Choosing Tiles for Outdoor Patios
Talk to a sales representative at a tile retailer when shopping for outdoor patio tiles. When explaining your needs, emphasize that you will be using the product outside. From region to region, there can be a wide variation in what products are appropriate for outdoor use. Generally, colder, damper climates will have a more limited choice of materials, particularly if there are frost-thaw cycles.
Your best bet is to make your purchase at a store that specializes in outdoor patio tile, perhaps one that also offers installation services. Such a retailer will have a strong interest in seeing to it that your installation will hold up over time, and should steer you away from products not suitable for your application.
An initial consultation with a landscape contractor who builds outdoor patios can also be helpful. Discussions with the contractor will make it clear what types of tile are most appropriate for your situation. Whether or not you choose to buy services from the contractor, you will come away with a good understanding of your options.
While many of the same considerations used for indoor tiles also affect your choice of outdoor patios tiles, there are some issues that need to be kept foremost in mind:
- Strength: Unlike the tiles used for indoor walls and floors, outdoor tiles need to be particularly strong and able to withstand a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions. And just how strong they need to be is dependent on the level of use you anticipate. A patio for a sedate retired couple calls for different materials than for a family with active children throwing play equipment around.
- Budget: A patio can be quite an expansive space, and covering it with luxury tile can cost far more than tiling a smaller indoor space, such as a bathroom. For this reason, the cost is a very important factor when choosing a patio tile. The range in price can be enormous, from as low as $1 per square foot for a material such as carpet tiles or basic ceramic tile to $50 per square foot to have a high-end slate or soapstone patio installed.
- Style: Outdoor patios must blend in with the overall looks of the landscape and the architectural features and materials of the house. Choose materials with colors and textures that are consistent with the overall look of your property.
- Texture and slip resistance: The texture and “slipperiness” of a tile are far more important in outdoor applications than for indoor tiles. Moisture is often inherent on an outdoor patio, and the tile texture must provide some “tooth” that keeps users from slipping. Non-slip surfaces are critical for outdoor tiles, and some material choices are eliminated for this reason. The texture of the patio surface can also affect your choice of patio furniture.
- Weather conditions: If you live in an area exposed to the cycle of freezing and thawing, you will need an outdoor patio tile that can withstand extreme changes in temperature. Porcelain, for example, has a very low water absorption rate, while sandstone is fairly porous. If water is absorbed by a piece of tile and that water then freezes, the process can crack your tile or break the joints between the tile.
- Light exposure: Although it’s not often recognized, the amount of sunlight a patio gets has an impact on the best tile to choose. Bright, sunny spaces call for darker tiles, while dim, shady areas should be tiled with a brighter material that lightens up the space.
- DIY-friendliness: While any of these tiles can be installed by DIYers with moderate skills and some energetic ambition, some are more amenable than others. Natural stone, for example, is quite heavy and difficult to cut, while other options such as deck tiles, rubber, or interlocking plastic are a breeze to install. In general, any DIYer familiar with indoor tile installation can also install a tile patio, though the methods and materials may be slightly different.
Disclaimer: Curated and re-published here. We do not claim anything as we translated and re-published using google translator. All images and Tattoo Design ideas shared only for information purpose.