Updated: Aug 14, 2019
When building or renovating a home, it is easy to get lost in the whole process of designing and creating the perfect interior. After all, this is where you will spend most of your time. But don't overlook the exterior of your home. The outside of your home is just as important as the inside. In fact, when it comes to resale value, your yard and outdoor surroundings of your home play a big role. Whether it's a lawn or a garden, there is no doubt that improvements to your yard can increase curb appeal and increase the overall value of your home.
One of the more popular ways of transforming yards and gardens is through the use of outdoor tiles. You can use tiles around a pool area or a patio or for pathways, decks, porches, the possibilities are endless. And just like the tiles used indoors, outdoor tiles come in a vast array of colours, textures, styles, and materials. You are bound to find something that suits your tastes.
Many people choose tiles for their outdoor areas because of the durability, ease of maintenance and attractiveness. But there are some things you must take into consideration before you begin your project.
Not all tile materials are suitable for outdoors. Tiles for outdoors must be strong and durable as they will be exposed to the elements of sun, rain, wind etc. As such, these tiles must be much stronger than the regular tiles used on indoor counters and walls, especially if you are tiling an area that sees heavy foot traffic. Some tile materials are very strong and tough and can handle a lot of abuse. Others, like regular ceramic tiles, are much more fragile and easy to scratch, break or develop unsightly cracks. Installing the wrong type of tile will therefore result in damages that may be costly to remove and repair. You can avoid this by ensuring that you select the correct type of tiles in the first place.
The most important thing you must take into account when selecting outdoor tiles is the weather. Some tile materials like stone, marble and travertine are porous and absorb water. These are better suited for warm climates. If you live in an area that floods regularly or if you’re tiling around a pool area, these materials will absorb water and may eventually weaken and crack.
While there are many options on the market, the most popular material for outdoor tiles is porcelain. Porcelain provides the perfect balance between durability and attractiveness. It is perfect for cold and wet weather as it is not as porous as other materials making it less likely to absorb moisture which can lead to the growth of moss, mildew and algae. Porcelain is also perfect for hot climates as it will not fade under direct sunlight and will maintain its vibrancy for many years. Porcelain tiles are more costly than ceramic tiles but much more durable and suitable for the outdoors.
Quarry tiles are also a strong option that will be able to withstand the elements. However they pricier and come in few colors and designs. Most are often seen in red, brown or grey. They
tend to be thicker and heavier than porcelain tiles making them better able to withstand heavy foot traffic and extreme weather. These also have a low water absorption rate and are suitable for areas that experience high moisture levels. This type of tile is however more difficult to clean and sometimes requires power washing to remove stains and grime.
When selecting tiles for outdoors, you must also be careful to select tiles that are slip resistant. Outdoor tiles will no doubt become wet at times due to rainfall. Smooth surface or glazed tiles will become slippery when wet and can lead to dangerous slips, falls and injuries. This can be hazardous especially if there are young children or elderly people in the home. Be sure to pick a tile with a high slip-resistant rating. No tiles are completely slip resistant however it is wise to use rough, unglazed tiles in outdoor areas.
Outdoor areas like walkways and patios may see a lot of foot traffic. These areas will also be open to the elements and susceptible to dirt and grime and other impurities. For this reason, you should make sure to choose tiles that are stain resistant or easy to clean. Outdoor tiles should be coated with a sealant which will help to resist stains and make it easier to keep clean.
When it comes to colour, style and design, it all comes down to preference. However, a useful tip is to use dark colours like dark greys and browns in areas that are brightly lit. In darker areas, use lighter colours for a brightening effect. You may also want to match your outdoor tiles with the colour or design of your home. You can choose to simply use the same tiles colour or pattern from inside to extend to your outdoor porch or patio.
Now that we've discussed how to select outdoor tiles, let's look at some of the benefits of tiling your outdoor spaces.
Firstly, tiles are generally easy to clean and maintain. They require little more than a cleaning agent and water as opposed to lawns that require frequent mowing and watering and care. Tiling your outdoor space will ensure that you do not have to spend much time on upkeep and maintenance.
Another benefit of tiling your outdoor areas is the ability to place furniture. The right outdoor tiles will be strong and able to withstand the weight of porch or patio chairs, outdoor bar-be-que pits and other pieces of heavy furniture.
Tiles are also relatively affordable and will last a long time. Once you make the right choice, your outdoor tiles will last a lifetime and keep your home looking stylish. You can count on us at TriniHelper to not only help you make the right selection, but to carry out the installation professionally and affordably. Get instant estimates using our calculator: www.trinihelper.com/tiling-calculator