Outdoor floor tile buying guide
Julie, Interior Designer, Manchester22 guides
- Footfall resistance
- Scratch resistance
- Slip resistance
Materials used to make outdoor floor tiles
Full body porcelain
Outdoor floor tile shapes
Rectangular tilesLike indoor tiles, exterior tiles come in a wide range of sizes. Rectangular tiles are available in sizes ranging from 30 x 60 cm up to 45 x 90 cm. You can lay them in a classic style or offset the tiles to play around with the effect of the grout. Choose the right size of tile to match the area you want to cover.
Square tiles can be used to create a sense of continuity with your indoor tiles. Various dimensions are available:
- 33 x 33 cm;
- 40 x 40 cm;
- 45 x 45 cm;
- 60 x 60 cm.
For larger terraces, opt for a larger tile.
Clip-in, or interlocking, tiles allow for quick and easy installation. They are reusable and can adapt to all flat surfaces. As they are made of polypropylene, these tiles do not require any gluing and are easily slotted together via a system of clips.
Outdoor floor tile quality and standards
- PEI 1: No foot traffice, suitable for wall applications only
- PEI 2: Light traffic, not recomended for outdoor use.
- PEI 3: Light to moderate traffic, residential interior floors (e.g. bathrooms, halls, etc.).
- PEI 4: Moderate to heavy traffic, all residential applications, some commercial uses.
- PEI 4: Heavy to extra-heavy traffic, all residential and commerical uses.
Barefoot slip resistance
- A Dry barefoot areas (domestic use, kitchen, living rooms, bathroom).
- B Pool surrounds and showers.
- C Commercial pools, jacuzzis and gym showers.
Resistance with footwear
- R9: low degree of slip resistance, best for sheltered terraces.
- R10: low to moderate slip resistance for all types of terraces.
- R11: good slip resistance, can be used when wet.
- R12 et R13: very good slip resistance, suitable for poolside use.
Scratch resistanceThe MOHS scale runs from 1 to 10 and defines 4 degrees of scratch resistance.
- MOHS 1 to 4: poor scratch resistance (scratches easily).
- MOHS 5 to 6: moderate scratch resistance (will scratch with moderate pressure).
- MOHS 7 to 8: good scratch resistance (hard to scratch).
- MOHS 9 to 10: excellent scratch resistance (scratchproof).
Different tile effects: traditional to contemporary
Wood to aged metal
- Wood look tiles: from pale to dark imitation wood to solid or laminated wood.
- Concrete look tiles: for an industrial, loft style, available in multiple shades of grey.
- Cement look tiles: traditional style to cover up old floors.
- Stone look tiles: a range of colours and styles depending on the type of imitation stone, for example:
- marble effect;
- slate effect.
- Metal look tiles: industrial style with surface designed to look like corroded metal (complete with realistic orange spots).
Wallpaper effect to terracotta look
- Wallpaper effect tiles: usually found on walls, wide range of patterns and colours.
- Azulejos effect tiles: coloured tiles for a taste of Portugal.
- Modern tiles: metallic effect for resolutely contemporary style.
- Resin look tiles: contemporary, neutral style for modern-style outdoor spaces.
- Terracotta look tiles: simple colours for Mediterranean style.
Manufacturers bring out new tile ranges all the time so you're sure to find both indoor and outdoor tiles to suit your tastes. The easiest way to decide what you really want is to check out the various ranges – from traditional to avant-garde – offered by tile manufacturers.
Final tips for choosing your outdoor floor tiles
It is important to examine the area you want to tile in order to identify the requirements for your tiles.
The shape of the tiles will depend on the area you want to cover and the look you want.
When it comes to choosing a style, effect and colour, your choice will depend on your personal tastes. However, you should also pay attention to the colour and finish of the tile and bear in mind that light colours will reflect a great deal of light while very dark tiles absorb the sunlight and can get very hot.
It's also worth noting that there are various treatments and coatings designed to make porous materials like terracotta or marble watertight.
Julie, Interior Designer, Manchester 22 guides écrits
After years of doing DIY, home improvements and interior design during my free time, I decided to turn my passion into a career.
Since 2006, I've helped people all around the West Midlands with their renovation and construction projects. The passion I have for my job, along with my love of learning, has motivated me to find innovative solutions for myself and my clients.
I'd say that truly living one's dream is also about transforming the space you live in and the everyday objects in that space. My family loves what I come up with and the new ideas that I bring into their lives!
One of my absolute favourite things is using colour to brighten up interior space. I'm also really interested in giving advice on how to hide clutter in the home. No matter how good we are at spring cleaning, keeping clutter to a minimum is a big challenge! In my professional and personal life, I've gathered tons of great tips and I'm ready to share my ideas so you can dive into your next big - or small - project!