Welcome To Award Leisure Projects - The UK's #1 Hot Tub & Outdoor Leisure Retailer

A Guide to Tiles for Outdoor Patios

Couple preparing for a meal

Simon Battensby/Image Source/Getty Images

More Options Than You Think

The vast majority of outdoor patios are constructed with some form of masonry, such as poured concrete (sometimes stained or stamped), or brick or stone paver products. But it is also possible to apply tile to a patio, an option that gives you gives you many more design choices. And laying tile can be a good way to dress up an existing concrete slab or brick patio when it grows old.

Retailers that offer tiles for exposed outdoor applications often sell a rather bewildering array of products, including some you may not have considered for outdoor use. Your determination of the right product depends a great deal on your climate and application. For example, an unsealed sandstone tile that is perfectly appropriate in the bone-dry climate of Arizona is not at all suitable for the damp climate of Maine, where freezing winter temperatures are routine.

Considerations When Choosing Patio Tiles

While many of the same considerations used for indoor tiles also affect your choice of outdoor patios tiles, there are some issues that need to be kept foremost in mind:


Unlike the tiles used for indoor walls and floors, outdoor tiles need to be particularly strong and able to withstand a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions. And just how strong they need to be depends on the level of use you anticipate. A patio for a sedate retired couple calls for different materials than for a family with active children throwing play equipment around.


A patio can be quite an expansive space and covering it with luxury tile can cost far more than tiling a smaller indoor space, such as a bathroom. For this reason, cost is a very important factor when choosing patio tile. The range in price can be enormous, from as low as $1 per square foot for a material such as carpet tiles or basic ceramic tile to $50 per square foot to have a high-end slate or soapstone patio installed.


Outdoor patios must blend in with the overall looks of the landscape and the architectural features and materials of the house. Choose materials with colors and textures that are consistent with the overall look of your property.

Texture and Slip Resistance

The texture and “slipperiness” of a tile is far more important in outdoor applications than it is for indoor wall tiles or even indoor floor tiles. Moisture is often inherent on an outdoor patio, and the tile texture must provide some “tooth” that keeps users from slipping. Non-slip surfaces are critical for outdoor tiles, and some material choices are eliminated for this reason. The texture of the patio surface can also affect your choice of patio furniture.

Weather Conditions

If you live in an area exposed to the cycle of freezing and thawing, you will need an outdoor patio tile that can withstand extreme changes in temperature. Porcelain, for example, has a very low water absorption rate, while sandstone is fairly porous. If water is absorbed by a piece of tile and that water then freezes, the process can crack your tile or the break the joints between tile.

Light Exposure

Although it’s not often recognized, the amount of sunlight a patio gets has an impact on the best tile to choose. Bright, sunny spaces call for darker tiles, while dim, shady areas should be tiled with a brighter material that lightens up the space.

Common Tile Materials Used for Outdoor Patios

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tile is a particularly dense and strong form of ceramic, and so most porcelain tiles rated for flooring use can also work in many patio applications. The best choices will be textured, matt tiles without a highly glossy surface that will be slippery when wet. Most porcelain tiles are thick and sturdy enough to use on floors, but make sure your product is rated for such use. Prices vary quite widely for porcelain tile.

Ceramic Tile

Traditional ceramic floor tiles can be an acceptable choice for outdoor patios, provided they carry a PEI rating indicating sufficient strength. Generally speaking, though, ceramic tile is best suited for light-use patios, since it will not be as strong as other choices. If you do choose ceramic tile, make sure it is a floor tile sturdy enough for patio use; ceramic tiles marketed as wall tile are usually not strong enough for floor or patio use. Like porcelain tile, material costs vary widely for ceramic tile, though they tend to be cheaper than porcelain.

Quarry Tile

Despite the name, quarry tiles are no longer mined from natural quarries, but are instead made from rather a very dense type unglazed clay. They are extremely strong and function very well as a paving material for patios. In fact, this form of tile was created specifically for outdoor use in courtyards and patios. Unlike ceramic and porcelain tiles, quarry tiles are available in a limited range of colours, including red, brown, or grey. Quarry tiles provide a Mediterranean look that is much prized by many homeowners. Even though they are usually unglazed, quarry tiles have good resistance to water, and their texture prevents them from being slippery when wet. Quarry tile is not a great choice for climates where winters are dominated by freezing temperatures. It is also somewhat notorious for being easy to stain. In the right climate, though, this is one of the best patio choices.

Travertine Tile

Travertine is a form of natural stone with beautiful texture and colour. Considered a form of limestone, this stone is mined around natural mineral spring deposits. Although very attractive and hard, it has a slightly pitted surface that may collect dirt unless it is polished smooth. And highly polished travertine can be very slippery when wet. The quality of travertine varies considerably, depending on where it was quarried. For patio use, travertine from Turkey or Italy is regarded as a more water-resistant choice than stone from Mexico or China.

Slate Tile

Slate is one of the better choices for natural stone in outdoor patio locations. Slate is a metamorphic rock formed under great heat and pressure. It is very hard and durable, and also very resistant to water. And unlike some other natural stones, you can select a product with a natural texture that prevents it from being as slippery as some other natural stone. Many people think of slate as a dark grey or black stone, but it is actually available in a variety of colours, including purple, green, and orange.

Granite Tile

Yet another metamorphic natural stone sometimes used for patios, granite is a high-end, premium paving material, but it has certain drawbacks when used outdoors. Granite tile is usually highly polished, which can make it slippery when wet. And it is a relatively porous stone compared to other forms of tile; it will need to be sealed regularly to prevent staining and water penetration.

Limestone Tile

Limestone is a sedimentary rock that has been a favourite construction material for millennia, thanks to its relative abundance and ease of fabrication. Most limestone is found in various shades of tan, brown, red, or grey, and the lighter colours are especially good at reflecting heat. Limestone is a softer stone than slate or granite and thus can be rather easily scratched or chipped. And it needs to be regularly sealed to prevent stains. It is more appropriate for patios in dry climates and not well suited to regions with harsh winters.

Soapstone Tile

Named for its smooth, silky texture, soapstone is a non-porous natural stone that is quite resistant to water and staining. It has a high heat resistance, making it useful in very hot climates. It is an excellent stone to use around swimming pools and performs well in wet, freezing climates.

Sandstone Tile

Sandstone is another sedimentary rock, even softer than limestone and subject to the same limitations. It forms from layers of sands compressed over time and has a beautiful texture. But it quite soft and subject to scratching and needs to be regularly sealed to prevent staining and water penetration. This is another stone best suited for patios in dry climates without winter freeze-thaw cycles.

Interlocking Plastic Tiles

A relatively new form of tile is represented by plastic tiles with interlocking edges. The advantage of these tiles is that the texture can guard against slips and falls, and they are easy for DIYers to install. Simply lay them out on a flat surface and interlock the edges. This is not the most elegant of patio solutions, but it can be a good way to cover an existing concrete slab patio that is in need of a touch-up. They are extremely durable and easy to remove when you need to. The tiles are perforated to allow water to drain through.

Decking Tiles

These are large squares of wood or composite planking attached to backing strips, usually with interlocking edges. Usually made of a weather-resistant wood such as cedar or redwood, the effect of decking tiles is that of a ground level deck but without the need for an under-structure.

Rubber Tiles

Often used for sports courts and other play areas, rubber tiles are similar to plastic interlocking tiles, featuring interlocking edges that join together to form a uniform, resilient surface. Very soft rubber tiles are available for covering areas where children play. Rubber tiles can also be a good choice around pools.

Concrete Tile

For the look of natural stone at a fraction of the cost, consider concrete tiles, which are moulded from poured concrete and given textures and colours to resemble natural stone or high-end ceramic tile.

Carpet Tile

For something completely different, consider carpet tiles made from indoor-outdoor carpeting. Depending on type, the tiles may be peel-and-stick, adhered with adhesive tape, or have interlocking edges. They can be easily installed over concrete slabs and are easy to remove should a tile need to be replaced due to staining or damage.


Estimating costs of a tile patio is difficult given the enormous range of materials available and the differences in labour costs from one region to another. Natural averages, however, show the following:

    • Clay tile (porcelain, ceramic, quarry): Materials can range from £20 to £90 per square meter; labour can range from £15 to £90 per square meter.
    • Natural stone tile: Materials can range from $5 to $35 per square foot; labour ranges from $8 to $20 per square foot. Less expensive choices are sandstone, limestone, and travertine; more expensive options are soapstone, granite, and slate.
    • Synthetic and wood tile: Costs for plastic, rubber, or carpet tiles average about $3 per square foot; most people install these materials themselves. Wood decking tiles average $8 to $12 per square foot, with composite decking tiles running about $4 to $8 per square foot.

Getting Help with Your Selection

Talk to a sales representative at a tile retailer when shopping for outdoor patio tiles. When explaining your needs, emphasize that you will be using the product outside. From region to region, there can be a wide variation in what products are appropriate for outdoor use. Generally, colder, damper climates will have a more limited choice of materials, particularly if there are frost-thaw cycles.

Your best bet is to make your purchase at a store that specializes in outdoor patio tile, perhaps one that also offers installation services. Such a retailer will have a strong interest in seeing to it that your installation will hold up over time and should steer you away from products not suitable for your application.

An initial consultation with a landscape contractor who builds outdoor patios can also be helpful. Discussions with the contractor will make it clear what types of tile are most appropriate for your situation. Whether or not you choose to buy services from the contractor, you will come away with a good understanding of your options.

By Joe Norton

This Post Has 217 Comments

  1. I believe everything posted made a ton of sense. However,
    what about this? suppose you were to create a killer title?
    I ain’t saying your information isn’t good, however what if you added a headline to possibly grab a person’s attention?
    I mean A Guide to Tiles for Outdoor Patios –
    Award Leisure Projects is a little boring. You ought to glance at
    Yahoo’s front page and see how they write news headlines to grab people interested.
    You might add a video or a picture or two to get people interested about what you’ve written. In my opinion, it would bring your website a
    little bit more interesting.

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this.


  3. It’s nearly impossible to find educated people on this subject, but you seem like you know what
    you’re talking about! Thanks

  4. Asking questions are in fact pleasant thing if you are not understanding anything
    fully, except this paragraph presents fastidious understanding even.

  5. I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up!

    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come
    back later on. Cheers

  6. Hello there, I found your blog by the use of Google at the same time as searching for a related subject,
    your site got here up, it looks good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google
    Hi there, just turned into aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is really informative.
    I am going to watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate should you continue this in future.
    Lots of people will probably be benefited out of your
    writing. Cheers!

  7. Informative article, exactly what I needed.

  8. I really like it when individuals get together and share ideas.
    Great website, continue the good work!

  9. I’m really inspired with your writing talents as neatly as with the format on your weblog.
    Is that this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?
    Anyway stay up the excellent quality writing, it’s uncommon to peer a nice weblog like
    this one today..

  10. hello!,I like your writing so a lot! percentage we keep
    up a correspondence extra about your article
    on AOL? I require an expert on this space to resolve my problem.
    May be that is you! Looking ahead to look you.

    quest bars http://bitly.com/3jZgEA2 quest bars

  11. Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It truly useful & it helped
    me out much. I hope to give something back and aid others like you aided me.
    scoliosis surgery https://0401mm.tumblr.com/ scoliosis surgery

  12. Hello my loved one! I want to say that this post
    is amazing, nice written and include approximately all significant
    infos. I would like to see extra posts like this .
    cheap flights http://1704milesapart.tumblr.com/ cheap

  13. My spouse and I stumbled over here different web address and thought I
    might check things out. I like what I see so
    now i’m following you. Look forward to looking into
    your web page for a second time. scoliosis surgery https://coub.com/stories/962966-scoliosis-surgery scoliosis surgery

  14. Холостячка 2 сезон https://bit.ly/39ioLkW Смотреть онлайн шоу Холостячка 2 сезон на СТБ.
    Пост шоу можно смотреть тут. Холостячка стб 2 сезон 1-2 серия

  15. Холостячка 2 сезон https://bit.ly/39ioLkW Смотреть онлайн шоу Холостячка 2 сезон на СТБ.
    Пост шоу можно смотреть тут. Холостячка стб 2 сезон 1-2 серия

  16. История аварии на ЧАЭС. Выдающийся сериал HBO о мирном атоме, государственной лжи и народном героизме. Зона чернобыль сериал 1 сезон. Смотреть новый сериал вышедший.

  17. Русские Горки Русские Горки Смотреть онлайн сериал Русские горки: все сезоны в хорошем качестве.

  18. Бій Усик – Джошуа 25 вересня 2021 року на стадіоні “Тоттенхем” в Лондоні пройде супербій між українцем Олександром Усиком і чемпіоном світу з Великобританії Ентоні Джошуа. Oleksandr Usyk — Anthony Joshua. Boxing Промоутер Усика висловився про нокаут Джошуа – Спорт

  19. My Little Pony в кино 2 2021 мультфильм смотреть онлайн Май литл пони 2021 My Little Pony: Новое поколение смотреть My Little Pony: Новое поколение, 2021

  20. Смотреть Неисправимый Рон в хорошем качестве hd Неисправимый Рон Неисправимый Рон 2021 на русском смотреть онлайн

  21. Виво онлайн в хорошем HD качестве Виво Виво мультфильм продолжительность

  22. Мультфильм Миньоны 2 (2021) бесплатно “Миньоны 2” Миньоны 2 Грювитация мультфильм дубляж смотреть онлайн

  23. This website was… how do you say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I have found something which helped me. Kudos!

  24. Мультфильм Кощей. Начало 2021 – смотреть онлайн Кощей 2021 Кощей. Начало полный мультфильм

  25. It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the longer term
    and it’s time to be happy. I have read this publish and if I
    could I wish to recommend you some fascinating things or suggestions.

    Maybe you could write subsequent articles relating to this article.
    I want to learn more issues about it!

  26. Семейка Аддамс 2 2021 смотреть онлайн в хорошем качестве hd 720 1080 https://bit.ly/semeyka-addams-2021 Семейка Аддамс 2 Горящий тур мультфильм

  27. Смотреть Семейка Аддамс 2 бесплатно в хорошем качестве https://bit.ly/39kiPrZ Семейка Аддамс 2 Горящий тур мультфильм

  28. Семейка Аддамс 2 смотреть онлайн полная версия бесплатно https://bit.ly/39kiPrZ Семейка Аддамс 2 Горящий тур мультфильм

  29. Смотреть Семейка Аддамс 2 онлайн 2021 https://bit.ly/39kiPrZ Семейка Аддамс 2 Горящий тур мультфильм

  30. Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been running a blog for? you made running a blog look easy. The full glance of your site is magnificent, let alone the content!!

Leave a Reply

Close Menu