You may have noticed that when it comes to outdoor spaces traditional paving is not the only option any more. Gone are the days when your only choices are stone or concrete slabs, now you can choose from an almost unlimited array of styles thanks to the range of outdoor porcelain tiles available. As experts in the world of porcelain, The Tile Source are here to help you work out whether these tiles are right for you.
What is an outdoor tile?
All of our outdoor porcelain tiles are 18mm to 20mm, which is around double the thickness of a standard internal tile. This means that they are extremely strong so they will have no problem coping with heavy garden furniture, BBQs and other external elements – in fact vitrified porcelain is actually only second to diamond in hardness. When we say vitrified we are talking about the process the material goes through during manufacturing; the ‘biscuit’ is pressed and heated to much higher temperatures than a standard ceramic tile which turns it into a glass like substance. Once cooled the tile has a very low porosity rate which makes it strong but also provides a range of other qualities that make it ideally suited for outdoor use including stain resistance, frost proof and resistance to any moss or mould growth.
After the body, or biscuit, of the tile has been created the design can be added. To make the most realistic effects manufacturers photograph materials such as wood or stone then use special inkjet printers to transfer the design onto the face of the tile. Presses are then used to create texture and an anti-slip layer is added. For some tiles, the edges are ground down in a process called rectification, creating a very straight and even finish – perfect for installing with narrow grout joints.
What are the benefits of outdoor porcelain tiles?
There are many benefits of porcelain over other outdoor materials; wood rots and gets slippery, stone can scratch and fade, and cement slabs can look worn very quickly. Other materials require regular maintenance, often with specialist products, which can become costly and time consuming. Porcelain is low maintenance and continues to look good even after many years of use.
- Strong & hardwearing – very strong material that can withstand heavy foot traffic and garden furniture
- Colourfast & fade resistant – they will look the same in 20 years no matter what conditions they have been subject to
- Slip resistant – the surface of all of our outdoor tiles has an R11 rated slip resistant surface
- Frost proof – the low porosity of the tiles means that they are unaffected by changes in temperature
- Wide range of colours, sizes and styles available thanks to advancements in manufacturing techniques
- Can be installed on patios, terraces, steps, pathways, swimming pool surrounds and driveways
- Low maintenance and easy to keep clean so you can spend more time enjoying your outdoor space
Outdoor tiles at The Tile Source
As part of the Hampshire Tile Warehouse group of companies we have over 65 years’ experience with porcelain tiles, so if you have any questions at all please get in touch. We stock two ranges with many different designs to choose from and our staff are fully trained on how to install and maintain these products. Our Ash Vale branch has two large porcelain paving display areas for those looking to see the tiles in an outdoor environment.
Valverdi Indoor-Out is a premium range of co-ordinating indoor and outdoor tiles designed to connect your living spaces. Each collection features a matching 10mm internal and 20mm external tile, allowing you to create a seamless link while keeping preserving the benefits of the individual products. Click here to see the current Valverdi Indoor-Out ranges available at The Tile Source.
PorcelPave is a great value selection of porcelain paving slabs designed for external use. These tiles are slip resistant, frost proof and hardwearing, as well as being available in a range of contemporary and traditional styles. Click here to see the current PorcelPave ranges available at The Tile Source.
Installing Outdoor Tiles
There are a number of methods used to install outdoor tiles and The Tile Source stocks a wide range of installation products including adhesive, grout, paving support pedestals and PorcelQuick Adpeds. We also offer a profiling service used to create edging finishes such as bull nosing, anti-slip grooves or drainage channels. For more information about installation and maintenance of outdoor tiles please download a copy of our external porcelain fact sheet or our 20mm porcelain guide.