Porches and patios are a great addition to any home. They provide a relaxing place to enjoy with friends and family and increase a house's curb appeal. When considering flooring for outdoor use, you have to consider both aesthetic and functional purposes. Tile used outside has to withstand the weather, extreme temperatures, and direct exposure to sunlight. We've done the research and can tell you which tiles are the best to use for an outdoor porch.
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The best tiles to use for a porch are:
- Interlocking Tiles
To help you make the most informed decision, we'll cover some pros and cons of each type of tile. We'll also get some comparisons on porcelain and ceramic, two very similar tiles, with one big difference about them. Get all that information and some simple tips on installing tile when you keep reading.
Types of Tiles
When deciding on a tile for your porch, it's important to consider the pros and cons of each type. Your porch tile will have to endure conditions that are much different from inside your house. Think about how the tile will fade over time, how slippery it is when wet, and whether or not it can hold up to different temperatures. While overall color and design should also be considered, here are some other pros and cons to think about.
Porcelain tiles are lighter and thinner than other outdoor materials are. They are also low maintenance. While they don't require sealing, a little extra protection will ensure your porcelain looks better for longer. It is also stain-resistant and durable as well as water and moisture resistant.
Using porcelain tiles can be on the pricey side. The prices vary, with higher quality tiles being more expensive. Porcelain is difficult to cut and may require special cutting equipment.
Because of how ceramic is manufactured, it is lighter and easier to cut than porcelain is. Ceramic is typically cheaper than porcelain as well.
Unfortunately, ceramic is more crack-prone than other tile options. It is also vulnerable to heavy traffic. Ceramic's porous nature makes it susceptible to sand and dirt as well as water.
If you have cracked ceramic, it can be incredibly frustrating. Check out How to Repair Cracked Ceramic Tile for an easy step-by-step guide.
Travertine is an incredibly durable tile. It is also able to withstand various weather conditions and slight fluctuations. As a type of limestone, travertine is often characterized as a weak stone. However, it was used in the building of the Roman Colosseum, which showcases its resilient nature.
Because of its porous surface, travertine does need to be sealed to protect it. There have also been instances of travertine tile cracking in colder climates. Travertine is incredibly reactive towards acidic substances. Any acidic spills need to be immediately cleaned and still runs the risk of staining. This type of tile is usually about 6.5 pounds, which makes it a reasonably heavy tile.
Slate is an excellent choice for flooring because of its stain-resistant and durable nature. Not only does slate have natural water resistance, but it is also resistant to cracks, scratches, and breaks. Whenever slate is used, you will create a unique space that cannot be replicated. Compared to other tile options, it is incredibly environmentally friendly and has a production process with a low environmental impact.
While having a unique floor is a plus, it can also be a downside. Slate is unique in the sense that you can't buy two tiles that are the same. Its natural color and textures differ. While not as heavy as travertine tile, slate is still heavy at approximately 5.5 pounds. It is also a more expensive choice, with prices ranging from $4 to $10.
Granite is another tile that is incredibly durable and scratch-resistant. This type of tile is also fade-resistant. So, you won't have to worry about any change in color because of the sunlight. Granite tiles also have a lot of variety. It's easy to customize and get the perfect look.
A big downside to granite is its cost. Even compared to other natural stones, granite comes at a high price. It's also not a very DIY-friendly tile. Granite is very heavy. It's essential to make sure that your area can support the weight of granite tiles.
Concrete tiles are typically seen in commercial settings because of how tough and durable they are. These tiles are more durable than hardwoods, porcelain, and ceramic tiles. Concrete tiles are also easy to maintain and are less expensive than natural stone tiles are. Made by using a hydraulic press method, concrete tiles use a more energy-efficient manufacturing process.
Weighing in at approximately 9 pounds, concrete is a heavy tile option. Concrete tiles are typically thicker than other tiles, usually being made at 5/8 inches. You'll have to make sure the extra weight and depth will be acceptable for you. There is also a chance for concrete tiles to crack during colder temperatures.
Interlocking tiles can be made from a variety of materials. This is a great option to get wood, natural stone, or difficult-looking designs at a fraction of the cost and minimal work. These are perfect for both temporary and more permanent solutions. However, it is important to purchase a high-quality tile for long-term use.
With interlocking tiles, there's a good chance that you're going to get visible seams. This may not be a big deal to some people, and it may not be a problem with every type of tile. In larger areas, this type of tile can be incredibly time-consuming to install. Certain types of tiles can also be slippery when wet.
Can stone tile be used outdoors?
Stone tile can be used outdoors. Some types of natural stones are better suited for outdoor use than others. Limestone is softer and more porous, prone to cracking, and can get slippery. So, it wouldn't be the best option for an outdoor setting.
Is ceramic or porcelain tile better for use outdoors?
Ceramic and porcelain are incredibly similar tiles. Ceramic tiles are a clay, mineral, and water mixture that is kiln fired and has water absorption of 0.5% to 3%. Porcelain tiles are a mixture of clay, sand, and feldspar that is kiln fired and has no more than 0.5% water absorption.
The manufacturing process for porcelain tiles makes them more durable, stronger, and more stain-resistant than ceramic tiles are. However, the choice between ceramic and porcelain will be mostly a personal preference. Both are great options and have a variety of designs.
How thick should outdoor tiles be?
Standard porcelain tiles are typically 1/4" thick. This tile thickness is only recommended for interior applications. When picking tile for outdoor use, look for a thickness of either 1/2", 3/8", or 5/16".
What do you lay outdoor porcelain tiles on?
It's recommended to lay porcelain on a wet mortar bed with a 6 to 1 mixture of grit sand to cement. You can also use self-leveling cement or install it on already existing cement. When installing on a preexisting area, an adhesive is needed for the tile to stick properly.
When installing flooring, it is imperative to make sure that your area is completely flat. You should also take the time to layout and plan your design before your installation. Laying them out first can help you avoid unnecessary errors later.
Will porcelain tiles fade in the sun?
Color is fired either directly onto the tile's body or the tile's glazed surface when creating porcelain tiles. This means that color isn't going to fade even if exposed to direct sunlight.
Do ceramic tiles fade in the sun?
Due to the similarities in manufacturing, ceramic tiles also don't fade when exposed to sunlight.
How long do plastic deck tiles last?
When taken care of properly, plastic deck tiles can last over ten years. The average lifespan for plastic deck tiles is between 1 and 10 years.
Can rubber flooring be used outside?
Rubber flooring is a viable option for outdoor use. When thinking about rubber flooring, you may think playground or gym. These are just two popular uses for rubber flooring. It is very versatile and is excellent for use around the home. Rubber flooring is durable, slip-resistant, and shock absorbent.
Certain rubber floorings will not stand up to the elements. So it is important to check the quality of rubber tile before purchasing. Of course, rubber flooring won't be as resistant to time as the tiles.
Wrapping it Up
There are plenty of different types of tiling options for your patio needs. It's possible to achieve a wide variety of looks with porcelain or ceramic tiles. These will provide opportunities as well as more durability and longevity than you could get from interlocking tiling. Many natural stone options can create a beautiful environment while also improving the value of your home. No matter what you choose, make sure that your tile can handle the weather conditions for your area. Also, double-check how to care for your tile correctly. Natural stone will require sealing, while you can get away with skipping it for porcelain tiles.