The Best Tiles for Outdoor Use

Outdoor tiles need to be stronger and more durable than the tile inside your home. Custom tiles located outside are exposed to the elements every day and have to withstand rain, snow, wind, and extreme temperatures. It can be difficult choosing an outdoor tile that is both functional and attractive. Take a look at the outdoor tiles listed below for a better understanding of what you should pick.

Ceramic Tiles

These tiles are made from clay and have a large variety of options. They come in countless different shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns. While they are generally used as an indoor material, they can also be used outdoors. If you’re thinking about installing them outdoors, make sure they have a high PEI rating. A PEI rating gages the durability of the tile and can range between 1-5. The harder the tile, the better it will be for your outdoor space.

Porcelain Tiles

This style of tile is likely a better outside option for most consumers than ceramic tiles. They don’t stain or have mildew and are practically waterproof. They are highly durable and dense due to the way they are produced. Porcelain tile can often resemble stone tile, and are a cheaper alternative to stone. If you want something that can be used in wet areas, consider a custom tile design with non-slip textures. A porcelain tile tends to have a PEI rating of 5 and is also freeze-resistant.

Sandstone Tiles

Sandstone has been around for thousands of years, and for good reason. It is sedimentary rock that is composed of small rock particles. While the most common colors of sandstone tiles are white, brown, tan, grey, and red, you can find more offbeat colors if you choose. The texture variations are phenomenal, which is a reason why this tile is so popular. Make sure your sandstone tiles are sealed properly, as they can absorb a lot of water that will lead to problems down the road.

Granite Tiles

This tile is common in the United States and has the highest durability of any stone tile. Granite tiles are waterproof and won’t stain. It’s an ideal tile for any outdoor space that receives lots of foot traffic, as it is scratch resistant, won’t crack, and is easy to clean. Granite is without a doubt the most popular outdoor floor tile option and is perfect for outdoor countertops or as fireplace tiles.

While granite can be an expensive tile, it is guaranteed to last longer than other tiles.

Quarry Tiles

These tiles are made from clay and are a great option for a patio. They are only available in a select few colors, such as red, brown, and grey. The style they portray is Mediterranean, which makes it a popular choice for homeowners looking for a little class. They are thicker than most other tiles, typically ranging from ½” to ¾”. Many people use them in wet areas because they have a low absorption rate. You can use this tile as a floor tile, outdoor wall tile, or outdoor countertop tile because of its high durability.

Quick Guide to Tiling

When it comes to custom tiles, there is something for everyone. The combinations of colors, shapes, and styles are endless, and can be used a variety of homes and businesses. While the aesthetic appeal of a tile can be persuasive, it’s important to look at other factors like durability and overall quality. Even the prettiest of tiles can be chipped and appear worn over time, which decreases value. It’s critical to pick a tile that is easy on the eye, functional, and able to withstand wear and tear. This quick guide will explain tile sizing, ratings, and the common forms of tile.

Tile Sizing

Floor tiles are manufactured in squares measured from 4-inches-by-4 inches up to 24-inches-by-24 inches. Squares aren’t the only shapes; octagonal and hexagonal shapes are also popular options. Mosaic tiles can be installed individually and are smaller than their counterparts.

Tile Ratings

Find a tile that is efficient for the area you are looking at. For example, bathrooms need a tile that is slip-resistant and moisture-proof. Some tiles should only be used indoor or outdoor. Using a series of standardized tests, tiles are rated by their hardness according to the Mohs scale.

The Porcelain Enamel Institute hardness ratings are:

Group I Light Traffic: Residential bathroom floors where bare or stockinged feet are the norm.

Group II Medium Traffic: Home interiors where little abrasion occurs; don’t use in kitchens or entries.

Group III Medium-Heavy Traffic: Any home interior.

Group IV Heavy Traffic: Homes or light-to-medium commercial areas.

Group V Extra-Heavy Traffic: Use it anywhere.

Types of Tiles

Vinyl tiling is the most common and lowest priced form of tile, although it tends to be lower in quality as well. Go with a vinyl tile that is stiff in order for it to last longer and provide sturdiness. Ceramic tile is made of clay and various minerals, making it a great choice for any area that is exposed to moisture. This type of tile goes well in bathrooms, kitchens, patios, and entryways. Natural stone tiles, such as granite, marble, or slate are incredibly hard and durable. They are generally more expensive than other options and require treatment. Porcelain tile is a common choice because it is very dense, hard, and resistant to moisture and wear. Be sure to purchase porcelain tiles that are rated by the Porcelain Enamel Institute, as one and two tiles are for walls, and a three to five rating is for the floor. Pick a custom tile that works best for your home, one that achieves the ambience you’re going for.

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