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
Granite stands the test of time and is a strong, natural material. Available in a range of colours, granite is easy to maintain, has low porosity and is slip resistant. However, it can be scratch-sensitive is the material has been polished too much. Recommended for outdoor use.
Laying outdoor floor tiles
Outdoor floor tile shapes
Like 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 tilesClip-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
The R rating system identifies 5 levels of slip resistance for shod feet (i.e. in 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.
The 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.
Keen for more DIY tips? Check out the following guides on related accessories:
Julie, Interior Designer, Manchester 22 guides écrits
Starting in 2006, in the South-West, I helped people with renovation or contruction projects. My expertise and my curiosity led me to look further into innovative ideas for myself and my clients.
Indeed, to live your passion is also to transform the space you live in and the objects you use daily. My family love my creations and ideas that I bring into their lives!
My favourite thing to do: use colour to brighten up interior space. But also tips to hide away clutter. Your home is just never big enough, is it? It is thus a great pleasure to share my tips with you, so that you also can take as much pleasure as I do when starting up your next project!