The benefits of using tiles outdoors
Summer is just around the corner and our attention will so be turning towards the out doors and our gardens so i thought i would write a piece on using tiles outside. Just like the tiles used indoors, outdoor tiles come in a vast array of colours, textures, styles, and materials. However, unlike their indoor counterparts, outdoor tiles need to be strong, hard, and durable enough to withstand the elements. Whether it be extreme heat, rain, snow, heavy use, or all of these, they need to be able to withstand them while providing us with a space that is both attractive and functional. Unfortunately, not all tiles and materials can be, or should be used for all applications. Some tiles fair better in different temperatures and conditions than others, so it would be wise to take your time, read up, and choose carefully.
In order to choose the best tiles for your own unique outdoor space, you need to answer or at least try to keep in mind the same questions the pro’s do, and these are: The style of your home, space, or garden can have a big impact on your tile choice. Matching the style of your space with a similar style of tile can go a long way in creating a great looking and cohesive space. That being said, the opposite is true too, choosing mismatching styles is an easy and too often expensive way, to make your space look awkward and unpleasing to the eye. Thinking about what style you need to match or have to create will automatically help you to start to narrowing down your list of possible outdoor tile materials very quickly as not every material will work with the look you need to portray.
This question we are asked a lot is should i use a light or a dark tile outside and this can make a huge difference in how your space is perceived. Most people don’t realise that using dark tiles in an area with poor or dim lighting can really take away from the effect of your tiles, even great looking ones, making the space look dull and gloomy. A simple rule to follow is: Choose lighter coloured outdoor tiles for areas with low light, and darker tiles with areas with a lot of light.
Some tile materials are super tough and can handle a ton of abuse while others are much more fragile and prone to being scratched, damaged, or breaking. Laying the wrong type of tile in and forcing it to endure things it wasn’t meant to can lead to dealing with constant tile removal and repair, which could have easily been avoided by choosing the correct tile. As a general rule a full bodied porcelain tile is best used outdoors and here at target tiles all our tiles are marked if suitable for outside use and we also have a section dedicated to Exterior tiles . Below I have given a brief write up about Porcelain tiles, Ceramics Tiles, Quarry Tiles.
Non slip Tiles are useful on patios and walkways are in areas which are prone to moisture, or come into contact with a lot of water. This could be due to runoff, the local climate and weather, or maybe they are bordering a pond, pool, or water feature. Moisture and water can mean slippery and dangerous. A fall on hard tile can be very painful to say the least. This can also be a very important question if you are going to be using your tile on steps particularly if you have children or older adults who are not as agile and more prone injury. However not to worry, there are many tiles suitable for outdoor steps, walkways, and patios with excellent gripping ability, just be sure to choose one if you think it will be needed. Here at target tiles we rate all out tiles so look out for the non-slip symbol against each tile.
Ceramic Tiles are made from clay and are one of the most diverse options as they come in many colours, patterns, shapes, and sizes. They are the most commonly used tile material indoors but some can also be used outdoors as well. However, if they are to be used outside they need to have a high PEI rating. This is a rating of hardness and durability made by the Porcelain Enamel Institute. The PEI rating can be anywhere from 1 through 5 but here at target tiles we have made the process easy and against each tile just look out the for suitable for exterior use symbol
Porcelain Tiles are much more suited for outdoor use than ceramic tiles. Not only do they not mildew or stain, but they also have such a low water absorption rate, that they are near waterproof. This is because of the fact that when they are made, the porcelain is fired at much higher temperatures than those used in manufacturing ceramic tiles. It is this high temperature process which makes them more durable and dense than ceramic tiles which means a better tile for outdoor use. The way they are manufactured also allows them to be produced with more intricate textures that so closely mimic those of stone tiles. Some are so realistic that they are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.They also can be produced with non-slip textures, so they can be used safely in wet areas, a trait which makes them good outdoor tiles for steps. Porcelain tiles usually have a PEI rating of 5 making them more than tough enough for the job of being used as outdoor patio tiles as well. These tiles are also resistant to freezing. An extra benefit, unlike other types of outdoor tiles, is that they come in just about an unlimited amount of colours and just about every size imaginable. While, porcelain tiles are generally more expensive than ceramic tiles, they are cheaper and more durable than stone tiles, making them a great outdoor choice for the patio, steps, walkways, or anywhere you could think to use them.
Quarry Tiles while not actually coming from quarried stone as they did in the past, these unglazed clay tiles are very tough and function extremely well as outdoor tiles for patio use. Unlike ceramic and porcelain tiles, quarry tiles are typically only found in a few colours. Most often they are seen in red, brown or grey. It is these deep, rich, earth tone colours that help quarry tiles portray a unique Mediterranean look that many homeowners love. These tiles are also much thicker than other types usually ranging from 8mm to 15mm. This thickness and the fact that they are very dense, makes them an extremely durable and strong tile that can take the abuse of the outdoors. Quarry tiles also have a very low water absorption rate, allowing the homeowner to use them in wet areas without any problems. This added to the fact that their unglazed surface provides grip, makes them a very effective non-slip tile surface. However, they do need to be sealed as they will absorb stains. Quarry tiles can be tougher to clean than other types of tiles though and sometimes require a good power washing. Because quarry tiles are so tough and also very attractive, they work great as floor tiles, countertop tiles, and even outdoor wall tiles.and we also have a section dedicated to exterior tiles . Below I have given a brief write up about Porcelain tiles, Ceramics Tiles, Quarry Tiles
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Written by the Ask Target Trade Team