We are regularly asked, Can you use porcelain tiles outside?
Porcelain tiles are perfect for outside use although it is important to select a tile that has a suitable surface finish often called a GRIP finish or R11
Frostproof Porcelain tiles are made from selected clays and pressed into a tile.They are then fired in a kiln to very high temperatures resulting in a water absorbtion of 0.5% which is classified as frostproof.
Finishes Certain tile ranges have the option of two finishes,Natural finish for inside use and Grip finish for outside.The Grip finish has more texture and designed for external use.It is important to select a Grip finish if you are using tiles outside.
The advantage of two finishes is that you can use the same tile inside and outside so you can flow your floor outside onto the patio which is particularly attractive if you have sliding or bi-fold doors.The tiles are identical apart from the surface texture.There is a wide selection to choose from and even Porcelain Wood tiles.
Maintenance Porcelain tiles are non porous so require very little maintenance.
Thickness Some outside porcelain tiles are available in two thicknesses usually 20mm and 10mm.The only difference is the thickness.A 10mm tile has exactly the same qualities as a 20mm thick tile and offers considerable cost savings and are easier to cut.
You must use 20mm if you are using support pedestals and 10mm must be laid on a prepared concrete slab.Having said that 20mm (if you are not using pedestals) should also be laid on a concrete slab.UK winters are unpredictable with some severe frosts,laying on a slab is the preferred method.You must use a suitable tile adhesive when laying porcelain tiles outside.
Tile sizes The most popular tiles in 10mm thick are rectangular such as 900 x 600mm.This is a traditional stone size which can be laid bonded.For 20mm thick the most popular size is 600 x 600mm although they are available in certain ranges 900 x 600mm.
Steps/Copings Steps.If you are using to 10mm outside you have the option of using a “Nosing Strip” which is inexpensive,very easy to install and forms the corner of the tread or you can use,depending on the tile range (many ranges such as the Pennine collection have a 20mm thick option) a matching 20mm thick tread.We offer a standard tread with a “bullnose”profile and drip groove
Copings are cut from 20mm thick tiles.There is a large selection available(consider a contrasting shade).They have straight edges and drip grooves both sides.
Please note that the edges or bullnose profile will reflect the body colour of the tile.SEE Outside-Inside porcelain tiles