Best Outdoor Tile

Tile can be a great choice for an outdoor patio, so long as you choose the right tile.  It’s important to know that not all tile is created equally, and laying a slick surface in an area that is likely to see moisture is never a good idea.  So what do you need to look for in a tile that’s suitable for your outdoor space?  Here a few things to consider:

Moisture Resistance

Even if your patio isn’t likely to catch rain, you may want to hose it down from time to time to clean it off.  The morning dew may find it’s way onto your patio.  If it’s near a pool, wet little feet may traverse it’s surface.  The point is:  your patio is likely to see water occasionally.  Trapped moisture could cause tile to buckle or become a breeding ground for mold.  It’s important to look for a tile that sheds water and won’t retain it.  Impervious is the key word here.  You’ll want a tile with an impervious (or moisture-resistant) porosity rating.  

Non-Slip

You’re trying to create a beautiful outdoor space, not a danger zone.  We don’t want those wet little feet slipping and sliding around.  A smooth surface is much more likely to create a slip and fall than a rougher surface.  Look for a tile that has a textured surface and avoid anything polished.  

Durability

Outdoor spaces are usually high traffic areas.  Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that the tile you choose is durable enough that you can enjoy your outdoor entertaining without worrying about how the floors will hold up.  In this case, look for the tile’s PEI rating or ask your flooring specialist if it’s not readily available.  A PEI rating of at least 4 is recommended in outdoor spaces, although you’ll want to choose a PEI of 5 if you live in an area susceptible to hard freezes.  Check out Porcelain vs. Ceramic Tile for more information on PEI ratings.

Design

Now that we’ve got all the technical stuff out of the way, it’s time for some fun.  Choose a tile that matches your personal taste and meshes well with the rest of your home.  Find a tile that you like!    

What’s the perfect outdoor tile?  It’s safe, long lasting, easy to clean and looks great in your home.

5/14/2012 1:33:00 PM