Summer has arrived and that means we move from living indoors to doing as much as we can outdoors. As South Africans we love to entertain outdoors and let’s be honest our summer weather makes it ideal to do this. From brunches to braais and pool parties or just quiet Sundays around the pool, patios become a focal point of activity.
It is therefore important to carefully consider what flooring is used – especially from a safety point of view as pool water or spilled drinks can spell disaster. Whilst many people think they can use the same tiles as are used indoors, this is not the case.
Indoor tile and outdoor tiles differ from each other primarily in design and durability.
Outdoor tiles are often manufactured to look like stones, pavement, concrete, decking, or other outdoor elements. Furthermore, the surface of outdoor tile is more textured than indoor tile. This creates a safer, non-slip surface.
Outdoor tiles are also far more durable than indoor tiles because they need to withstand direct sunlight and harsh weather conditions without getting damaged.
Even then, while all outdoor tiles are hardwearing, they aren’t all built the same.
Some outdoor tiles are tougher than others, some can still be prone to scratches, cracks, and other damage, so it is important to make sure that you choose the right tile for the job.
Furthermore, one should consider what the weather conditions are like in your area. Do you experience mild weather, very hot or wet? The outdoor tile you use should be specifically suited to the weather they are going to be exposed to.
Light is also a factor – not just in terms of direct sunlight which can cause tiles to degrade overtime, but also colour. Dark tiles can overheat and be uncomfortable to walk on. They also show dirt quite easily, whilst light tiles can reflect too much light creating a glare. One should therefore consider the colour carefully by watching how much sun the area gets at various times of the day.
The colour and style of your outdoor tiles should also complement the existing décor of your home. If you have a sleek, modern home, rustic stone textured tiles would look odd. By the same token a high shine glossy tile would not work with a house that is built with face brick or other natural material.
Here is a list of the most popular types of outdoor tiles:
CERAMIC OUTDOOR TILES: Ceramic can handle mild weather conditions and light outdoor use, but it isn’t as strong as other types of outdoor tile. Because of this, you should only pick ceramic for covered patios.
PORCELAIN OUTDOOR TILES: These tiles are dense and strong, which makes it a good choice for outdoor use. But make sure you find porcelain tile rated for the outdoors. Indoor porcelain tiles which often have a high gloss finish can be very slippery when wet. Check out the Howen range from Lifestyle Ceramics. This range combines the beauty of beauty of quartzite in a porcelain tile creating a material that constitutes a superb synthesis of nature and technology.
SLATE-LOOK TILES: Slate-look porcelain tiles are ceramic tiles inspired by the single colour of slate stone, which is distinguished by flaws and a dark grey hue. These tiles provide an attractive natural look to any outdoor area.
CONCRETE-EFFECT TILES: These are tiles that are inspired by raw or waxed concrete floors. They are widely used to create a minimalist, urban or industrial look in both commercial and domestic settings.
WOOD-LIKE TILES: Slate Faux-wood tiles such as the Wayne Cherry Matt Tile available from Lifestyle Ceramics, can be made from either ceramic or porcelain and have a wood-like finish. They have many benefits over the real thing – they offer the beauty of wood but are environmentally-friendly and are durable and water resistant.
Lifestyle Ceramics offers a range of outdoor tiles sourced from leading global suppliers to suit your requirements. Our professionally trained consultants will be able to assist you in making the best choice for your needs.
For further information and advise contact us here