The benefits of using tiles outdoors
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. They need to be able to withstand all that nature throws at them while providing us with a space 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 on what’s available and choose carefully.
In order to choose the best tiles for your own unique outdoor space, you need to at least try to keep in mind the same questions the professionals 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 goes a long way in creating a great looking and cohesive space. That being said, the opposite is also true too: choosing mismatching styles is an easy – and too-often expensive way – to make your space look unpleasing and awkward to the naked eye. Thinking about what style you need will automatically help you to start narrowing down your list of possible materials very quickly as not every material will work with the look of your property and style.
This question we get 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, making the space look gloomy and dull. A nice and simple rule to follow is: Choose lighter coloured outdoor tiles for areas with low light, and darker tiles with areas with lots of light.
Of course, some tile materials are very 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 making it endure the wrong conditions can lead to dealing with constant tile removal and repair. As a general rule, a full bodied porcelain tile is best used outdoors. Below we have given a brief write up on the differences between Non-Slip, Porcelain and Ceramics Tiles.
Non-slip Tiles are useful on patios and walkways in areas prone to moisture, or where they come into contact with a lot of water. This could be from runoff, the local climate, or maybe they are surrounding a pool, water feature or pond. Moisture and water can be slippery and a fall on hard tile can be very painful at least, if not worse. This can also be very important to consider if you are going to be using your tile on steps, particularly if you have children or older adults who more prone to injury. However don’t worry, there are many tiles suitable for outdoor areas with excellent gripping ability; just be sure to choose one if you think is needed. Here at A&J Trading Tiles and Stones, we rate all out tiles so always feel free to ask us what we recommend for you.
Ceramic Tiles are made from clay and are one of the most diverse options as they come in many shapes, sizes, patterns and colours. They are mostly used indoors but some can also be used outdoors also. However, if they are to be used outside we suggest checking the tiles and their uses before you buy for piece of mind.
Porcelain Tiles are much more suited for outdoor use than ceramic tiles. Not only do they not mildew or stain, they also have such a low water absorption rate, that they are almost waterproof. This is due to when they are made, the porcelain is fired at much higher temperatures than manufacturing ceramic tiles. High temperature make them more durable and dense than ceramic tiles, meaning a better tile for outdoor use. The way they are manufactured also allows them to be made with more intricate textures that more 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 in wet areas, a trait which makes them often a good choice for steps. Porcelain usually are more than tough enough for the job of outdoor patio tiles as well. These tiles are also resistant to freezing in colder climates. An extra benefit, unlike other types of tiles, is that they come in just about an unlimited range of colours and just about every size imaginable. Although porcelain tiles are generally more expensive than ceramic ones, they are cheaper and more durable than stone tiles, making them a great outdoor choice for the patio, walkways, steps or anywhere you could think to use them.
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