When we think of tiles, we typically think of tiled rooms in the home, but did you know that there’s an exciting range of safe outdoor tiles to enjoy too? Today we take a look at everything you always wanted to know about tiling outdoors, and how to get the best bang for your buck.
Can you use any tile outside?
Just because you can tiling outside doesn’t mean you can use any tile. Most indoor tiles will not stand up to the damage caused by UV light and the elements. Top outdoor tile manufacturers design the tile surface to be safe for use in inclement weather. This means that they often have a textured grip to prevent you from slipping if they get wet. Even if they don’t have this extra safety feature, they will not have the ultra-slick and shiny surfaces you might associate with tiles.
What are outdoor tiles made from?
They’re typically made from porcelain or natural materials. Porcelain, despite its fragile reputation, is far stronger than ceramic for this use. That’s why it’s often used for commercial tiling. It’s more dense than ceramic, so it resists scratches and stains, along with being safer to use.
It also has a low absorption rate. This means it doesn’t take rainwater on board. When it comes to designing outdoor tiles, you have two choices. Either your tile needs to resist water completely, allowing you to sweep away water, or it needs to have drainage. Outdoor tiles that use onboard drainage typically need to be set differently from normal tiles. You’ll often see them around a pool, for example, where water pooling on the tile surface, even briefly, would be inappropriate and dangerous.
You will also find outdoor tiles made from slate, terracotta, and other natural substances. These offer a great look and a smooth translation to any pavers you may also be using in your garden. Outdoor tiles also make a great backdrop for wicker furniture.
Getting longevity from outdoor tiling
Outdoor tiling needs to be long-lasting, given its exposure to the elements. This is why most high-quality outdoor tiles are color-fired throughout, rather than the surface coating many ceramic tiles have. This means when they scratch, you don’t see a different color under the top glaze, and it’s less noticeable.
The need for special construction and consideration does mean that good quality outdoor tiles tend to be pricier than indoor tiles. It’s a case of getting what you pay for, so don’t let that discourage you. A good outdoor tile must stand up to traffic, dirt, and the elements, look good for years in harsh conditions, and be safe for users (including kids and pets) in all weather conditions.
Outdoor tiles provide a novel and interesting look that grabs attention. They also allow you to express a lot of individuality, and use bold color and patterns in your home. From installing a custom mosaic in your entertainment area to making a quick cleanup on your patio, they’re versatile and fun. Why not experiment with this intriguing outdoor treatment on your patio, porch, or sunroom today?