Answering Some Questions About Exterior Tiles

To create an outdoor patio or seating area, you might set down exterior tiles, rather than having a timber deck installed. Many homeowners can set down tiles themselves, so that installation is faster and easier than creating a timber deck. These tiles can also extend into the yard for a nice walking area or path, or be used to create edging around a garden or landscaping feature. If you're thinking of using exterior tiles for your outdoor space, note a few question to ask so you can get the right type and know they will work for your particular needs.

If tile is stone, can it be used outdoors?

Stone tiles, such as granite and quartz, are very durable for outdoor use, as they resist water damage and bitter cold, as well as exposure to direct sunlight. However, stone that has been harvested to be used as tiles is cut and fabricated, and then usually buffed and polished. To be used outdoors, it should have an outdoor sealant added that will help protect it from the elements, and which will keep it strong. This is why you should only use patio pavers or outdoor tiles specifically for your outdoor space.

 Can patio tiles be installed without grout?

If you set down stove pavers to create a walkway, and leave a bit of a gap between those tiles, you can usually forego adding grout. However, for tiles that are meant to sit right next to each other, you want to add a line of grout. That grout not only blocks some moisture from building up next to the tile, creating mud underneath it, but the grout will also cushion those tiles, so they're not likely to crack and chip from touching each other. Note, too, that tiles may look the exact same size when they're in a stack, but you may notice small differences in their overall size once they're installed. Grout lines will help to fill in the gaps left by those small differences, so that the tiles have a uniform and even appearance.

Can patio tiles be installed over any surface?

You may want to compact the soil before adding tile, so that it's level and even and the tile won't heave and buckle in various areas. You may also want to till the soil so you remove any weeds and their roots, as these could push through tile and cause it to crack. If you're not sure about the soil conditions on your property, have a professional install the tile for you.