Choosing concrete tiles for outdoor living spaces can be a challenge at times; with so many stunning concrete options, it can be difficult to know where to start! It is important to note during the tile selection process however that concrete tiles do often require different methods of cleaning and maintenance than other options would, especially for an outdoor environment. This is something that should be considered during the tile selection process as it will dictate if concrete tiles are the right choice for outdoor areas in your own home. Thankfully, there are alternative options that will offer the same look as a traditional concrete tile but will not require the same attention. Today, we’re exploring both traditional outdoor concrete tiles as well as modern options to help you compare the two and make the decision easier!
Classic Concrete Tiles for Outdoor Living
Concrete tiles have long been a favoured choice for outdoor areas. From large concrete pavers to decorative encaustic tiles, there are many exciting options available to choose from. It is important to note however that certain ranges of concrete tiles are often better suited to covered outdoor areas (this is often the case with traditional encaustic tiles) where they will not be directly exposed to the elements. Harsh direct sunlight can cause fading while excessive moisture can lead to water damage or permanent marking of the tiles and grout, making these tiles a better fit for patios or verandahs for example.
Caption: Traditionally handmade encaustic tiles are a popular choice for covered outdoor spaces. Their distinctive character and charm provide a luxurious, colourful patterned element to a home’s patios and verandah, making for an excellent choice in outdoor feature tiles. These tiles continue to be made by hand using traditional techniques. Encaustic tiles will often feature colourful geometric patterns or floral designs while also offering more modern interpretations of these patterns to suit the contemporary styled home.
Thick, concrete pavers on the other hand are perfectly suited to exposed outdoor areas, providing a long lasting and highly durable surface finish that can be used to define zones in your outdoor landscaping plan as well as to create pathways around the exterior of the home.
Modern Porcelain Tiles for Outdoor Living
An alternative option for outdoor areas, modern porcelain tile collections are available in a vast range of colours and finishes. These tiles will often feature a hard wearing ‘grip’ finish that provides a suitable surface for exposed outdoor spaces. There are many specific collections available that are designed to replicate the look and feel of other materials such as natural stone, timber and of course, concrete!
Caption: Concrete look outdoor tiles provide a long lasting and hard wearing surface finish for outdoor spaces. These tiles can often be used in exposed outdoor settings such as alfresco spaces, outdoor living areas and even as a pool surround. It is important to note your selected tile’s resistance to slipping to ensure the perfect fit for your outdoor living areas.
Porcelain tiles that are designed to replicate the look and feel of traditional concrete options can often be used in outdoor spaces, once again providing a hard wearing and durable surface finish. These tiles provide a strong and long lasting finish, suitable for use in alfresco areas, BBQ spaces, outdoor living spaces and even as a pool surround. When browsing porcelain tile options for outdoor areas it is important to keep an eye on the specific tile’s slip rating. This rating will dictate just how slippery a tile will be when moisture is applied and will help you determine if the tile is the right fit for your intended application.
Indoor Outdoor Living
With the popularity of open plan living, combining a home’s indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces has become the norm. To create a seamless connection between your indoor and outdoor living spaces, the ability to use the same flooring material is a key design element. Outdoor concrete tiles can often be used in both indoor and outdoor settings, allowing you to create the perfect connection between these two spaces. Opening up your indoor entertaining areas to the outdoors and creating a seamless flow provides the perfect solution for a vibrant and energetic household!
Caption: Using the same floor tile in your indoor and outdoor living spaces provides the perfect connection between the home and external areas. This allows for a strong sense of continuity in your design scheme making for a modern and luxurious finish.
Caring for Concrete Outdoor Tiles vs. Porcelain Tiles
Concrete outdoor tiles will require specific cleaning products to ensure the surface is well maintained over time. Sealing concrete tiles is another step that should be carried out at installation and then every few years or so throughout the product’s lifespan to assist in preventing staining or discolouration of the tiles themselves. Being a porous material, concrete can be susceptible to absorbing liquids or moisture so it is important to ensure your outdoor concrete tile’s maintenance procedures are kept up to date for the best possible finish. Porcelain tiles on the other hand are not porous and therefore will not require sealing. They too however can be susceptible to marking or discolouration if not cared for correctly. With both concrete and concrete look tiles for outdoor areas, it is important to keep the surfaces free of garden debris or animal droppings as they can cause discolouration or staining to occur on the material’s surface if left to sit for too long. Water that has pooled on the surface of your outdoor tiles should also be swiftly swept away to ensure it does not enter into the body of the tiles or the grout, which may lead to not only staining but potential water damage. Your tile store will recommend the very best cleaning and sealing products that can be used with your selecting outdoor tiles so it is important to seek out their advice during the tile selection process.
There are many options available to choose from in concrete outdoor tile collections, from traditional concrete pavers and encaustic tiles to modern porcelain concrete look options. Each option provides its own range of benefits to the home but it is also important to note how to best look after your selected outdoor tiles to ensure their longevity over time.