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Best Outdoor Paving Tiles to Choose

By: edm

When it comes to outdoor home improvements, few things beat the aesthetic and practical quality of outdoor paving tiles. Whether on patios or by the poolside, outdoor tiles add a unique touch of class and elegance to your home; thus making them a must-have.

But of course, as with most things worth doing, finding the best tiles for your outdoors is no easy task. Every day, tons of tiles made from different materials are produced – each with the tag of “best tiles for outdoor paving”. This makes picking your tiles a very tedious process indeed. Luckily for you, we have compiled a list of the best tiles for outdoor paving along with a few pointers on things to look out for when on the search. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

The best paving tiles for you

For your convenience, we’ve divided this list into natural stone, other natural materials and human-made materials.

Natural stone

natural stone paving

As with most things produced by Mother Nature, tiles made from natural materials are among the best you can find out there. While they are too numerous to mention, the very best ones for you are:

1. Granite

In the kingdom of natural paving stones, granite may just be king. This stone which comes in beautiful grey or black tones is the hardest and least porous of natural stones and yet, reasonably easy to work with. This makes it ideal for paving in extreme weather conditions as it hardly chips or cracks from the thawing of frozen water.

Its resilient and highly durable nature means it rarely needs repairs, thus making it relatively cheap to maintain. And unlike many types of stone, it does not stain or absorb oils easily. This waterproof feature means it is an excellent choice for pool sides, provided it comes with a textured surface to neutralise its slipperiness.

One small snag with granite is the fact that it is expensive, especially when compared to other stones. However, the timeless beauty and class it brings to dining or seating outside are worth every penny.

2. Marble

For centuries, marble was associated with nobility and for good reason. This elegantly carved stone was the favourite of sculptors, and it was common to see marble sculptures and pillars grace the homes of ancient Roman patricians. It is the second hardest natural stone and only slightly more porous than granite.

Apart from its unparalleled beauty, another feature which makes marble so attractive is the fact that its translucent properties create an illusion of wider areas. Thus, for the feeling of having more space on your patio, marble is the way to go. While known for its elegant white hue (which is in fact, quite rare), marble tiles also come in a variety of colours like pink, green, brown and even black. One thing to note is that polished marble must not be used for outdoors as it can be quite slippery. Rather slightly textured marble should be used in its place.

As is the case with granite, it is also expensive.

3. Limestone

Like marble, this sedimentary rock has been a favourite of builders since the time of the Romans. It is surprisingly easy to work with, hence, its popularity. Limestone, like the natural stones mentioned above, comes in a variety of colours and its brown shades in particular closely resemble wooden floors. This makes it an ideal alternative to expensive wooden tiling.


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Its ever cool surface makes it one of the best options for tiling in hot environments. You can walk barefoot on it without fear of it burning your toes. It should, however, be avoided in regions with freezing temperatures as it chips and cracks when thawed.

While it does not require much maintenance like many other natural stones such as travertine, it should be sealed to avoid damage to the surface.

4. Travertine

This beautiful and luxurious looking stone is simply one of the best out there. It is in many ways, similar to limestone as it is very porous and thus, in need of sealing to avoid damage to its surface. Its natural texture provides a firm grip for your feet, meaning it is one of the best options for steps around pools. Unlike limestone though, it can withstand freezing temperatures without the risk of cracking.

This stone comes in a mesmerising array of vibrant, beautiful colours ranging from white to deep brown.

5. Slate

Tiles made from slate are rivalled both in quality and beauty, by only a few natural stones. Like limestone, it can be used to create a modern or rustic looking outdoors depending on the colours used. It is tough, highly resistant to water and provides a natural grip, which makes it ideal for poolsides and small ponds. One thing to note though is that while it is water-resistant, it may be necessary to seal it to prevent stains from oils.

6. Soapstone

While not as popular as others on this list, soapstone is indeed an excellent option for outdoor paving. This stone as you must have guessed gets its name from its strangely soft texture which feels like soap. Like many on this list, it is non-porous and as such resistant to not only water but stains from liquids. It also faces no damage from acid or chemicals. And as it is both water and heat resistant, it can be used for outdoor tiling in hot, freezing or wet regions.
For maximum aesthetic effect, soapstone is to be cleaned with mineral oil.

7. Sandstone

This sedimentary rock has been in use since ancient times. It is most notable for the wide range of beautiful rich colours in which it can be found. It is highly porous and must be sealed if it is intended to be used for wet areas as it is susceptible to damage from salt.

Other natural materials

wood-paving

This category refers to tiles made from natural materials other than stone.

1. Wood

Hardwood trees provide excellent tiles which like marble, give your home a unique sense of style and elegance. They are strong and durable but need regular maintenance (at least every 36 months) if their quality is to be maintained. While wood is one of the more expensive options on this list, it is like granite and marble worth every penny invested.

2. Rubber tiles

Looking for outdoor tiles which are safe for kids? Rubber tiles are your best answer. They are soft enough to prevent injuries when kids fall, in addition to providing a surface with enough grip. They can be laid out over existing paving and are excellent for pool sides as water drains right through them. As they come in interlocking forms, you don’t need the services of a professional before you fix them.

Human-made tiles

brick-paving

This section looks at the best outdoor paving tiles made from human-made materials.

1. Brick

With its strong, durable nature, brick easily makes the list of best tiles for outdoor paving. It creates a classic traditional look in gardens or patios and is very easy to maintain (soap and water for cleaning). Although it is porous, a sealer is not always needed as is the case with limestone and travertine.

2. Concrete

Of course, no list involving home improvement is ever complete without concrete. Tiles made from concrete are strong, durable and resilient, thus making them excellent for the outdoors. Also, concrete paving is slip-resistant and can withstand sub-zero temperatures (which affect other human-made materials) without cracking or chipping. Like brick, it is also easy to clean. And while sealing is not compulsory for stain protection, it does admittedly, help to ensure long term use.

3. Porcelain

No. This isn’t your regular china bowls or teacups. Porcelain tiles undergo a manufacturing process which subjects them to extremely high temperatures. Therefore, they are by far stronger and more durable than regular ceramics and some natural stones as well. Its low water absorption rate makes it one of the absolute best for areas with freezing temperatures.

In terms of appearance, they come highly recommended. Their variety of sizes, shapes, colours (when dyed) and patterns make them resemble natural stones and every other material listed here. They need a non-slip surface, and they generally should not be used for poolsides without them. Porcelain tiles are cheaper to purchase and maintain than natural stones.

4. Outdoor carpet tiles

These tiles are distinctly different from standard carpeting, which comes in rolls. Outdoor carpet tiles come in squares and are, therefore, more convenient. These tiles are increasingly becoming a favourite of homeowners and tenants on rent for a number of reasons. The first is the fact that since they can be easily fixed, the services of a professional are not needed when laying them.

In fact, like plastic, they can be laid over existing concrete without much ado. Dirty or damaged tiles can easily be taken out and replaced with little effort. Outdoor carpet tiles can either require adhesive tape, be “peel and stick,” or come in interlocking shapes.

5. Plastic interlocking tiles

Plastic interlocking tiles have over the years, gotten increasingly popular, and it isn’t difficult to see why. Thanks to the base material – Polypropylene, plastic tiles are extremely durable and can withstand both extreme heat and cold. Plastic tiles come in interlocking shapes and can, therefore, be fixed without a professional. They are specially designed to give you an optimum grip regardless of how wet the surface gets.

As a bonus, they can be laid right over existing concrete and removed as quickly as they are laid. This makes them very easy to maintain or replace outright.

So there you have it, a list of the best possible tiles for outdoor paving you can find. Just in case you’re still confused on the particular tile to choose, here a few things to consider when choosing:

General points to consider when choosing tiles

Below are a few points to consider when choosing tiles. This list is in no way exhaustive. Therefore, we do not encourage rigid adherence to the points listed.

  • Strength

Unlike the tiles used for indoor walls and floors, outdoor tiles need to be remarkably strong. This is so they can withstand the wide range of temperatures they will likely be subjected to. The purpose of the patio also determines the strength of the tiles needed. For instance, the tiles needed for a patio meant for light evening relaxation should not be of the same materials as one intended for a family with active children running around all day long.

  • Budget

The budget is another area that must be taken into consideration. Thus, while natural stones are breathtakingly beautiful, cheaper alternatives which look just like natural stones are recommended if you happen to be on a tight budget.

  • Style

Different stones give different looks to your outdoors. That much has already been said here. So be it the refined elegance of marble or the rustic effect of limestone, make sure to consider your desired style. Tiles should also be purchased in colours which would match the overall look of your property and environment.

  • Texture and grip

This is one area which many unfortunately overlook. The texture and grip of your tiles are, in fact, two of the most important things to consider. For instance, if you have kids around the house, then rubber tiles, as opposed to granite, should be gotten. The same goes for if the tiles are to be fixed next to a pool.

  • Weather conditions

The final consideration is the weather condition. Some tiles are more suited to certain weather conditions than others, as not all have high levels of durability. Wood, for instance, is generally discouraged in wet areas.

Conclusion

As we mentioned earlier, outdoor paving tiles significantly add to the beauty of your home. A lesser-known benefit is that they add to the resale value of your home, should you ever decide to resell.

So be it natural stone or human-made products, outdoor tiles are one investment you can never go wrong on. Get yours today!


Best-Outdoor-Paving-Tiles

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