It’s officially the summer and with that, comes the desire to spend as much time as we can soaking up whatever rays we get here in Britain. And with our thoughts turned to outdoor areas, we dutifully mow the grass, trim the hedges and weed the flower beds in preparation for getting the most of our summer. However, once those little tasks are done, does our patio, walkways or outside flooring need a bit of love? With the extremes in temperatures we experience here, outside spaces can be subject to far more wear and tear and so when considering replacing the flooring for these areas, it’s important we get it right.
While there are a dizzying array of tiles for both inside and outside to choose from, tiles used outdoors need to be a little tougher – strong, durable and able to withstand whatever the British weather throws at them. We’ll also want something that looks great and is practical so that we’re not slipping on them in the wettest months or seeing them crack or break under the harsh sunshine of the hottest days.
So with that in mind, here are a few things to consider when choosing the best tiles for your outside area.
With a lower absorption rate than ceramic and a resistance to mildew and staining, porcelain is a perfect choice for outdoor areas. Because they are fired at a very high temperature, they are able to withstand more extremes in temperature without freezing in very cold weather or cracking under a hot sun and this manufacturing process creates a strong and durable surface.
Porcelain tiles also allow for more variables in texture so they can mimic real stone, some being nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. These textures also allow for specifically non-slip textures in wet weather which makes them perfect for steps and walkways.
With a huge variety of colours, textures and sizes, they are cheaper than real stone and make the perfect choice for outdoor use.
Our Dunsen tiles are specifically anti-slip and come in both dark and light grey colours, perfect for a contemporary outdoor area. It’s larger size makes it a great choice for a patio or conservatory.
The Doblo Rock range comes in a variety of colours, finishes and sizes with a subtle texture mimicking a riven stone tile but for less money. It’s a great choice for any outdoor area including steps and walkways.
For a lighter, airier look, consider our Morvan floor tiles which transitions from inside areas to outdoors effortlessly.
Traditional quarry tiles are made from natural clay which makes them extremely hard wearing. The deep earthy reddish colour of these tiles gives it a unique Mediterranean style which may bring to mind holidays in these golden climates and it’s for this reason many homeowners love it. Their inherent thickness and the fact that they are very dense that makes them a more endurable and an extremely strong tile that can take any extremes in temperature the British weather may hold.
Stone has been used as a building material for millennia and it’s rustic finish can give you a wonderfully natural look in outside spaces. With variations in its grain and finish, it is also naturally slip resistant. However as a natural material, will require proper sealing so as not to absorb water or stains.
For a bit of pattern and the look of real stone, why not consider our Haven Creek range as seen in the image above? It mimics the look of natural stone without the upkeep and has all the high endurance qualities of porcelain.
For a look of Italian conglomerate stone floor, have a look at our Pietra Italian Porcelain Tile which has a beautiful subtle stone effect.
Slate, cut from metamorphic rock, creates a natural stone tile which are mostly grey in colour but can also vary from oranges and reds to darkest purple. The surfaces are uneven which gives them a very natural and organic look and due to this uniqueness, can make a great outdoor tile as it’s good in wet conditions and it’s uneven surface is naturally slip resistant.
However, slate is not good in freezing temperatures and it is easily scratched despite being a dense substance and can stain easily if not sealed properly. As an alternative, consider our Nature Black Slate Porcelain Floor Tile or our Alpino Black Floor Tile as seen above which gives you all the character of a natural slate look without the upkeep.