Sometimes it’s difficult to know what to do with our outside spaces. For some of us they seem too small to do much, or we don’t want anything too maintenance heavy, or perhaps we’re just uninspired. But don’t worry, we’ve got some advice you should bear in mind when you’re tiling an outside space, whether that’s a patio, path, balcony or terrace. After all, we all enjoy a good barbecue, and what could be better than showing off your beautiful garden to your friends and family?
What to think about when tiling outside:
Ensure you have chosen tiles suitable for outside use
This sounds like an obvious one, but we can’t stress enough how important it is to get this right.
- When you choose tiles for outside use, they need to be able to withstand all aspects of the British weather. Bearing in mind the (rarely) scorching sun, Valverdi Indoor-Out porcelain tiles are 100% colourfast, which means their colour won’t fade.
- Although it’s currently summer, another condition these tiles need to be able to cope with is the extreme cold (and possible snow!) we get in winter. Frost can be extremely damaging to natural stone tiles if they have not been properly sealed. Porcelain has an inherent low porosity, which means that it won’t get cracks from frozen moisture, unlike ceramic and natural stone.
- Porcelain is also highly stain-resistant and won’t discolour from algae build-up.
- It is important for any surface that you intend to use outside to have decent slip resistance, during wet weather wooden decking can cause accidents, and lots of tiles don’t have the appropriate level of grip. The 20mm Outdoor Valverdi tiles have an enhanced slip-resistant surface, making them perfect for all weather types.
Plan ahead for drainage
For your paved surface to do it’s job it must drain correctly, or it will become dirty and slippery.
- If the area you’re paving is next to your home, it’s important to make sure the area is pitched away from your house, so the side closest to your house needs to be higher than the other to ensure any water won’t build up and cause damp. If you have a larger paved area this will require some more preparation, as you probably don’t want to create your own little pond!
What are you going to lay your tiles or paving on to?
If you’re using Valverdi 20mm External Porcelain tiles, it is important that they are installed correctly. Using adhesive is suitable for domestic installations, such as a driveway or your garden patio. A simple pedestal system is also available for balconies, terraces and raised patios.
- Patios and Driveways
When tiling an outside area the subsoil will require a Geotextile permeable membrane. On top of this a layer of compacted crushed stone will provide suitable drainage. The sublayers are then ready for a strong bedding, such as reinforced concrete, which must be capable of upholding the combined weight of the adhesive, your chosen tiles and grout. The tiles must be laid into a bed with no holes or dips.
Cementing porcelain tiles into place is not suitable, due to the low porosity of porcelain. To secure the tiles into place, the adhesive used must be suitable for outside use. Once the tiles are in place, use a suitable grout to fill in all the joints, also it is important to ensure you include expansion joints where required.
- Balconies and Roof Terraces
Using a pedestal system is perfect for fixing tiles on a balcony or roof terrace. This simple and fast method supports tiles without a filled joint, so water can drain to the surface below and then use the established falls of the existing structure.
Keeping them clean
Once you’ve got your outside space looking how you want it with a patio or terrace, you’ll want to keep it looking that way. Keeping sealed porcelain tiles clean is easy using a cloth and your normal dish soap you can clean up most stubborn stains.