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Looking for outdoor patio ideas, think Porcelain tile!

If outdoor paving is on your to-do list this spring or summer, then porcelain is the way to go.
That’s right. Porcelain.

“There’s no grout and no pin set, so there’s no chance of efflorescence, no chance of cracking, or fading. Porcelain pavers are very, very strong,” says Nanaimo City Tile owner Dominic Staniscia.

The go-to guy in these parts for all things tile, Staniscia makes the point that these two centimetre thick (3/4”) pavers “are the in-thing for outdoor paving now. They have the outdoor tile market. This is what we recommend.”

While still fairly new on the Canadian market (less than two years) porcelain tiles are definitely proving popular with both contractors and homeowners alike here on the rock.

“They sure are. Anybody that’s used it loves it… the beauty of it is they sit on pedestals,” he says, explaining that once you waterproof your subfloor (which must be done) with torch-on roofing or any sealant, the rest is easy.

Once the subfloor is done, put the pedestals in place, “and then the tiles just sit on top. There’s no grout, there’s no pin set, that’s so important. Water runs through the automatic grout lines over the waterproof membrane and into the drains.”

The beauty of the porcelain tiles he says is that if it ever gets clogged or something happens, you can lift the tile up, clean it, and put it back.

“You can run plumbing under it, you can run electrical under it, wires, you can run anything underneath without any problems. You can get to it because it’s not cemented down, and a pressure washer won’t take the finish off it.”

The porcelain tiles he explains, are ideal for our climate.

“We live in a rain forest — a lot of wet conditions. We don’t live in California or Arizona where everybody loves the look of the tile on their patios — that’s why they come back here and think they can do the same thing here, well they can’t. We don’t have the same climate.”

He says companies have tried over the years to bring in products to eliminate cracking and efflorescence “but it’s failed. There’s been a lot of failures out there, and that’s why we’ve gone to this product.”

Highly suited for patios, balconies, above ground decks, roof terraces, pool areas, walkways, plazas, and gazebos, porcelain tiles will go on top of crushed gravel and are also great for the gardens.

Porcelain pavers are much stronger then cement pavers and can withstand over 1,000 kg per tile.

They’re also highly scratch, stain, slip and frost resistant, and mold and moss proof.

Easy to install with no need to seal, porcelain tiles are ideal for commercial or residential use, and come in a variety of colors.

Cost wise, the porcelain tiles are a bit more then the cement variety, but more then makes up for it in durability and lifespan.

“We’ve used it on a few commercial projects, a lot of houses… the homeowners are tickled pink — they’re really happy with it,” says Staniscia.

“It’s way better then Duradek or anything like that,” he says, adding “you do it once, you do it right, and you’re good to go. It’ll last you forever. I have Duradek at my house and I can’t wait to get rid of it.”

For more information go to or check out their 12,000 foot showroom in person at 4337 Boban Dr., Nanaimo.