I want to make an outdoor island cook area. I have seen these framed up
with metal studs and red metal, and then covered with WonderBoard, then
tiled. There would be a backwall that would have a vertical mural on it
made of tile scraps.
My question: How long will the Wonderboard and grout last? I live in Las
Vegas, where it is dry most of the time. We do get some good rains, so I
guess it would get totally wet about six to eight times a year, and
thoroughly dry out between. I may put a roof or awning over it, but haven't
decided yet. How long do you think the grout and wonderboard will stay in
good condition? Will it improve greatly if I cover it from the rain? Any
special types of grout or thinset that would be better for outdoor use?
I'd use Durock rather than Wonderboard and seal the grout with a good
quality silicone sealer. Out doors you should consider resealing it
every year or two. The sealant will also make it easier to keep clean.
This should last well beyond ten years, if properly cared for I see no
reason for it to not last for 20 or 30 years. A quarter inch gout line
and a good sanded grout would be my choice. I would not buy the grout
from Home Depot.
The following is an informative site.
Living in SW Florida with lots of water, a better option for these
outdoor islands is often a mansonry construction. Concrete block is
easy enough for the advanced DIY job, no more difficult than metal
studs and Durock.
That said, your issue is usually standing water, so if the surface
drains well and the base area doesn't stand in water, you'll get quite
few years out of it. A roof will obviously help this. Make sure your
substrate is rock solid and you'll avoid most problems with this
Check with your tile supplier for a good grout, it really depends on
the tile you choose and the spacing as to what may be available. Seal
the grout on a regular basis to prevent problems with food staining.
If you spill a lot, you'll enjoy a larger tile and fewer grout lines,
but my personal preference is a pool mosaic, or 2x2 tiles for a
counter. Might also consider a granite or other stone surface.
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