Installation considerations for outdoor tiling

Outdoor tiling can transform any outdoor space into a stylish and practical space for relaxing and unwinding. Tiles are a hardwearing, durable and low maintenance option for outdoor spaces but what are the important installation considerations for outdoor tiling? And how can you be sure to achieve the right visual and practical results?

What are the most important installation considerations for outdoor tiling?

There are a number of important considerations to bear in mind when installing outdoor tiles, and these include:

  • Choosing tiles intended for outdoor use- it’s essential to choose tiles specifically designed for outdoor use. Opt for materials that are durable, resistant to frost, and have a low water absorption rate. Popular choices include natural stone, porcelain, and certain types of ceramic tiles. Make sure the tiles have a textured or slip-resistant surface to prevent accidents, especially when they get wet.
  • Preparing the surface- before laying the tiles, the surface must be properly prepared. It should be clean, level, and structurally sound. Remove any debris, dirt, or existing tiles, and repair any cracks or unevenness. If the ground is prone to excessive moisture or poor drainage, consider implementing a suitable drainage system to prevent water accumulation, which can damage the tiles and their adhesive.
  • Applying a suitable adhesive is crucial for outdoor tiling- in the UK, it’s important to use a flexible adhesive that can withstand temperature fluctuations and is suitable for outdoor applications. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure the adhesive is evenly applied, avoiding excessive amounts that could seep through the grout lines.
  • Consider expansion- when laying the tiles, it’s recommended to leave a small gap between them for expansion and contraction. This gap, known as an expansion joint, helps to accommodate changes caused by temperature variations. Use plastic spacers to maintain consistent spacing between tiles and ensure a professional finish.
  • Choosing the right grout- choose a grout that is suitable for outdoor use and can resist water penetration. Apply the grout using a grout float, making sure to fill in all the gaps evenly. Remove excess grout from the tile surface with a damp sponge before it dries, and use a grout sealer to protect the grout lines from staining and moisture damage.
  • Ensure drainage and insulation- consider the climate and weather conditions when planning your outdoor tiling project. In the UK, where rain and cold temperatures are common, it’s important to ensure proper drainage and adequate insulation. If your tiling project includes an area exposed to direct sunlight, choose lighter-colored tiles to minimize heat absorption and reduce the risk of thermal expansion.

For more information or advice about the right tiles for your property, get in touch with the team today, here at Tiles 2 Go. Or, for your latest tiling project, why not take a look at our range of tiles today, online or in store?