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Outdoor Tiling Essentials - Style & Maintenance

Updated: May 2

Tiling outdoor spaces can transform your patio, pool area, or garden into a stylish and functional oasis. However, before diving into the exciting world of outdoor tiles, there are a few key factors to keep in mind. In this article, we'll walk you through the essential talking points to consider when it comes to tiling your outdoor areas.

A luxurious garden with outdoor tiling around a pool

Tiles Built to Last

Outdoor tiles need to withstand Mother Nature's whims. Look for tiles made from durable materials like porcelain or natural stone. These materials are resistant to moisture, temperature changes, and UV rays, ensuring that your tiles will remain intact and beautiful for years to come. If you are uncertain of a tile's durability there will be many ratings to help narrow your search and increase your confidence in finding that perfect tile.

Measuring durability can take many forms, including strength & density, frost resistance, UV resistance, impact resistance and water resistance.

  • High strength and density ratings indicate tiles are less prone to cracking or chipping under pressure. The greater their density the more they can handle heavy foot traffic and the weight of furniture or equipment without compromising their integrity.

  • If you live in an area with freezing temperatures, select tiles that are frost-resistant. Such tiles can withstand the expansion and contraction caused by freezing and thawing cycles. By choosing frost-resistant tiles, you can prevent cracks or other damage that may result from temperature fluctuations.

  • Outdoor tiles exposed to sunlight need to be UV-resistant to maintain their colour and appearance over time. UV-resistant tiles are specially formulated to withstand the damaging effects of UV rays. They retain their original vibrancy and prevent unsightly colour fading or discolouration.

  • Consider the impact resistance of the tiles, particularly in high-traffic areas or places where objects may be dropped. Tiles with excellent impact resistance can withstand minor impacts without cracking or chipping, ensuring their long-term durability.

  • To protect against moisture damage, opt for tiles with low water absorption rates. These tiles are less likely to crack or deteriorate when exposed to moisture, making them ideal for outdoor environments where rain or other water sources are present.

Safety First

Slippery surfaces can be a hazard, especially in outdoor areas prone to water or moisture accumulation. To mitigate the risk of slips and falls, choose tiles with textured surfaces or finishes specifically designed for enhanced traction. Traction is crucial for areas such as pool decks, patios, or outdoor staircases where water is present.

An idyllic garden with large outdoor stone tiles

Weather Resistant Tiling

Outdoor tiles must brave the elements year-round. Be sure to select tiles that can handle freezing temperatures, intense heat, heavy rain, and prolonged exposure to sunlight. Check that the tiles have a suitable absorption rate and are specifically rated for outdoor use to prevent cracking, fading, or other weather-related damage. For more information on weather resistance see the durability ratings breakdown above.

Low Maintenance

Who wants to spend countless hours maintaining outdoor tiles? Opt for tiles that are resistant to stains, mould, and mildew. These types of tiles are easier to clean and maintain, requiring only basic practices such as sweeping, occasional pressure washing, or using mild detergents. Sealants and coatings have a significant impact on cleaning and tile longevity. These sealants or coatings create a barrier on the tile surface, making it easier to wipe away spills and prevent them from seeping into the tile.

Is your cleaning doing more harm than good? Check out our do's and don'ts of tile cleaning to avoid common mistakes and keep your tiles looking new. Click here to read!

Style and Personalisation

Your outdoor space is an extension of your personality and style. With a wide range of styles, colours, shapes, and sizes available, outdoor tiles offer endless possibilities for customisation. Consider the overall aesthetic of your outdoor area and choose tiles that complement the surrounding environment, architecture, or your personal preferences. For example, if you want to create a calm environment, using neutral coloured large format stone tiles evokes the peaceful side of nature with few grout lines for a low stimulus space. Conversely, an energetic garden may use vibrantly patterned mosaic tiles with a textured focal point for added dynamism.

Large format tiles around a pool.

Professional Tiling Installation

Proper installation is vital for the longevity and performance of your outdoor tiles. Hire a professional installer experienced in working with outdoor tiles to ensure a successful outcome by following the necessary guidelines for substrate preparation, proper adhesion, and adequate drainage systems.

All our tilers are vetted for professionalism and quality ensuring you receive the best service. If you are interested in our tiling services, please contact us!

Or use our tiling checklist to ensure you receive the service you deserve.

Budget-Friendly Outdoor Choices

Outdoor tiles vary in price, so it's essential to set a budget for your project. Explore different options within your price range. While natural stone tiles may be more expensive, they offer a luxurious and timeless appeal. Porcelain tiles often provide a more affordable yet durable alternative.

Purpose and Location

Think about the specific purpose and location of the outdoor area you plan to tile. Different areas, such as pool surrounds, pathways, or outdoor kitchens, have specific requirements in terms of slip resistance, durability, and maintenance. Choose tiles that are suitable for the intended use and will perform well in the given environment.

Eco friendly tiles sealers & cleaners.

Grout and Sealing

Properly sealed grout is crucial for outdoor tiles to prevent moisture penetration and maintain their appearance. Opt for a high-quality grout and ensure it is correctly applied and sealed. Additionally, consider applying a sealant to the tiles themselves, especially if they are porous or prone to staining.

Sustainability Matters

If you're conscious of your environmental impact, look for outdoor tiles made from eco-friendly materials or those produced using sustainable manufacturing processes. Some manufacturers offer tiles made from recycled materials or with eco-certifications that prioritise sustainability without compromising quality or aesthetics. Natural stones are fantastic eco-friendly materials as they are long-lasting and timeless, offsetting the carbon footprint and outlasting multiple family generations and countless changes in fashion trends.

We are known for stone! We stock exclusive natural stone ranges praised for their A-grade outstanding quality and authenticity for traditional properties - available in a variety of sizes and finishes for the perfect aesthetic. Book your free private viewing, and see them for yourself!

Tiling outdoor spaces can be an exciting endeavour, adding both beauty and functionality to your outdoor living areas. By considering these essential talking points, you can make informed choices that will ensure your outdoor tiles withstand the test of time while creating an inviting space for relaxation and entertainment.

The MTM Team

MTM Tile Showroom log

MTM Tile Showroom, Mission Room, Blagdon Hill, Taunton, Somerset, TA3 7SH


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