need advice for laying tile on a rooftop?

Posted under Home gardening advice | 3 Comments

I live in a downtown loft and have a rooftop that I would like to make into some kind of deck. I went to a home and garden show today and saw alot of interesting ideas. The rooftop is currently what I think is probably tar paper with that silver stuff on it. Maybe some kind of tar? I don't have a lot of money to spare but I would love to put some kind of outdoor tile like slate on this and put a privacy fence around it with some kind of arbor for shade. My question is…. what do I need to do to the roof? Can I just lay these tile right on top of the silver stuff? If not please give detail. Thanks.
I was more concerned with damaging the roof and making it leak. Will backer board keep that from happening?
Yes, I do own the building so I can pretty much do what I want to it. I am wondering about the weight of whatever I decide to do because the building was built in 1869. It is a brick structure and it is 22 ft. wide and I believe the only thing supporting it are actual floor joists. (this is a 2 story building but the ceilings on the lower floor are 15 feet high and the ceiling in the upper are 12 feet high.) When jumping on the roof you can actually feel the building shake. This makes me nervous about adding too much weight hence the reason of wondering if I could just lay the tile directly on the roof.

No offense and I dislike assuming, but do you OWN the building?

If not, you may not be allowed, by the owner or code enforcement agencies to do any work on a flat roof.

In any case, if you are allowed, your best choice should be considered as a floating floor, on treated studs, with no less than double layered Substrate, then concrete backerboard. Then a tile of your choice using exterior mortar and grout. Of course you should know the structure of the roof and its load bearing capabilities.

The fence is an issue as well, since you'll have to design or find one that is essentially portable and/or a retrofit, NOT corrupting the roof material, In both cases you should also be aware of any natural grade allowing drainage, and the effects of disrupting that process.

I guess If I was in your place, I'd probably start out with just a deck, and check it's effects over a season or two.

Steven Wolf
Just my two "sense"

I sent some thoughts, given your additional info.

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3 Responses to “need advice for laying tile on a rooftop?”

  1. T C Says:

    The tile will crack if layed over the silver stuff. You need to buy what is called backer board to lay over the roof area. Then lay the tile on this.
    References :

  2. DIY Doc Says:

    No offense and I dislike assuming, but do you OWN the building?

    If not, you may not be allowed, by the owner or code enforcement agencies to do any work on a flat roof.

    In any case, if you are allowed, your best choice should be considered as a floating floor, on treated studs, with no less than double layered Substrate, then concrete backerboard. Then a tile of your choice using exterior mortar and grout. Of course you should know the structure of the roof and its load bearing capabilities.

    The fence is an issue as well, since you'll have to design or find one that is essentially portable and/or a retrofit, NOT corrupting the roof material, In both cases you should also be aware of any natural grade allowing drainage, and the effects of disrupting that process.

    I guess If I was in your place, I'd probably start out with just a deck, and check it's effects over a season or two.

    Steven Wolf
    Just my two "sense"

    I sent some thoughts, given your additional info.
    References :
    45 plus years as a contractor

  3. moskie257 Says:

    This is what I did to my roof which is rubber. Take a walk pad it's a rubber pad 2' x 2' with dots on onside. Place the dots down so water will drain. Then place a piece of pressure treated 2 x 10 about 2' long. You can put your deck framing on these pads and then build a deck.

    Good Luck
    Moskie257
    References :

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