The Inside Scoop on Outdoor Flooring
Mar 21, 2022
While just about any tile will work in a warm, dry climate, it is much more of a challenge to find the right outdoor tile that can withstand damp and freezing weather. It takes some planning to make your outdoor space feel as much a part of your home as your living room, and it all starts with your floors. Here are a few important considerations and ideas for choosing the right tile for your outdoor floor.
When choosing an outdoor floor, think about the kind of beating it’s going to take. Harsh weather, pet scratching, and kids playing can mean damaged floors if you don’t choose a resilient enough option. Tile is great because it can withstand harsh winter weather—and toy trucks being thrown at high velocity.
Choose outdoor tiles that have some texture to keep your patio from turning into a Slip ’N Slide when it rains. Avoid tiles with glossy surfaces, like your indoor tiles may have, and opt for a textured one for better traction.
While climate may influence your choice of whether to use tile at all, it should also be a factor in your decision among types of tiles. Porcelain is a great choice for places that freeze in the winter because of its very low water absorption rate. Sandstone, on the other hand, is very porous, meaning water will be absorbed into the tile, and when that water freezes, it can cause your tile to crack. Sandstone tile works well in warm, dry climates, so if you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t deal with brutal winters, you have a wider range of tile options available to you.
Style and Color
Consider how your outdoor patio will blend in with the house and the landscaping around it. Whether your backyard looks like a Victorian garden or a Major League infield should influence your choice of tile style. When choosing the color of your tile, consider how much light your patio or deck gets. For a shadier area, opt for a brighter patio tile to lighten up the space, and for a sunny area, consider a darker deck tile to balance out the light.
Types of Tile
The best options are porcelain, ceramic, and quarry tiles, with porcelain being the strongest and most recommended outdoor stone flooring option. Ceramic is also a good option if your deck doesn’t get a ton of use. Quarry tiles, which (fun fact) are no longer mined from quarries, are very strong and were created for outdoor use. The drawback with quarry tiles is that they come in a limited range of colors like red, brown, gray, and tan—so if you’re looking for a strong tile option with more color and pattern options, we recommend porcelain. And, remember to choose a textured porcelain tile to avoid unwanted slips.
Deck tiles are interlocking tiles made of water-resistant wood, such as cedar or redwood, or composed of composite wood, which is a cheaper option that is just as durable. The interlocking edges of these tiles make them fairly easy to install, which can also bring the cost down.
Plastic or Rubber Tiles
Both plastic and rubber tiles feature interlocking edges that join to create a cohesive surface. These tiles are best around pools and areas where your kids play, as it is a much softer surface. These might not be the most sophisticated-looking option, but you’ll thank us later when your little one inevitably falls and bonks their head on a softer material.
Whether you’re looking to tile a balcony, porch, or another backyard area, your local Flooring America experts are here. They’re happy to help with all your projects, and it’s always a great place to start one. Visit yours today to begin your next home renovation project!
Visualize Your Flooring Dreams
Want a preview of how new floors will look in your home? Try our room visualizer, My Floor Style. Upload a photo of your room, select your style preferences, and get a virtual look at each different flooring style. With My Floor Style, there are no surprises. Only beautiful new floors.