Tile installation questions (pictures included)

I would like install textured ceramic tile on my balcony.
Pictures: http://s195.photobucket.com/albums/z198/mikeuclaengr1 /
I have a few questions:
1) Do you think I should use a backer board?
2) How do I deal with the cracks? (pictures "balcony10" and balcony11" show this)
3) My planned procedure so far after watching a number of youtube videos and reading some websites is:
-prepar mortar, then ad it in small grid region using a carpenters framing square
-place tile on mortar, press firmly, ad spacers, use a straightedge
-Do this process again until I capture all of the balcony, if I reach a point where I have to cut the tile, then mark that point with a pencil, then cut the tile, then put the new correct size.
-Let sit for 24 hrs.
-Prepar grout, apply grout, wipe off with sponge, Let sit
-Apply sealer 3 times, wait at least 30 min. In between each
Thanks
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On Jul 25, 5:27 am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You don't need backer board. If the balcony is fairly straight and even, just tile right over it.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

No point. _____________

Knock out any loose concrete and tile over. ________________

A framing square? A *FRAMING SQUARE*???? Where in the world did you get that idea?
You slop out your thinset mortar with a trowel over a few square feet and then comb it with the notched edge. The size of the notches depends on what kind of tile you have...should say on the box. ___________________

You should lay out your area first by drawing perpendicular lines on the floor passing through the center. Then dry lay tiles along each line so you know how to start your tiles so that cut pieces will be as large as possible and equal on opposite sides of the area. There are two possibilities on each line... 1. tile edge on line 2. tile center on line In each case, you have to extrapolate for the grout joint. When you actually start laying tile, you start in the center as determined above and work outwards.
--

dadiOH
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On Jul 25, 5:27 am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Don't worry about 1 or 2 as long as you have a level surface. You should have the entire layout planned before you mix any mortar. Lay it out with spacers and plan all cuts first. I agree with the other poster that laying mortar in grids is unnecessary. I've never heard of that procedure.
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On Jul 25, 5:27 am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You don't learn how to do construction by watching YouTube videos. If you want to learn how to set tile properly, visit your library and get Setting Tile by Michael Byrne. It's a great book and you'll learn more than the rough overview and misinformation you've picked up so far.
Regarding your balcony: don't tile it. I mean you personally shouldn't tile it, and it shouldn't be tiled. Anyone can slap tile on a slab and have it look good for a while, but the balcony has issues.
The broken concrete around the railing posts indicates that the posts are moving and were therefore set poorly. They may not extend deep enough into the slab, or they may have used too much water in the setting concrete/mortar. That needs to be addressed or any tile you put on top of it will either pop off or break.
The bottom of the patio door track is perfectly flush with the slab. Those holes in the front of the track are weep holes and they are intended to let water drain out onto the balcony and not pool inside the track. If you raise the balcony level with tile - figure 3/8" to 1/2" - you'll block those holes and water will sit in the track.
You should look into using an epoxy coating on the concrete like that used on garage floors. That will raise the balcony surface by 1/4" or less and that may squeak by the bottom of the weep holes. You can use 3M Fineline tape to mark out a grid and remove that while the epoxy is still wet. That will simulate the tile grid.
R
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Yep, yer gonna want them post good and solid when ya happen to walk onto that patio tile barefoot at a clip after it's rained. Keep that home insurance current for guests.

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