Six Tips on How to Choose the Right Outdoor Tile

Image source: history.com

Outdoor tile is not a modern invention. Its origin dates way back 753 B.C. in ancient Rome. We’ve only copied and improved it to suit our own time. The Romans valued their tile so much it needed five layers to become complete as shown in the image below. Roads are important to Romans because it is part of their military strategy and they used it to fully map their growing empire, according to History Lists. What is incredibly amazing is that some of the roads are still passable today—even after 2,000 years.

We can’t help but envy the ancient Romans’ brilliant engineering prowess and its living example is the roads they built. Today’s outdoor tile may not outlast or equal those of ancient Rome’s but once you follow the tips below perhaps it could last for five or ten years:

Local climate

This is the first thing you must consider in choosing the right outdoor tile. The change in weather or temperature is one of the enemies of tiles whether indoor or outdoor. House of Tiles suggests ceramic and porcelain floor tiles or natural stone and terracotta tiles.


The tile should match the location where it will be installed to enhance its surroundings. How? Daltile shares a trick.

Is it sunny during the day and well-lit at night? Or is it in a shady part of your yard that tends to be dark at nighttime? If it’s the latter, you can choose light-colored tile…Alternatively, [choose] darker tile in an earthy tone…for well-lit areas.


Water resistant

It is understandable that outdoor tile is water resistant. However, its level of absorbency level depends on the type of tile. Based on the article in Mineral Tiles, porcelain tile absorbs less water, while natural stone absorbs greater.

Slip resistant

The trouble with outdoor tile is it is prone to hazard because it is exposed to various elements such as water and debris. We can go shiny and smooth with indoor tiles as there are grout lines to stop your fall. This is different with outdoor tile but it can be remedied when you choose tiles with a slightly abrasive surface or texture. This tile feature could manage your fall.

Foot traffic

This is the common factor between outdoor and indoor tile. Between the two, outdoor tiles are battered the most so it is a must to consider the foot traffic before you choose a tile.

Substrate flooring

The key to having a long-lasting outdoor tile lies on its substrate flooring. This is the subfloor installed before the tile to serve as a base or foundation. Today, it only needs two layers unlike ancient Romans that lays five layers composed of dry earth; crushed rock; gravel in cement mortar; sand, gravel and cement, and last is the large stone slabs.

Image source: Source: crystalinks.com

Nowadays, outdoor tile is a mere decoration and sometimes a center of attraction because of its unique designs. Just make sure it doesn’t just pass the six factors above, it also must be durable enough to withstand the test of time.


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