Outdoor patios can be completely transformed with the right combination of outdoor tiles and complementing materials. Using a selection of outdoor floor and wall tiles, you can create completely custom looks in your outdoor design scheme that will not only tie in with the architectural style of your home while perfectly complementing your pool, garden or alfresco areas.
What are the Best Outdoor Floor Tiles?
From natural stone outdoor tiles to porcelain tiles and concrete tiles or pavers, there are many different varieties of outdoor floor tile options available that will offer a sturdy surface underfoot as well as a stylish decorative feature for the outdoors. Each outdoor floor tile option offers its own range of benefits and drawbacks to some extent; to decide on which tile option is best for your own individual needs, it is important to not only take your design and colour preferences into consideration but also the climate your home is in and your intended application. For example, if you are looking for an option that can stand up against freezing conditions, porous materials such as terracotta tiles, natural stone tiles or concrete tiles may not be the best outdoor tile solution for your patio. These tiles will absorb moisture from the air which can then freeze within the biscuit of the tile and in turn may lead to cracking and instability in the tiled surface as the tile reacts to the expanded water within it. In these sorts of applications, a porcelain outdoor tile solution would usually be better suited as these tiles are almost completely non-porous, meaning that they will not absorb moisture and stand up against difficult conditions.
Essentially, the best outdoor floor tile material will come down to what your intended application is and what materials are best suited to these conditions.
Natural Stone Tiles for Outdoor Areas
Natural Stone tiles have long been a popular choice for outdoor areas, since ancient times in fact! These tiles have proven themselves over the years to be an incredibly long lasting and durable outdoor tile solution that can be enjoyed for many years to come in the home, having already stood the test of time in ancient structures that are still enjoyed by millions every year. The beauty of natural stone solutions such as travertine tiles, granite or slate for example, is that they can be professionally rejuvenated and essentially ‘brought back to life’ when necessary. It should be noted that natural stone tiles will require sealing in order to be protected from moisture and discolouration as a result of spills or dirt being sat on their surface for extensive periods of time. As outdoor spaces can be susceptible to excess moisture, garden debris or animal droppings, a quality sealant will assist in protecting the tiles. That being said however, it is important to keep your outdoor tiles clean and remove any of these items fairly quickly as the longer they are allowed to sit on your tiles, the more risk there is that their surface will stain or discolour.
Outdoor Porcelain Tiles
Outdoor Porcelain Tiles are another excellent option; these tiles are a variation of traditional ceramic tiles that are baked at extremely high temperatures (significantly higher than ceramic options) resulting in a super dense, durable and almost entirely non-porous material, making these a better choice for areas that experience freezing conditions. Due to the popularity of porcelain tiles, you will find that tile manufacturers have developed impressive tile making technology that allows the creation of near perfect replicas of other materials such as natural stone or concrete tile for example. These porcelain tile varieties allow you to include these luscious materials in outdoor applications where you would normally not be able to install them (due to freezing conditions for example), allowing you more flexibility in your outdoor design scheme.
Outdoor Encaustic Concrete Tiles
Concrete tiles or pavers provide an immensely strong and durable solution for outdoor spaces. Similar to natural stone tiles, concrete (although not a naturally occurring material) is porous in nature; this means that encaustic concrete tiles will also require sealing and may not always be the best solution for climates that are susceptible to freezing conditions as any trapped moisture can freeze within the tiles themselves and lead to cracking or structural instability in the tiled area. Nevertheless, you will find that concrete tiles provide a spectacular finish for outdoor areas thanks to their immense longevity, wonderfully tactile texture and grip-like surface finish, making them ideal for use as a patio tile, pool surround tile or an alfresco flooring solution.
Decorative Ceramic Tiles for Outdoor Areas
Although most ceramic tiles cannot be used as an outdoor floor tile (there are some exceptions to this general rule of thumb – check in with your local tiles store for their best recommendations on outdoor ceramic tiles!), they can often be used as a decorative wall tile in patios and alfresco spaces. Ceramic tiles are often softer than porcelain options and as such, can be used to create a range of different textures and decorative styles. From 3D effect tiles that feature raised surfaces to create a pattern to sleek, almost glass-like glazes, ceramic wall tiles are an excellent choice when it comes to adding a touch of colour, shape and texture to your outdoor areas.
Glazed ceramic tiles are especially popular for use in covered outdoor patios when creating a feature wall as their sleek glaze will act as a sealant across the body of the tile, protecting them from moisture and making them simple to clean and maintain.
Transforming your outdoor patio with outdoor tiles is an excellent way to add character, pattern and colour to your landscape design scheme.There truly are endless options available from decorative ceramic wall tiles to glitter concrete that instantly add bursts of colour and pattern to the space to luxurious natural stone tiles or rustic terracotta tiles, each offering its own range of benefits to your outdoor areas.