With so much focus on interior design, sometimes it’s easy to neglect your exterior! Tiles can be a great addition to your outside area and can transform the space.
But what tile to choose from?
There are many things to consider when choosing your tiles. Durability, style, space, and budget all take part in your decision making.
Let’s take a look at the types of tiles available for your home.
Types of Outdoor Tiles
Sounds fancy right?
Porcelain is a manmade material that can be a great choice for outdoor tiles. It can be as strong and durable as ceramic.
It is important to choose Porcelain in the correct texture. Shiny porcelain can be slick and slippery when it rains. I’m sure you don’t want any slip hazards! A matte or textured type of porcelain would work best for the outdoors. They are non-porous which means that they require minimal upkeep (perfect!).
Slate is a natural metamorphic rock. It is an excellent choice for the outdoors due to its durability.
It’s textured and so it is a safe choice in all weather conditions. It also has the benefit of being resistant to water. It comes in a wide range of colors, despite being well known for its black and grey tones.
This is another metamorphic stone like slate. It is a premium and attractive stone. It is strong and durable, yet unfortunately, it is a polished stone, which can be slippery. It is also very porous. Granite needs to be sealed and coated to avoid staining and the penetration of water.
Like granite, this is another attractive and premium type of stone. It is not as strong and is more porous. If you choose marble you will need to commit to regular sealing and upkeep.
As high-maintenance as it may be Marble comes in a wide range of colors. Marble can make your outdoor space appear luxurious and expensive. You’ll have all the neighbors jealous!
This is a lovely pale stone with a distinctive texture. Whilst it looks great, it is a soft and porous stone which, like marble, requires regular sealing. It would not be a good choice of stone in an area that will have a lot of footfall and does not do well in extreme climates.
This is a certain type of limestone that contains calcite. It is very similar to regular limestone, but it’s softer, which makes it a less durable stone. Again this stone requires regular sealing. It is prone to cracking in harsh environments (like most of us), and its pitted texture can trap dirt. Despite its flaws, this stone is a lovely golden color, with a very attractive texture.
Ceramic is similar to porcelain. You can use it outside, however, you must check its rating and that it is acceptable for use outdoors.
Ceramic tiles can come in a wide range of styles and colors, which makes them very versatile. I would not recommend using them in heavy use areas. It is not as strong as other stones, and wouldn’t last long.
Tiles do not necessarily have to consist of stone. Wood can be a great choice too! There are various types of wood that can be used for outdoor tiles. The most popular being ipe and bangkirai.
Both types of wood are durable and decay-resistant. They will however need to be power washed and treated with a wood finish. Wood is a cheap and accessible choice for outdoor tiling. It also helps create a seamless flow from indoor to outdoor spaces.
Most outdoor tiles often cover a large surface area. If this does not appeal to you, why not go try a mosaic style? A Mosaic can be an artistic arrangement of smaller tiles, in various patterns and formats. You can combine different stones or colors to create an aesthetic look. It’s creative and unique! It’s got my vote.
So where should I put my tiles?
Let’s take a look at the best tiling options for specific outdoor areas.
Best Tiles for Patios
Patios can make your garden or outdoor space look modern and open. They also reduce the amount of maintenance your grass requires. Pretty much any tile can be used for patio flooring. This gives you lots of exciting design options!
Patios are usually designed with large square tiles. However, you could experiment with different sizes. Perhaps a mosaic design takes your fancy? You can even explore alternative shapes, such as rectangular or hexagonal. Patios are versatile, so get creative with your design to make a personal outdoor space.
Best Tiles for Outdoor Kitchens
When creating an outdoor kitchen, many things need to be considered. As you will be cooking and preparing food, there can often be spillages and mess on the floor.
It is important to choose a tile that can be easily wiped and cleaned, such as porcelain, granite, or marble. You do not want a porous stone, as these are harder to wipe, and can trap dirt and stain easily.
Best Tiles for Pool and Hot Tub Areas
These areas are bound to get wet! It is vital that you pick a stone that is textured and will not become slippery. Limestone and travertine are popular choices for these areas. However, these will need to be sealed and treated regularly as they are porous stones.
Best Tiles for Outdoor Walls
When choosing outdoor tiles, walls can often get neglected. Wall tiles can make an outdoor space personable and add a creative feature. As they are not underfoot the types of material you can use for your outdoor wall can be more varied. Natural stone, wood, mosaic, and porcelain are all popular choices!
Floor tiles are usually large and square. Smaller tiles, arranged in various patterns to create an attractive effect, look great on the wall. Like floor tiling, outdoor wall tiles must be durable as they are constantly exposed.
Time to choose!
Think about what your main use for your outdoor space is. Take into account the amount of maintenance and cleaning that you can upkeep. Outdoor tiles can be an impressive yet practical addition to your outdoor space. There is a wide range of materials out there, there will definitely be one to suit your specific needs!