We can all agree that an ideal outdoor living area should not only be comfortable and cozy, but also needs to be practical. A very important aspect of this is having durable and strong flooring that is able to withstand all that nature can unleash upon it. Tiles specifically designed for outdoor living areas are a great flooring option to upgrade traditional concrete or brick flooring. An added benefit is that with tiles you have so much more choices when it comes to design options.
Due to these many choices in outdoor tiles, homeowners can find it challenging to narrow their choice down to only one. Without the right advice and information, you risk choosing tiles that are not appropriate for your location and local weather conditions.
Through this post we would like to share with you the top tips for picking the ideal outdoor tiles for either your home or business premises.
1. Prioritize the Durability Aspect of the Tiles
The number one tip for choosing the ideal outdoor tile is to concentrate on the strength and durability of the tile options. To evaluate the strength of the tile is something that is often overlooked, which can lead to regret. Outdoor tiles should be considerably more durable when compared to indoor tiles. Furthermore, you want tiles that are less likely to sustain dents, cracks, or scratches. Outdoor tiles must therefore be able to withstand extreme weather conditions and cope well in high traffic areas.
Specialized tile contractors, like Chicago Tile & Backsplash, can help you find out more about suitable tiles for your location. Contact us for expert advice.
2. Choose Textured Tiles that are Slip Resistant
We all know the rule, safety comes first. Make sure to choose textured tiles that are slip resistant. This is a must for any outdoor tile installation.
Outdoor flooring is often wet, which can easily result in accidents or injury. To keep everyone safe, you should choose tiles that are textured and not slippery when wet.
3. Consider Your Personal Style
Make sure to choose tiles based on your personal style. The exterior of your home often creates the first impression and the style you choose can influence the overall attractiveness of your property. Make a lasting positive impression through your own unique style. Your visitors will immediately notice your flooring, so it’s best to make sure it complements your home as a whole.
The outside living area should form a natural extension of your home and not be a stand-alone space with a completely different style. To achieve this, pay attention to the style, design, texture, color, and material of your outdoor tile, making sure it matches the rest of your home.
4. Create Your Budget
Keeping your budget in mind is another great way to narrow down your choices. Most patios are spacious; therefore, the tile installers may require a lot of tiles and other material. Choosing luxury tiles in large quantities may exceed your budget and spending vast amounts of your savings on outdoor tiles is not the goal. Creating a stylish exterior is important to most homeowners, but it’s best to spend within reason and stay within your budget.
5. Consider Light Exposure and Weather Conditions
Not many people consider the effects of light exposure on outdoor tiles. The light exposure your patio gets can greatly influence which outdoor tiles would be most ideal for your patio.
More often than not, patios receive a lot of sunlight throughout the day. If your chosen tile is not designed to cope with prolonged light exposure, it will discolor and become unappealing. This is the last thing you want.
For more shaded patios, consider going with more bright or bold colors to brighten the area. Tiles slightly darker in color is a great option for patios that receive lots of sunlight.
Apart from the light exposure, also consider your location and the local weather conditions. Is your patio exposed to extreme temperatures during the year, including freezes and thawing? If so, make sure your chosen tile is designed to withstand these conditions.
For instance, sandstone is not the ideal material for these types of conditions. Sandstone is porous by nature and will absorb water. Once temperatures reach freezing point, the moisture contained within the tile will solidify and may cause the tile to crack. Porcelain on the other hand is much less porous, therefore more suitable for freezing weather conditions.
These are some of the reasons why local weather conditions and sun exposure are vital elements to consider when choosing your patio tiles.
6. Picking Tiles Suitable for Each Outdoor Space
You need to think about and plan where you will use outdoor tiles before you purchase them. As we discussed, outdoor tiles are meant to withstand nature’s elements, but not all tiles are equally created. As any tiler will tell you, tiles differ in their composition. Some are more durable and others are more water resistant.
When it comes to your patio, deck area or pool surroundings, each area has its own unique requirements for suitable outdoor tiles. Before selecting your outdoor wall or floor tiles, carefully plan in which area it will be used and what characteristics are important before the tile installation commences.
7. Choose From Different Tile Finishes
Here are some of the most common tile finishes.
This tile is one of the options you can choose from. This wood-look tile is very easy to install and has a safe surface. This tile will last and is able to withstand a variety of weather conditions.
Large wooden squares with interlocking edges and a backing strip are known as decking tiles. Typically, water-resistant wood like cedar or redwood is used in their manufacturing. It facilitates the construction of a deck at ground level, without an understructure. Wood decking tiles are priced between $8 and $12 per square foot.
The carpet tile is another option for outdoor use. It is a different take on outdoor flooring and will add a dash of elegance and sophistication to your outdoor living area. Indoor-outdoor carpeting is used to create this tile and it comes with a simple peel and stick tile installation solution. They will either have interlocking edges or come with adhesive strips. These tiles are ideal to install on a concrete slab. They are very easy to install and you can expect a price of about $3 per square foot.
Plastic Tiles That Interlock
This is a brand-new type of tile with an interlocking surface made of plastic. The texture is one of the most appealing qualities of this type of tile. These tiles are ideal to install on a concrete surface and with a suitable textured surface, your kids and visitors will be protected from slips and falls.
This is a great tile to use for a play or sports area. The rubber tiles typically come with interlocking edges that help to create a seamless surface. These are also good tiles to use around a pool area as they are soft.
8. Choose from Different Tile Material
Below you will find some of the most popular tile materials on the market today. There are two categories, namely man-made and natural stone. You can also visit the Chicago Tile & Backsplash website to view our portfolio for ideas and inspiration.
Natural Stone Tile Options
Tile contractors will quote you from anything between $5 ad $35 per square foot for natural stone tiles. The price will differ of course, depending on your preferred tile design, style, and material. You can expect the labor cost of the tile installers to set you back somewhere between $8 to $20 per square foot. There are reasonably priced natural stone tile options available, for instance travertine, sandstone, and limestone. Looking at the more high-end options, you will find slate, granite, and soapstone as a few examples.
Granite is one type of natural stone material used for outdoor living spaces. This is a premium and luxury material, and note that it can be slippery when wet, due to its high polished finish. This is a porous stone type therefore you will have to seal it frequently to prevent water damage and stains.
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock, similar to limestone, but softer. Sandstone is not ideal for outdoor use as it scratches easily. This stone type is formed by sand that has been compressed and one of its unique qualities is its texture. Sealing is required on a frequent basis to prevent water damage and staining. This stone works best in dry weather conditions.
This natural stone has a beautiful aesthetic in both color and texture. This stone is similar to limestone as it is extracted from the ground close to mineral spring deposits. As it has a pitted surface, it tends to collect dirt, but when polished this problem is resolved. The polishing procedure, however, tends to make this material slippery in wet conditions.
The location of the stone’s mining has a significant impact on its quality. For instance, compared to stone from Italy and Turkey, the stone from China and Mexico is not as water-resistant.
Limestone is popular due to the fact that it can be fabricated. Limestone is a sedimentary rock and comes in a range of colors, such as red, gray, tan, and brown. The lighter tones are ideal for reflecting heat.
As this is a softer stone than slate or granite, it can easily crack or sustain scratches. Like other stone types, regular sealing is required to maintain this stone. Limestone is ideal for areas with a dry climate.
Slate is a very popular material to use outdoors. It is a metamorphic rock formed through heat and pressure. As a result, the stone is resilient, strong, and water-resistant. The texture of slate ensures a non-slippery surface. When most people think of slate, they envisage black or dark colors, but in fact slate is available in a variety of colors. These colors include green, purple, and even orange.
Marble is a great option for an outdoor tile installation. Its water-resistant and durable qualities make this material suitable for harsh climates. It does require sealing as it can get damaged if water is trapped inside the tiles.
Soapstone is non-porous material, and it has a smooth and silky finish. As this natural stone is water-resistant it is not prone to water damage or stains. Furthermore, it can withstand high temperatures, making it ideal for use in a location that experiences hot summers.
Apart from high heat resistance it also works well in freezing temperatures. All these natural advantages make soapstone ideal to use around a swimming pool.
Manufactured tile pricing can range from anything from $2 to $30 per square foot. A tiler can charge around $4 to $14 labor fees per square foot.
Ceramic tiles are among the top choices when it comes to outdoor flooring. This tile choice has been popular for many years. This is mainly due to the fact that ceramic tiles have a PEI grade, which means it is strong enough to use for outdoor areas.
Typically, ceramic tiles are great for patios that do not see excessive traffic. When deciding on ceramic as your choice of flooring, check with tile contractors to make sure you have the extra strength type. There is a difference between wall and floor ceramic tiles, and you want to make sure you have the appropriate tile suitable for your outdoor flooring.
Ceramic tile costs vary depending on which style and design you choose. It is more affordable though as porcelain, for instance.
Concrete tiles are very suitable for outdoor use. It is a more affordable choice compared to other natural stone options. Due to advances in the manufacturing process, concrete tiles are available in a variety of colors and textures. Concrete tiles can even be made to resemble the more expensive ceramic tile.
Outdoor Saltillo tiles are produced in Mexico and are made from hard-wearing clay. This type has a few excellent advantages, including durability, easy to clean and they are more scratch and crack resistant compared to most other stone types. Tile installers will agree that this is a great outdoor flooring option.
Instead of real quarry, unglazed clay is used to manufacture quarry tiles. These tiles are long lasting and ideal for patios. This material is specifically manufactured for outdoor use like patios and courtyards.
Quarry tiles are not available in a wide variety of colors, and you are generally confined to choose between gray, red, or brown. This is a good option if you want to give your outdoor space a Mediterranean feel. These tiles have a rough finish, making them slip resistant in addition to being water resistant.
One thing to note though, is that quarry tiles do not do too well in freezing temperatures.
Porcelain is another popular material for outdoor flooring. Perhaps you’ll find it interesting to know that porcelain is a tough and dense type of ceramic. This makes it ideal for patio or other outdoor area flooring.
They are available in a variety of textures and styles. For outdoor use, rather opt for a matte finish and a non-slippery type of surface. Going with a glossy finish is not ideal as wet conditions will make it unsafe to walk on. It’s good to note that not all porcelain tiles are rated for outdoor use. Make sure you choose porcelain tiles that are strong, thick and suitable for the outdoors.
Experienced Outdoor Tile Contractors
Chicago Tile & Backsplash has the experience and knowledge to provide superior customer service. Our tile installers have handled numerous projects successfully and you can browse through our portfolio to view past and present projects. Chicago Tile & Backsplash is the leading local tile contractor that you can rely on to provide a vast variety of materials, styles and designs including natural stone options. Our friendly team is knowledgeable and will gladly be of assistance to you. Contact us today for more information or a free consultation.