Place four pedestals at the corners of where you are laying your first tile. Remove the unused spacer tabs by snapping them so the only remaining one’s are in the joints.
  4. Place a spirit level on top of the tile and adjust the pedestal using a Pedestal Adjustment Key until it is level. Continue to do this as each tile is installed. Do not stand on the tile while adjusting the pedestal underneath it. The self-levelling head compensates for gradients up to 5%.
  5. In corners or around edges the pedestals can be cut using a saw.
  6. Use a length of wood or a long rule and a spirit level, check the finished area is level.

Watch the below video from Eterno Ivica for a visual installation guide.

Eterno Ivica paving pedestals at Tile Fix Direct

We stock a number of Eterno Ivica pedestal products at Tile Fix Direct for use on balconies and terraces:

How to Install Porcelain Tiles Outside

The last few years have seen a shift in the quality of tiles – from ultra-realistic stone and wood effect to huge slim porcelain panels. Another trend that is gaining momentum is the use of porcelain externally in place of traditional natural stone or slabs. Many paving suppliers are now adding porcelain to their portfolios thanks to the range of benefits it provides. Not only is porcelain extremely hardwearing, but it is also scratch, stain and fade resistant. The non-porous material does not need sealing and is available in a range of finishes including cement, stone and wood effect. External porcelain tends to be thicker than the tiles we’re used to indoors, generally around 18-22mm, to help them withstand outdoor conditions.

So, how do you install these tiles? The material is actually no different to a standard porcelain tile and therefore is treated much the same. We’ve outlined four of the most common installation methods for external porcelain tiles below. For areas that will be subject to commercial or vehicular traffic we recommend using tile adhesive with a solid screed base.

1. Tile adhesive onto a solid base

Essentially this method is the same as internal tiling and can be used for patios and driveways. It does require the concrete base to fully cured and expansion joints will need to be added where necessary. It’s easy to achieve a level and even surface with a solid base but keep in mind that falls will need to be added to help rain water drain away. Ensure you are using a polymer modified cement-based adhesive that is suitable for external use. On a solid base you can install rectified porcelain paving with a narrow joint for a semi-seamless finish.

  • Solid concrete base with suitable adhesive and grout
  • Suitable for patios and driveways
  • Narrow joints can be achieved with rectified tiles

See our great range and order tile adhesive online

2. Wet bed onto prepared sub-base

This method is favoured by landscapers and paving installers, however it does require some extra steps when used with porcelain. Because the tiles are vitrified it makes the material non-porous so it will not adhere to a traditional wet bed. There are two options for helping the tile stick; mix an admix into your sand and cement or apply a primer to the underside of the tiles. If using a primer you need to be very careful to remove this from the surface and sides of the tile immediately. Check falls throughout installation and adjust by tapping the tiles with a rubber mallet. Care must be taken to avoid any voids beneath the tiles as residual moisture can collect and has nowhere to escape.

  • Sand and cement bed with added primer or admix
  • Suitable for patios
  • Narrow joints can be harder to achieve

Find and order a suitable porcelain paving primer online

3. PorcelQuick Adped adhesive pedestals onto prepared sub-base

This method involves using the PorcelQuick ‘Adped’ rings filled with a mix of sand and cement to create a series of adhesive pedestals. The tiles are then fixed to these using a suitable tile adhesive, and the joints are grouted after Grout Backer Rod is inserted. This method requires a self-draining sub-base beneath it to avoid water pooling, and is only suitable for foot traffic. Material requirement is around 80% less than solid or wet bed methods which also lowers the carbon footprint for the project and means a lot less material to move.

  • Cement ‘pedestals’ with suitable adhesive and grout
  • Suitable for patios
  • Narrow joints can be achieved with rectified tiles

Browse our PorcelQuick Adpeds and Accessories online

4. Eterno Ivica self-levelling pedestals on roof terraces & balconies

Adjustable pedestals are perfect for use on balconies and terraces. Each pedestal has a self-levelling head and can be adjusted slightly once the tiles are installed. Available in a range of heights which can be adjusted from 10mm up to 215mm using extension pieces. This is a ‘dry’ installation method as no adhesives or grouts are required and the joints are left open, allowing for easy drainage and removal of the tiles.

  • Plastic self-levelling pedestals
  • Suitable for roof terraces and balconies
  • Pedestals feature spacer tabs and joints are left open

Select the Eterno Ivica paving pedestal you require and order online

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