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How To Choose The Right Outdoor Tile

Outdoor spaces are not just limited to patios and gardens anymore. Now more than ever, people are bringing the comforts of their homes to the open-air spaces. These transitional spaces have blurred the lines between indoors and outdoors, which allows the natural surroundings into the home while still enjoying the solace of your living room. Outdoor tile is an ideal choice for these transitional spaces because of its durability and its resistance to nature's elements. 

If you are thinking about updating your outdoor space, adding an outdoor dining area in your home, or laying tile in your backyard, our guide will help you to choose the best outdoor tile for your project.

 Outdoor space with furniture laid with gray floor tile

Why Use Tiles For Outdoor Spaces?

Tile is a solid material choice for your outdoor space for several reasons. It’s tough and can handle most of what you throw at it, whether it be kids running around, pets, dropped dishes or weather elements. It’s also available in a wide variety of colors, styles, materials, designs, and finishes, all while there are options for every budget.

Where Can Outdoor Tiles Be Used?

Outdoor tiles can be used virtually in any outdoor space:

Outdoor Patio

Tile is perfect for patios, because it’s available in so many styles, colors, and designs that gives you more options to create a bespoke outdoor area than concrete or brick. 

An outdoor porcelain tile that looks like wood will bring the indoors outside. Your guests will feel comfortable and want to relax on your patio for hours. You can also make a pathway of porcelain tile pavers to your patio. The pavers can be laid over grass, gravel, or anything else in your backyard.

Outdoor Kitchen

Who doesn’t want a trendy outdoor kitchen? Natural stone or eye-catching porcelain pavers are perfect for an outdoor kitchen. They are strong, durable, and do not get slippery when they are wet.

Outdoor Lounge

Ceramic, porcelain, or quarry tiles are perfect for your lounge area. The colors should complement your kitchen or other outdoor space to create a cohesive look.

Swimming Pool

Outdoor tile can be used in swimming pools too. You can lay your pool floor and walls with glossy glass tiles or go for mosaic tiles around the edge to add a touch of character while protecting your pool finish.

Choosing The Best Outdoor Tile: What To Consider

Don’t pick out outdoor tile solely based on its color or how well you think it will look in your backyard. There are many other considerations to think of to ensure your tile lasts many years and stays looking fresh. 

1. Prioritize Grip And Slip-Resistance

When choosing outdoor tile, the first thing you should think about is grip, texture, and how slippery the tile can get when it comes into contact with water. For example, if you have a pool nearby or you live in an area where it rains quite often, then slippery tile may be out of the question. 

Look for non-slip surfaces and make sure to check the rating of the tile to ensure it has the appropriate amount of grip and toughness. One is the most fragile and five is the toughest. The outdoor tile you choose should have a rating of four or five.

If you don’t have a pool or you are in an area that doesn’t get much rain and you don’t have to worry about flooding, then this may not be as much of a concern for you.

2. Look For Quality, Strong Tile Materials

Since outdoor tiles are exposed to the elements and damage caused by daily use, such as cracks and scratches, you will need tiles that are strong, durable, and will last for years to come. 

Think about how much you will use the space, how you will use it, and who is going to use it. If you have kids and dogs, then you are going to need something extremely durable.

3. Determine Your Budget

Measure your space and determine how much you want to spend. A smaller space is cheaper to tile where a larger space will naturally cost more. Although tile prices range anywhere from $1 per square foot up to $50 a square foot, tiling your outdoor space doesn’t have to be expensive. 

At Oasis Tile, you can be sure to find many affordable options if you’re on a budget but don’t want to compromise on quality.

4. Think Of How Much Light The Space Gets

Do you get a lot of natural sunlight? Or is the area pretty dark and shady? If the area is dark, you will want a lighter tile to open up the space. Soft cream or white tiles would work best in this case. Otherwise, if you have a lot of natural sunlight, you can get away with choosing a darker tile.

5. Be Creative When Styling Your Outdoor Space

The style of your home and outdoor space can have a big impact on the tile you choose. If you are after a cohesive look that flows naturally from indoors to outdoors, then you can match the decor choosing tiles in a similar color or style. 

If what you are looking for is creating a contemporary, vibrant new space, then you can go for contrasting colors and striking designs.

Outdoor Tile Types

Now that you know what to consider when choosing the right tile, let’s go over the different types of outdoor tile. First, not all tiles are created equal. Some tile is naturally tougher than others, and for outdoor spaces, you will need to prioritize durability. 

Kids running around, dishes being dropped, and nature’s elements are just a few of the things impacting your tile on a daily basis. Let’s see one by one the different tile materials and how they compare to each other.

  • Porcelain Tile
  • Porcelain tile is a good choice for outdoor spaces because it’s versatile, strong, and sturdy enough to be used in your outdoor patio floor. Furthermore, porcelain is resistant to freezing temperatures making it ideal in many climates.

    It’s also close to being waterproof because it has low water absorption rate. If you have a pool, you may already have porcelain pool tile installed. 

    Another reason porcelain is popular for outdoor tiling projects is that it comes in many colors. In fact, porcelain can be made to look even like natural stone, a tile material that would normally cost a lot more money to use. So if you want the natural stone look without the cost, then porcelain tile is a good choice.

  • Ceramic Tile
  • Ceramic tiles are popular because of how smooth they are, classic, and affordable. They can be used on the walls to create an interesting focal point by adding a splash of color. If you are thinking of using ceramic tiles in your patio make sure they are rated for outdoor floor applications.

  • Granite Tile
  • Granite is the strongest and most durable type of stone tile, which also makes it pretty expensive. It is naturally waterproof and resistant to bacteria. Granite is the perfect option for people who have kids or dogs because granite does not chip or crack easily. 

    Use granite tile to create outdoor pathways or as the floor in your outdoor kitchen.

  • Travertine
  • Travertine is an elegant natural stone tile that comes in a range of colors from brown to cream. This type of  tile is generally used to create a more rustic appearance. The natural texture of travertine makes for good outdoor steps or to be used around swimming pools. 

    Besides being sophisticated, the stone can handle extreme temperatures without cracking, so it is ideal for a variety of climates.

  • Limestone
  • Limestone has been used as a building material since thousands of years ago, so it’s easily still a favorite when it comes to tile. It usually comes in tan, gray, red, or brown colors. These lighter colors reflect the sunlight so the tile stays cool during heat waves. 

    While these tiles are tough, they can be scratched, so care should be taken if you are thinking of laying them in a high traffic area.

  • Soapstone
  • Soapstone is resistant to water, staining, and high heat. Since it is naturally waterproof, soapstone is perfect for outdoor living spaces. This type of tile can handle extreme climates as well. Use soapstone around water features or swimming pools because of its high water resistance.

  • Slate
  • Slate has a wide range of colors, not just the gray that comes to mind. It can be smoother or have an uneven surface, which is known as a natural cleft finish. Slate is also water-resistant and tough, which makes it a popular choice for outdoor use. Try it to create an outdoor shower, a decorative wall, or patio floors. 

  • Quarry
  • Quarry tiles are strong and are perfect pavers for your patio. They are designed specifically to be used outside so you can expect them to hold up against the elements. The downside is there are not many colors or styles to choose from.

    Oasis Tile Can Help You Choose The Best Outdoor Tile For Your Home

    Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to your choosing the right outdoor tile for your project. There are many options to choose from so you are sure to find something to suit your needs.

    Explore our selection of premium tiles