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I have an outdoor patio and I'm thinking of flooring options. One issue I see in many homes is efflorescence, the white powdery substance between tiles that harden. Sometimes you see like water stains (darker patches) in grey tiles. Is that a way to avoid such issues? What type of tiles can avoid these problems? Not so keen on decking...

Edited by Topline
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Are you referring to the grouting between tiles? As far as I know, it's hard work cleaning them and there's no way to wash them 100% clean.

Edited by Kellhound
 

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I'm considering overlaying artificial turf on current tiles for a significant part of my outdoor area. Saves on hacking and cheaper than laying new tiles.

 

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Just contributing what I know and experienced. In the picture you shown, the efflorescence is due to water seepage, due to pores in the grout gap, into the under side of the tiles/stones and there are not proper drainage done. The trapped water need to come out the way they went in. This is through evaporation. During the process, the water brings along dissolved carbonate(from the cement mix used)during evaporation. When the water dissipated, what’s left is efflorescence. 
Ways to improve the situation is to use good grouting compound with good workmanship to prevent water from going in through holes in the gap in the first place. The same for wall that was tiled. There are also products like stone sealant which after application, will greatly reduce efflorescence. 
Other than efflorescence, often there will also be a problem with ‘framing’ of the stones. All around the edges of the stones will trap water and end result is a light brown border all around the stone. Stone framing is impossible to remove but efflorescence can still be removed with using acid products together with metal bristles brushing. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, AWS said:

Just contributing what I know and experienced. In the picture you shown, the efflorescence is due to water seepage, due to pores in the grout gap, into the under side of the tiles/stones and there are not proper drainage done. The trapped water need to come out the way they went in. This is through evaporation. During the process, the water brings along dissolved carbonate(from the cement mix used)during evaporation. When the water dissipated, what’s left is efflorescence. 
Ways to improve the situation is to use good grouting compound with good workmanship to prevent water from going in through holes in the gap in the first place. The same for wall that was tiled. There are also products like stone sealant which after application, will greatly reduce efflorescence. 
Other than efflorescence, often there will also be a problem with ‘framing’ of the stones. All around the edges of the stones will trap water and end result is a light brown border all around the stone. Stone framing is impossible to remove but efflorescence can still be removed with using acid products together with metal bristles brushing. 

 

Thanks. The problem seems to be caused at the point of laying the tiles? This is a very common issue .... seems like the workmanship in SG is not great huh.

Does it happen to all tiles? Somehow don’t see this happening to indoor floors.

 

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Yes, mostly happen during laying of tiles/stones. It’s common to hear of people complaining that the tile sounded hollow when using your knuckles knocking the top of tile or dropping a small marble ball on it? Same reasoning. There’s too much air gap. When combined with poor grouting material, rain water will seep in and need to get out. Workmanship is never great unless one is lucky to engage a builder that is willing to pay premium salary for good tiling workers. 
Indoor tiles hardly exposed to water unlike outdoor tiles. 
Good grout is made by Mapei. Google for it. 

 

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Google for...

mapei Tips to prevent efflorescence during tile and stone installation

 

If u are suffering from this.. remove the stain and squirt in 502 superglue into the joint. MrDIY exremely cheap. 

 

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I would recommend the following acid and brush and of course elbow grease for removing the efflorescence if you encounter.

 

614E3921-6F45-41F1-B0D3-A58564F47AD1.jpeg

FFE3E0B0-F52C-4E23-80F4-83B89D89530F.jpeg

 

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Seems like prevention is definitely better than cure but how to tell if the workers tiling my place is using mapei products... would I be able to specify?

 

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8 hours ago, Topline said:

Seems like prevention is definitely better than cure but how to tell if the workers tiling my place is using mapei products... would I be able to specify?

You can specify in your tender. Also go down to site during the renovation to check on what products they are using

 

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On 4/15/2021 at 12:22 PM, AWS said:


Other than efflorescence, often there will also be a problem with ‘framing’ of the stones. All around the edges of the stones will trap water and end result is a light brown border all around the stone. Stone framing is impossible to remove but efflorescence can still be removed with using acid products together with metal bristles brushing. 

 

Is this (see attached car porch) what u mean by “framing”? Cannot be fixed? 

B6E6CC74-3FB7-40AE-981F-C2BBFBE720BA.png

 

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8 hours ago, Topline said:

Is this (see attached car porch) what u mean by “framing”? Cannot be fixed? 

B6E6CC74-3FB7-40AE-981F-C2BBFBE720BA.png

Yes, most likely framing. But it can also be after washing of the car porch and water needs to get out from underside. Another likely scenario is the ground water table is high or the reduced level of the car porch area is too low, causing the ground water coming out/evaporating out of the stone gaps.

It’s good to take note of the gradient of terrain where the house sits on in both axis and also during excavation(if it’s a total rebuild) to check on the ground water level. If your back neighbor is at a higher level than you and you have a back yard retaining wall, considerations must be given to put a design to allow water to drain off the retaining wall. Else there may be some form of water seepage coming out of the retaining wall or back yard floor after a period of heavy rain. 

I have seen some houses using expensive marbles on the 1st level with high ground water level or low reduced level (they are co-related) and end up turning yellow or framing issues. Such a waste.
 

 

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1 hour ago, AWS said:

Yes, most likely framing. But it can also be after washing of the car porch and water needs to get out from underside. Another likely scenario is the ground water table is high or the reduced level of the car porch area is too low, causing the ground water coming out/evaporating out of the stone gaps.

It’s good to take note of the gradient of terrain where the house sits on in both axis and also during excavation(if it’s a total rebuild) to check on the ground water level. If your back neighbor is at a higher level than you and you have a back yard retaining wall, considerations must be given to put a design to allow water to drain off the retaining wall. Else there may be some form of water seepage coming out of the retaining wall or back yard floor after a period of heavy rain. 

I have seen some houses using expensive marbles on the 1st level with high ground water level or low reduced level (they are co-related) and end up turning yellow or framing issues. Such a waste.
 

I think one way to mitigate is to use stone sealer for the granite and also apply waterproofing membrane on the concrete before applying screed and laying of tiles/marble/granite.

my builder had laid plastic sheets on the soil before pouring lean concrete and then casting the first storey slab. later on, water proofing membrane was applied to the concrete floor slab before laying the screed and marble.

 

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I have been told my place has a high water table. So I’m thinking of alternatives to marble for the first floor since marble is more porous... I’m considering those tiles that look like marble but are not. Think they are just homogeneous tiles... that should deal with the high water table issue, I hope.

For my patio and car park porch, I was considering the grey tiles in the photo of the car porch above. But with a high water table, I don’t know... any suggestions?

 

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