Beginner’s Guide To Choosing Outdoor Tiles, Design Ideas And Installation

Beginner’s Guide To Choosing Outdoor Tiles, Design Ideas And Installation

Outdoor tiles are a great way of adding colour, texture and interest to your garden or patio area. They can be used in many ways, including paving for pathways, borders around beds, or even as an attractive feature within the landscape. The look of any plain outdoor space or worn-out wall can be immediately transformed with the right tile.


The most common type is a natural stone, but artificial options such as timber look outdoor tiles are also available. Amidst this wide variety of outdoor tiles, you need to choose one that will suit your needs and budget.


Choosing Your Tile Type


Before you start constructing or renovating your outdoor space, you need to choose the material of your tiles. When choosing the type of outdoor tile, you need to consider the following factors. This will help you make a decision quickly and correctly. 


Your Intention


The first thing to consider when looking at outdoor floor tiles is what kind of surface you intend them to be a part of. If you want to use them as floor tiles for patios, areas near water features, stairs or as part of a paved pathway, then you may prefer something with more grip as compared to a tile for outdoor seating surfaces. It is important to make these areas slip-resistant to prevent slip-and-fall accidents, which are very common on slippery outdoor tiles, especially in areas that often come in contact with water.


For outdoor seating areas, you could go for a smooth finish or perhaps add some raised edges to make it easier to sit down on.


If you already have existing paths or patios, then you may find yourself wanting to change their appearance without replacing everything. One option here is to install a border made from outdoor tiles along the top of the old material. Another alternative for redesigning pathways is to simply remove the current materials and start laying out a fresh layer of gravel or pebbles.


The Climate In Your Area

Not all outdoor tiles are built the same. Some can handle extreme weather conditions better than others. So, you should definitely consider the climate conditions in your geographical area before you choose an outdoor tile. 


If your area receives a lot of rainfall, then you should consider tiles with a higher grip. If you live somewhere that gets really hot during summers and really cold during winters, then you should install tiles that are both heat and cold resistant. Porcelain tiles are the best for this.


Size Matters


Larger ones tend to last longer, while smaller ones are cheaper to buy. However, bigger doesn’t always mean better quality. Some manufacturers produce inferior products that aren’t very durable. Others offer high-end designs that cost much less than similar-sized items produced elsewhere. So before making a purchase try to compare prices between various suppliers.


Outdoor Floor Tiles


The Current Style Of Your Home

Choosing attractive and glamorous tiles will be a wasted investment if they don't match the existing style and decor of your house. The wrong tiles can completely ruin all the hard work you have put into your home already.

For example, if you have a vintage theme going on in your house, then installing sleek, monochromatic, modern tiles might not be the best idea for you.

So choose tiles that complement your existing style. Choosing tiles of the right colour is also essential here.


Outdoor Tile Design and Installation


Once you know exactly what you want to achieve, you can begin thinking about incorporating it into your overall scheme. As mentioned earlier, outdoor floor tiles can be laid over existing surfaces or set into newly prepared ground. Whatever method you choose, you must follow specific guidelines to ensure the finished product works well together.


Drainage Is A Key Factor


When installing outdoor tiles, you must take care to avoid creating puddles or pools of standing water. Grading your surface with a 2% fall which is a slope of 20mm per metre is necessary for proper drainage of water. This will prevent the water from staying on the tiles long enough to infiltrate the grout and get absorbed by the tiles or the layer below the tiles.


Mind The Slope


Slopes more significant than 45 degrees require special treatment since rainwater runs downhill instead of draining properly. If you live somewhere prone to heavy rainfall, you may wish to invest in waterproof membrane underlayment before laying out your tiles. Alternatively, you could opt for a low maintenance solution such as gravel or sand.

The Illumination


Most people assume that outdoor tiles are naturally lit during daylight hours, but this isn’t necessarily true. Depending on the amount of light reaching the site, you may need additional artificial illumination for darker coloured tiles. A general rule of thumb here is to use light coloured tiles for areas that receive less light and dark coloured tiles for areas that receive a lot of sunlight.


Allow Room For Movement

Outdoor tiles experience a lot of mechanical stress due to constant exposure to elements like temperature and moisture. If the tiles are too tightly packed together, the grout will crack and the tiles will pop out. To prevent this, expansion joints must be designed into the system to allow movement.




The best way to choose the outdoor tiles in Sydney for your project is by using a combination of experience and research. You can use this article to introduce what you need to consider when selecting tiles for your projects. You must understand how each type of material works to make informed decisions about which one will work best for your needs.


Initial Tiles & Bathware is Sydney’s best tiles importer and distributor and has been in the tiles and bathware business for quite a long time. With many years of industry experience, we offer an amazing collection of outdoor tiles at reasonable prices. Contact us today to check out our free tile samples.