There’s a variety of outdoor patio tiles available that will work for your home. Patio tiles are a great option for outdoor areas that are constantly exposed to the elements.
Tiles for outdoor patios offer you many options to decorate your outdoor living space attractively. These tiles are easy to install and maintain.
Patio tiles come in a wide variety of designs and shapes and should be chosen wisely for your outdoor living spaces.Check texture and slip resistance, style, shape and strength when you are selecting a tile for your outdoor patio.
What to Look For
- Hardness – Tiles for outdoor patios should be hard and dense. If tiles are too soft, they can crack and chip easily from everyday use. If objects like falling branches or tree limbs fall in a storm, soft tiles will most likely be damaged. Accidentally dropping a pitcher of lemonade can crack the tiles.
- Durability – Unlike the tiles used for indoor floors, patio tile should be strong enough to withstand intense rain, sun, snow, freezing and thawing and damp conditions. Don’t choose a porous tile because it is more likely to show stains from spills and dirt much faster.
- Porosity – If you live in an area like northern New Jersey, patio materials will be exposed to the freeze/thaw cycle. Tiles for outdoor patios should be able to withstand extreme temperature changes. If tiles are too porous, they will absorb water. If the water freezes at night, then thaws out the next day, that process can crack and dislodge the tiles.
- Non-slip surface – Outdoor patio tiles can become very slippery when wet. If you have a tiled shower, chances are the floor tiles are small with lots of grout lines. These grout lines provide traction and slip-resistance under your feet. Most patios are built with larger tiles and fewer grout lines, so outdoor patio tiles should be slightly abrasive to provide a slip-resistance surface when wet.
Types of Patio Tiles
Natural stone tiles are a beautiful addition to outdoor living spaces but may be expensive. Tiles or stone pavers come in marble, slate, travertine, limestone and granite. These stones come in various styles and shapes- even squares that are 24” or longer are available. You can choose stone tiles to match your outdoor theme in a variety of finishes including some tiles that are even slip resistant.
- Granite – It is one of the hardest and least porous of all the natural stones. It can withstand cold northern NJ temperatures and adverse climatic conditions. It comes in colors that vary from white to black.
- Marble – Marble is the second hardest stone used for tile. While more porous than granite, it is still tough and versatile after it has been sealed. Marble tiles vary in color fromblack to white with lovely veining and can be finished with a rustic surface or honed to a smooth polish.
- Slate – Slate is durable, but softer than granite or marble. Its strong color variations create a lot of texture and visual interest and no two tiles are ever alike. It’s a great choice when you want contrast in your outdoor patio. Colors ranges are gray, green, orange, brown and tan.
- Limestone – Limestone is a rich, light colored stone and can be used in outdoor patios. It should be sealed for stain protection because it’s very porous. Limestone’swhite and brown color variations are often a perfect accent to an outdoor living space.
- Travertine – Similar to limestone this stone tile material is very porous and must be sealed before installing. It comes in colors that vary from dark brown to palest white, with finishing options that can be customized to match your outdoor space.
Brick pavers are durable, strong tiles for outdoor patios. They are easy to maintain and can be easily cleaned with a garden hose and soapy water. They dry quickly in the sun when wet, but can form a slick mossy film on the surface if left in moist shady areas. Although brick is somewhat porous, a sealer isn’t always necessary. Talk to your Bergen County, NJ landscape contractor about using a sealer.
Brick pavers create a classic, more traditional look. They can be laid in herringbone patterns rather than straight patterns to create visual interest. Colors range from typical red brick to more muted shades of green, rust, brown, tan and beige. Brick pavers come in various sizes and finishes that look like both new and aged bricks.
Concrete pavers provide a strong,durable, resilient surface for outdoor patios. They are slip-resistant and easily withstand freezing ground temperatures without cracking or chipping. They’re easy to clean and maintain with soap and water. Concrete doesn’t have to be sealed for stain protection, but it may help for long-term use.
Concrete now comes in more than 30 pre-mixed colors and 15 stains. It isn’t the same boring off-white material you know. There are new decorative options like stamped patterns and textures that resemble more expensive materials like natural stone and slate.
Created from super-fine porcelain clay and fired at a higher temperature than ordinary ceramic tile, porcelain tiles are dense and tough and made for today’s demanding applications both indoors and out. You can easily find porcelain tiles in a wide range of patterns and textures that resemble brick, stone, rock, concrete etc. It is available glazed and unglazed, high-gloss and refined or textured to resemble natural stone.
Wood patio tiles create the look of an outdoor deck or hardwood floor. They’re made from hardwood trees for maximum strength and durability, then finished with decking oil to create a deep, rich color. Like all wood products, wood tiles for outdoor patios need routine maintenance for long-term beauty. For proper care, tiles should be power washed and a wood finish reapplied once every 36 months.
Wood tiles for outdoor patios should be installed on a hard concrete or asphalt surface for best wear and resilience. Some tiles have an elevated PVC platform base that allows for adequate drainage and moisture ventilation when used outdoors.
Saltillo tiles are a type of terra-cotta tile that originated in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. As a clay-based product, they are rather soft and porous. The beauty of Saltillo tiles is their hand-crafted look. They are actually shaped with a wooden frame and left to dry naturally in the hot sun. They are not fired in a kiln at high temperatures like porcelain tiles. This natural drying process contributes to their natural beauty, but makes them less durable. Colors range in various hues of red, orange and yellow and no two tiles are ever the same.
Saltillo tiles, unlike porcelain tiles, are not glazed on the surface. This leaves them vulnerable to spills, stains and liquids that can be easily absorbed. When used as tiles for outdoor patios, they must be sealed for protection. Because of their clay-based structure, they wear well in warmer climates but are not a great choice for patios in Passaic County, NJ or other northern NJ climates where freeze/thaw cycles occur. If you love the look of hand-crafted Saltillo tiles, talk to your landscape contractor about using a porcelain or slate tile that resembles the look.