We all know that outdoor living spaces must be functional and attractive. But most importantly, the outdoor flooring must be sturdy and durable enough to withstand all the elements. Tiles for outdoor spaces can be a good option to upgrade a traditional concrete slab or brick patio and also comes with many more design choices.
When it comes to choosing the right outdoor tiles, it can be challenging and confusing. This is because there are a lot of choices. Without proper guidance and knowledge, you can end up with the wrong tiles that will not be suitable for your area or weather conditions.
In this post, we have listed the top tips for choosing the perfect outdoor tiles for your residential or commercial space.
1. Focus on the Durability of the Tiles
The best tip for having the perfect outdoor tiles is to focus on strength and durability. Not many people consider the strength of the tile, which is a huge mistake. Unlike indoor tiles, outdoor tile should be tougher and prone to scratches, cracks or other damage that can last long. Therefore, it is essential outdoor tiles to be strong enough to withstand harsh conditions and high traffic area.
You can ask tile professionals how strong and durable tiles you must have.
2. Don’t Ignore Slip Resistance and Texture
Safety should be a top priority for you. This is why you must not ignore slip resistance and texture of the tiles when choosing outdoor tiles, irrespective of the area requirement.
The outdoor tiles are often exposed to moisture that can lead to accidents and injuries. To prevent accidents and slipping, you should choose tiles that are slip-resistant or having tile texture like that help keep everyone safe and sound.
3. Keep in Mind Your Style
The most important thing you focus on is style. The exterior of your house can make or break the appeal of your house. This means it is crucial for making a great first impression. Since it will be the first thing your guests will notice in your house, it is essential to complement the overall appeal and architectural features of your house.
The outdoors must not look separate area, instead, it must blend in with the overall theme of the house. So, you must focus on the materials of the tiles. The style, design, textures, and colors of the outdoor tiles should go well with the overall appearance of your house.
4. Set Your Budget
Another tip for having the best outdoor tiles is keeping in mind your budget. Everyone knows that a patio is a spacious area and if you get luxurious tiles for covering the area, it will cost you a lot. It is not wise to spend all your fortune on outdoor tiles. We know the exterior of your house is the first thing your guests and passersby notice, but still, it is not worth burning a hole in your pocket.
That’s why you should set a budget and try not to go over your budget.
5. Light Exposure and Weather Conditions are Crucial
How many have you ever considered light exposure to outdoor tiles before buying? Well, there are a lot of people who don’t know light exposure has a key role to play in deciding which outdoor tile you should get.
We all know patio, usually, gets a great amount of sunlight. If a tile is not made for high exposure to sunlight, it will become discolored and ruin the appeal. You don’t want your patio to look unappealing.
If you have a shady area, you must go with bright colored tiles. This will brighten up space. In case the area will receive plenty of sunlight, you must choose dark colored tiles.
Besides this, another thing you must not ignore is weather conditions. If you are living in an area where there are extreme changes in temperature like freezing and thawing, you will need an outdoor tile that can easily withstand it.
Sandstone might not be a great choice for such weather conditions. This is because it is porous and can absorb the water. The water freezes and during this process, the tile can crack or break the joint. On the other hand, porcelain has a low rate of absorption.
Hence, you must pay attention to weather conditions and light exposure when buying outdoor tiles.
6. Choosing the Right Tiles for Every Outdoor Area
When you are buying outdoor tiles, you have to consider where you will be using them. We all know that outdoor tiles are made to bear the elements; however, all the tiles are not made equal. Some tiles are sturdier than others while some are highly resistant to water.
There are different tiles for patio, deck area, pool, and flooring. Whether you will be using it on the wall or floor, you will need to keep it in mind before choosing the outdoor tile.
7. Consider the Finish
Here are some commonly used finishes for tiles.
Wood Finish Tiles
One of the finishes that you can choose is wood finish tiles. It is capable of having a stable surface and installing is extremely easy. The wooden tiles are durable can withstand different weather conditions.
Decking tiles are large squares of wood having a backing strip with interlocking edges. Mostly, it is made from water-resistant wood like redwood or cedar. It helps in creating a ground-level deck without the understructure. The cost of wood decking tiles ranges from $8 to $12 per square foot.
Another outdoor tile finish you can get is carpet tiles. It is a unique style and perfect for adding a touch of class and sophistication. The tiles are made from indoor-outdoor carpeting that is peel and stick. The carpet tiles might have interlocking edges or adhesive tape. You can install these tiles over concrete slabs. The best thing about such tiles is that it can be removed without any hassle. The cost of carpet tiles is nearly, $3 per square foot.
Interlocking Plastic Tiles
It is a new form of tile that has a plastic surface with interlocking edges. The best thing about these tiles is its texture. The texture of interlocking plastic tiles will help in protecting against falls and slips. Using such tiles is a good way to cover a concrete slab.
Rubber finish tiles are good for play areas and sports courts. Usually, the rubber tiles have interlocking edges that can join other tiles to form a uniformed surface. Since these tiles are very soft, it can be used near pools.
8. Select the Right Outdoor Materials
Outdoor tiles have different materials, we have listed some of the most popular materials. Materials are divided into manmade and natural stones.
Natural Stone Materials
The cost of installing natural stone tiles can range from $5 to $35 per square foot. This depends on the design, style, and materials used. The cost of labor ranges from $8 to $20 per square foot. Some natural stones are inexpensive like travertine, sandstone, and limestone. Slate, granite, and soapstone are expensive options.
One of the natural stones used for outdoor applications is granite. This is a premium and high-end paving material that is highly polished. It is the reason why it becomes slippery when it gets wet. Since it is a porous material, it must be sealed frequently to prevent water penetration and staining.
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock stone that is soft, more than a limestone. This is not a good choice because it is prone to scratching. The stone is made from compressed sand that provides a unique texture. To prevent it from staining and water penetration, it must be sealed often. It is great for dry climatic conditions.
This is a natural stone having an eye-pleasing and beautiful color and texture. Travertine is a form of limestone; it is mined near the mineral spring deposits. This material has a pitted surface that is capable of collecting dirt. If the stone is polished, this problem will be resolved. However, it will make the tile extremely slippery.
The quality of this stone greatly depends on the place it was mined from. For instance, the stone from China and Mexico is not so water-resistant as compared to the stone from Italy and Turkey.
It is a favorite construction material as it can easily be fabricated. This is a sedimentary rock that is available in a variety of shades including red, gray, tan, and brown. The light shades of limestone are perfect for reflecting heat.
Though it is a soft stone in comparison to slate and granite, it can easily be cracked or scratched. For preventing stains, it should be sealed regularly. Limestones are suitable for dry weather conditions.
Another most common choice for outdoor applications is slate. It is a metamorphic rock that is formed under pressure and heat. This makes the stone durable, hard, and water-resistant. It has a natural texture that prevents it from being slippery. Many people think it is available in black or dark gray colors. Fortunately, it is available in a variety of colors such as green, purple, and orange.
Marble is an excellent natural stone that is used for outdoor applications. It has natural water-resistant abilities making it great for harsh conditions. However, it can get damaged if the water is trapped inside.
This is a non-porous material that has a silky and smooth texture. Soapstone is a natural stone that is water-resistant, and it will not get stained easily. Also, it is highly heat resistant. This means you can use it in hot weather conditions.
Soapstone is a great stone that can be used in freezing climates as well. It is the reason why you can use it near swimming pools.
When it comes to prices of manmade tiles, it varies; it can cost somewhere between $2 to $30 per square foot. The labor charges vary from $4 to $14 per square foot.
Outdoor Ceramic Tiles
One of the best choices for outdoor tiles is ceramic tiles. For many years, people have been using ceramic tiles for outdoors. This is because they have PEI rating; it indicates ceramic tiles have the required strength for outdoor applications.
Mostly, ceramic tiles are perfect for patios that receive light foot traffic. In case you decided to choose ceramic tile for outdoors, you have to make sure it is sturdy for floor use. The wall ceramic tiles are not strong enough to be used as floor tiles.
The cost of ceramic tiles may vary greatly depending on the style and design. It is a cheaper option than porcelain.
Concrete Tiles Outdoor
The concrete tiles are a popular choice for outdoor applications. This is a natural stone that is cheaper than most natural stones. In recent times, the concrete tiles are available in different colors and textures. It can easily resemble high-end ceramic tiles.
Outdoor Saltillo Tile
The outdoor Saltillo tiles are Mexican tiles that are made from durable clay. A great thing about these tiles is that they are easy to clean, prone to scratch or crack, long-lasting, and perfect for outdoor flooring.
Quarry tiles are made using unglazed clay instead of a natural quarry. Usually, these tiles are strong and are perfect for patios. A quarry tile is among the tiles that are specifically made for outdoor applications like patios and courtyards.
Quarry tiles are not available in a wide range of colors. Instead, it is available in a few colors including gray, red, and brown. A great thing about these tiles is that it offers a Mediterranean appeal. Since quarry tiles have good water resistance, the texture makes it slip-resistant as well.
However, quarry tiles are not an ideal choice for areas with freezing temperatures.
Another common material for outdoor tiles is porcelain. For those who don’t know, porcelain is a form of ceramic that strong and dense. That’s why it can be used for covering outdoor areas like a patio.
Porcelain tiles come in different textures and styles. It is best to choose tiles that have a matte finish and are textured. The glossy tiles will increase the risk of slipping when it is wet. Not all the porcelain tiles are rated for use on floors, so you have to ensure they are sturdy and thick.
Best Outdoor Tile Contractor
Looking for an experienced outdoor tile contractor in the greater Los Angeles area? No need to look further, Westside Tile and Stone is an ideal choice. We are a leading and experienced outdoor tile contractor since 1991 offering a wide array of materials, styles, and design of tile and stone that are unmatched. We have a highly responsive customer service that handles all inquiries swiftly. Contact us today for more detailed information or visit our kitchen tile store near you, you can call us at 818-704-9222 or 310-276-9222 for free consultation.