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March 18th 2024
7 min read

Outdoor Tiling Guide

If you're looking for a way to enhance your garden, patio, terrace or outdoor area, outdoor tiles are the perfect solution. From selecting the right design to the installation process and maintenance tips, we've got you covered. Outdoor tiles are a game changer for your garden, offering unbeatable durability and resistance to temperature changes, fading, moss and algae. 
What type of tiles is best for outdoors?
In the past, gardens were often filled with plain concrete slabs and wooden decking. But now, there are so many more choices available to transform your outdoor space. Thanks to advancements in technology, porcelain tiles can mimic natural materials with incredible precision. This means you can have the stunning beauty of natural stone, slate, marble or wood in your garden without the high cost or maintenance that usually comes with it. Porcelain tiles are hard wearing, highly durable and cost effective.

What styles of outdoor tiles are available?
Terrazzo style tiles - Terrazzo tiles are all the trend right now to add a modern feel to your outdoor area. The small specks of colour within each tile adds depth and texture that catches the eye at every angle. These versatile tiles are more durable, resistant to high temperatures and less prone to staining or scratching than natural terrazzo stone. The non-slip and easy to maintain features of porcelain terrazzo slabs ensure safety for everyone in the family throughout the year. 
Wood effect planks - Transform your outdoor space into a cozy and inviting haven. Ideal for mimicking the appearance of genuine wooden decking, wood effect tiles can come in either a spacious square format or a longer plank shape. These tiles are not only more resilient than real wood, but they also boast stain resistance, sun resistance, and exceptional durability. They offer a hassle-free, long lasting solution that requires zero maintenance. Once installed, you can simply enjoy them without any worries.
Stone style tiles - Achieve the appearance of natural stone with stone effect tiles, while enjoying the advantages of porcelain. Porcelain stone effect tiles are known for being more resistant to stains compared to natural stone tiles, thanks to their less porous material. They are also easy to clean, making them perfect for busy areas like gardens and patios. Opting for stone effect porcelain paving will not only save you time and money, but also eliminate the need for frequent re-sealing and specialized cleaning products that are often necessary for natural stone.
Marble effect stone tiles - Transform your garden and outdoor space with stunning marble effect tiles. Select between delicate white marble effect tiles or striking black marble effect tiles to elevate the look of your outdoor area. Enjoy the luxurious feel of natural marble without the high cost and maintenance. Marble effect tiles are durable, easy to clean, and offer lasting quality, making them a wise choice for any home or commercial property.

What sizes of outdoor tiles are available?
Back when outdoor tiles were first introduced, the most common size available was a medium to large square 600x600mm. However, nowadays, there are so many more options to choose from.

You can find smaller tiles like 250x125mm or 300x300mm that are super easy to lay.

If you're looking for something a bit bigger, medium to large outdoor porcelain tiles like 450x450mm or 600x600mm are perfect for any space, whether it's small or large. These sizes are incredibly popular because they're so versatile. Not only do they look fantastic in any setting, but they're also great if you're planning on installing them yourself.

For those who want to really make a statement, extra large exterior tiles with dimensions of 900x900mm or 1200x600mm are the way to go. These tiles visually widen your outdoor space and create a seamless finish when laid with a small grout joint. 

No matter which size you choose, outdoor tiles are a great way to enhance your space.

How to measure for outdoor tiles?
To determine the area you need to pave, just measure the width and length of the space and multiply the two numbers together. This calculation will provide you with the total area. If the area has an irregular shape, it's recommended to sketch it on paper and divide it into a series of squares and rectangles. We have a handy tile calculator on each of our product pages so we can work out the amount of tiles you'll need for your project. Simple select one of our outdoor tiles and add in your length and width within the calculator and we will work out the amount. We always recommend adding an extra 10% to cover for waste and cuts.

How to install outdoor tiles?
To successfully install outdoor tiles, you need to consider various factors such as the type of tiles, the substrate, and the tools used for installation. You must ensure that the substrate is able to support your chosen tiles and make sure it can handle the weight and any additional pressure. You can use tile adhesive, bedding mortar, raised pedestals, or even lay the tiles directly on grass or gravel.
Various surfaces for laying your tiles:
Concrete slab - Outdoor tiles can be can be attached to a concrete slab using a high quality tile adhesive, just like you would with indoor tiles.
Mortar - This is a common method for outdoor tile installation in the UK, particularly when updating a patio or garden.
Outdoor pedestals - These pedestals have a unique suspended system that allows for an elevated terrace or patio. It provides easy access to drainage, cables, and pipes, while also ensuring proper airflow and drainage.
Grass or gravel - For a DIY project, you can lay porcelain pavers directly on grass or gravel without adhesive or mortar. This is great for creating stepping stones or pathways in your garden.

How to clean outdoor tiles?
After installing your outdoor tiles, it is extremely important to give them a thorough clean, especially if you have used adhesive, grout, or jointing compounds - We recommend the UltraTile ProClean Easy Clean Tile Protector. As we have mentioned before, porcelain tiles are known for their low maintenance compared to other outdoor materials like decking and natural stone. However, they still require the occasional cleaning. Cleaning outdoor tiles is quite easy and we suggest using a tile cleaner, however, you can also use clean water. 20mm outdoor tiles are incredibly durable and can even withstand a high-pressure jet washer for cleaning.

How much do outdoor tiles cost?
You can anticipate spending between £25 and £60 per square meter for your outdoor tiles. If the price is lower, it might indicate lower quality, while a higher price could mean inflated margins. Outdoor tiles are a cost effective alternative to natural stone pavers. Natural stone pavers are pricier to purchase and require more upkeep, not to mention the lifetime expenses. Outdoor porcelain tiles, when installed and maintained correctly, have a long lifespan and do not deteriorate with time. In addition to the tile cost, remember to budget for grout and adhesive, and potentially hiring a professional tiler if you're not doing the installation yourself.

What grout is best for outdoor tiles?
There are many great grout choices for your outdoor tiling project, but it's crucial to think about the durability in the long run. Using a grout specifically formulated for outdoor use will give you better a outcome. UltraTile Propave Grout is made for outdoor tiles, while BAL Micromax3 is also suitable for outdoor tiling projects. Make sure to wait for the adhesive to completely dry before grouting.

Are outdoor tiles environmentally friendly?
Porcelain tiles are a fantastic choice for covering surfaces, whether it's indoors or outdoors, if you're looking for an eco-friendly option. Made primarily from natural and recyclable materials, they are a sustainable choice for your outdoor area. Outdoor tiles made from porcelain are not only long lasting, but also provide an eco-friendly and stylish alternative for creating a well designed and sustainable space.

Can outdoor tiles also be used inside?
Outdoor tiles are versatile and can be used both indoors and outdoors. Recent trends are seeing our gardens as an extension of our living spaces. An open plan layout can create a sense of spaciousness and flexibility and is a fantastic way to add visual depth and length to living spaces. To ensure a smooth transition, it's important to maintain consistent levels between your indoor and outdoor floors, which will enhance the overall coherence of the space. If you're thinking about using outdoor tiles indoors, be sure to consider the texture and thickness carefully. Indoor porcelain tiles are typically thinner and lighter than outdoor paving slabs, making them easier to work with and install within your home.
 
Explore our full range of outdoor tiles and order some complimentary free samples today!