Tile is great flooring option both inside and outside of your home. Yet, before you decide on a material, it’s important to first consider how they will be used. That’s because each type of flooring has applications and conditions in which it works best. If you have family or are planning on having one in the future, this may also influence your decision.

The main difference between indoor and outdoor tiles is, you guessed it, mother nature. Outdoor tiles have to deal with the elements. That means rain, snow, the sun, etc. You must take this into consideration when deciding on what kind of outdoor tile material you are going to use.

Why You Should Use Outdoor Tiles

  • Practicality: Outdoor tiles are incredibly durable, they look good, and, if you choose the right materials, are easy to maintain.

  • Durability: Do it once; do it right. If you install your tile properly the first time around they can last longer than just about anything in your home. They may need some occasional re-grouting, but that’s just about it.

  • Cleanliness: Tiles are great for people with allergies from pets or otherwise and can help keep outdoor areas feeling and looking much cleaner.

  • Design: Ceramic tiles should become an integral part of your home. Modern patterns and sizes will keep your home up-to-date with current trends, and careful selection will enhance and protect your home and add to its capital value.

Where Are You Going To Put Your Tiles?

This is one of the first questions you should ask yourself because this will determine the kind of tiles you will need to purchase.

Are they going to be used on the wall or the floor? Will they be undercover or out in the open, meaning they will be rained on? Does the area to be tiled experience heavy foot traffic? Will you need to consider gripping if it’s a slip or non-slip surface? These are all things you need to think about when choosing your outdoor tiles.

Sunlight Exposure

Nothing is worse than walking outside on a beautiful sunny day and have bright sunlight reflect from the tiles straight to your eyes. To avoid such discomfort, our secret is to choose lighter colored tiles for low light areas, and darker tiles for areas that are exposed to a lot of light. Dark tiles can look absolutely gorgeous if your outdoor area is well lit, but if your space is not light and bright, the same tiles might make it look dark, mundane, and old.

Ceramic and Porcelain?

Ceramic and porcelain are the most popular types of outdoor tile material. But if they’re going to be outdoors, tiles need to have a PEI of four or above. You should never use glazed ceramic tiles outdoors. You may think that doing so would look good, but they can become very slick when wet and are an accident waiting to happen.

Something More Natural Looking?

Natural stone tiles are typically more expensive than ceramic or porcelain, but they truly do look great, and some people find they’re worth the extra cost.

There are a number of natural stone materials to choose from including quartzite, limestone looks great in their native, outdoor environment, which makes perfect sense. You can use these kinds of materials for walkways and pool decks.

Tips For Finding The Right Stone Tile For Beginners

The type of natural stone that you end up using depends on a variety of factors. From where the tile will be laid, to who will be using it. For example, on a pool deck that is going to be used often by kids, you’re going to want to be extra careful in choosing a non-slip material.

Natural stone tiles are generally held in very high regard by most homeowners. And usually their only major negative is their price tag. There are both positives and negatives when it comes to each type of natural stone tiles. But before moving into those it’s important to determine from a higher-level perspective the following aspects of your project:

  1. Location: Where your tiles are going is a very important consideration. As we mentioned, foot-traffic matters, and you must make sure to choose outdoor tiles that are practical. If the project is a space that experiences heavy foot traffic and is prone to a heavy level of abuse then it is better to go with tiles that are heavy duty. Some stone tiles work well on walls but not on floors, and visa-versa. People also oftentimes use specific types of tiles for outdoor stairs, so that’s if you’re thinking about tiling an outdoor area, that’s another important consideration.

  2. Grip Factor: Just because you can’t use glazed tiles outdoors doesn’t mean your tiles can’t have a healthy shine. The main thing you want to look out for is grip factor, and although generally the shiner the tiles are the less grip they have, there are exceptions to the rule and if shiny is what you want there are options out there for you beyond just glazed tiles.

  3. Lighting: When it comes to tile coloring the rule of thumb is only to use dark tiles in places that have very good, bright lighting. Otherwise, you can end up giving the area a dark and gloomy feel. So well lighted area = dark tiles (or, if you want, light), and dimly lit area = must use light tiles!

  4. Style: The overall style, architecture and design of your home and the space you’re renovating matters a lot when choosing a tile. You don’t want to have tile that sticks out like a sore thumb and ends up ruining the overall layout and or theme of your home. Make sure that if your home/the area you’re renovating is going for a rustic look that you use rustic tiles, and if it’s more modern, then go with more modern ones!

  5. Color Scheme: This can vary significantly based on taste. Some people like to keep a uniformed look throughout all of their outdoor areas. This means that they like their pavements and garden tiles and pool deck tiles all to match as much as possible. Others like to use tiles as an accent piece and purposely let the colors stand out. Either way can work quite well, and there is no hard-and-fast rule. The important thing is that you make sure you’re keeping your theme consistent.

No Skills No Problem

For those of you not looking to hire anyone to help with your tile installation, there are some options for you.

Rubber patio tiles are an easy-to-install option that offers a great grip. They are perfect near the pool, portable spa, or other slippery areas. Because they are interlocking they can be installed by anyone and with no adhesive.

Adding deck tiles is usually easy enough and, if you get the whole families help, it can go rather quickly. You can put deck tiles right on top of your patio and some varieties interlock with one another so you don’t need to worry about grouting or any of the more technical aspects of laying tile. These easy-to-lay tiles are great for renters because they can be laid while you live there and then packed up and taken along with everything else you own when eventually you leave.

What Size Tile Should I Use?

The size of tile you choose can have as much an effect on the appearance of your project as the design and finish. It usually comes down to personal preference, and the trend these days is towards larger tiles. However, there are a couple of points to bear in mind:

  • Larger tiles have a wonderful ability to make smaller rooms look larger. They accomplish this by minimizing the number of grout lines in a room which ultimately makes the room appear more streamlined and thus, larger.

  • So yes, large tiles offer some great benefits for smaller rooms. But, with that being said, it’s also important to note that if you use very large tiles in a small room you’re likely going to have to have all the tiles cut uniquely by a skilled tile setter. This is not something you can simply pick up and do yourself. Tile setting of this kind takes loads of experience, it’s worth trying to do things right the first time when it comes to tile so if you’re considering undertaking a project like this it’s worth talking to an expert.  

  • Note that larger tiles tend to need more adhesive for installation. This is because such tiles cannot follow the minor undulations in your walls and floors in the same way that small tiles can. You’ll therefore have to make sure that all of the tiles are elevated slightly so that you’re able to include so extra adhesive underneath. This will provide your large tiles with the added protection they need to keep from cracking (which is particularly important for thin tiles) and it will keep them protected from undergoing water damage.

If you’re thinking about installing outdoor tiles and need expert help give us a call USA Tiles today at (305) 471- 9552.