Outdoor Terrace Tiles

4 Questions to Ask About Outdoor Tiling

Once you have decided to install tiles on your outdoor space, it is time to ask yourself questions about how you will use the tiles, how they will be styled, and how they can improve the space. Don’t jump into picking and installing outdoor tiles without asking yourself these four pertinent questions:

Where Are the Tiles Going to Be Installed?  

You know that the tiles will be installed outdoors, but where exactly to install them is the first question to ask yourself. For instance, the mosaic tiles used for your pool liner cannot be used for pool decking. Some tiles, though they may be used outdoors, cannot withstand water and heat as well as other tiles. You can use ceramic tiles outdoors as long as they have a high Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) rating of 4 and up. This will ensure the tile glaze’s hardness, rigidity, and durability.

How Will I Use the Space?

How do you plan to use the space? Is it going to be a high foot traffic area? Will it be exposed to severe weather, and is moisture a possibility? If you expect heavy traffic in the area and plan to place heavy furniture, choose a scratch-resistant tile that will be able to withstand heavy loads. Tiles used near a swimming pool should be made for moisture and water. If you seal the tiles heavily, water will not seep underneath them. Not all tiles are made for the outdoors. Tiles have specific characteristics that enable them to hold their ground against moisture, water, and sun. If the tiles are installed in an uncovered setting, ensure they are resistant to most environmental factors.

How Thick Should the Tiles Be?

Using the proper thickness of tiles is more important outdoors than indoors. Standard tiles are usually ¼-inch thick, while the thickest tiles are around ¾-inch thick. The thickest tiles are used as pavers. For indoors, the requirement is the minimum, which is ¼-inch thick. Outdoor areas will have different requirements, depending on whether the space is covered. Covered exteriors with minimal exposure to harsh weather typically require ½-inch, 3/8-inch, or 5/16-inch tiles. These tiles cannot carry heavy foot traffic and furniture, so you should not install them in garages. If you need tiles for uncovered outdoor areas exposed to extreme weather conditions and attract heavy traffic, you will need the two-centimeter pavers. These tiles support commercial foot traffic, heavy furniture, and even vehicles.

What’s the Climate Like in Your Area?

The climate in your area will also affect your chosen tiles. If you experience regular freeze-and-thaw cycles, you need tiles that can bear these extreme weather conditions. Dense tiles are usually perfect for this situation. In a hot and sunny place, light-colored tiles can do the trick because dark tiles will absorb more heat.

The Takeaway

Installing new tiles in an outdoor area shouldn’t be complicated if you understand how to use the space. Remember that there are specific tiles made for outdoor areas, so it’s not impossible to find the perfect one. Take time to decide by asking the four questions above to get the most out of your outdoor area.

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