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Tiles for Outdoor Spaces

Posted by Direct Tile Warehouse | Thursday, March 04, 2021


Say goodbye to drab slabs and dingy decking with some gorgeous exterior tiles for your great outdoors. We’re not just saying this because we’re a tile company, but if you’re looking to overhaul your outdoor space, then exterior tiles are a fantastic choice. External areas aren't just for gardening, more and more of us head outside for al fresco dining, to enjoy family time, entertain friends when restrictions allow, or just to relax with a book or around the fire pit at the end of a long day.

Whether you want to design a fabulous patio, hot tub terrace or feature path, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to outdoor tiles. You can use wood effect tiles instead of decking, go for a quintessentially English cottage look with quarry tiles or create a seamless look from indoors to outdoors with matching interior and exterior tiles.

Why use outdoor tiles?

There are so many benefits to outdoor tiles. A sensible choice is non-porous porcelain, which is water repellent even in freezing conditions, so water can’t enter the tile and cause it to crack. At the other end of the weather scale, in sunny weather, their UV resistance means they won’t fade over time, so they really are an all-weather choice.

When it comes to cleaning and maintenance, garden tiles are a winner as there is no need to seal them (unlike natural stone), making the tiles stain and mildew resistant. You just need to give your tiles a sweep and wash regularly, and any spillages can be easily wiped away.

Outdoor tiles are a safe choice too, as their anti-slip surface properties give plenty of grip even when they’re wet.

So once you’ve set your search filter to ‘frost resistant’ and ‘anti slip’, there’s a whole world of colours and styles waiting to be explored. We’ll show you some of our favourite ideas to glam up your garden this summer.

Indoor/outdoor tiles

Indoor to outdoor white Carleen tiles

One of the hottest exterior design trends is to expand your home outwards by bringing the indoors outside. By choosing the same tiles both inside and outside your home not only lets you create a beautiful seamless look, but the space will appear much larger as your eye has no ‘full stop’. Not only does this look have the wow factor, it also gives you more ‘interior’ space and lots of potential for use during the warmer months. If you’re able to incorporate bi-fold doors into your project, opening them up will instantly give you a larger room.

The key element to creating an indoor/outdoor look is to choose your tiles carefully. We’d recommend choosing a tiling range that is suitable for both interior and exterior use, and preferably one with anti-slip properties for more stability underfoot. However, it’s only one area you want to change, you can simply go for a similar colour if you can’t match the two up exactly.

Tiled garden living room

Garden tiled living room

Another top exterior tile trend is to create a gorgeous garden living room. Sectioning off a cosy corner of your outdoor space to relax in or to entertain guests in style is a fabulous garden upgrade that you can update regularly with planters, flower walls and accessories. Have a think about the location for your open-air lounge – maybe you’ve got the perfect space where you can eat an alfresco breakfast in the morning sun or a shaded area that’s ideal for curling up with a book or taking a nap.

We’re obsessed with customer Samantha's stunning outside living area in her gorgeous garden in Cheshire. Not only do the wood effect tiles look great, but they’re a practical alternative to decking, with anti-slip properties and incredible durability against the great British weather. Carry the colour scheme through from your home or go for a completely different theme with a splash of colour or a mixture of textures.

20mm Outdoor tiles 

Roden 20mm outdoor tiles

When it comes to choosing floor tiles, you don’t have to compromise style over sturdiness (or vice versa). One of the latest exterior flooring options is 20mm-deep tiles. These 2cm deep tiles have endless benefits including their super strength and durability, anti-slip properties and they are also frost resistant and easily cleaned. When it comes to installation, you can lay them pretty much anywhere, either with traditional adhesive or go adhesive-free to make maintenance, removal or repositioning much easier and lay them on gravel, soil or grass.

20mm tiles will pave the way if you’re looking for something a little different to standard patio slabs, decking, cement or stone. Choose from a range of colours and finishes to create a glorious patio, path or a feature around a pond or decking area. As you can also use 20mm tiles for interiors, they are also a great option for an indoor to outdoor look.

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Anti-slip exterior tiles

Anti Slip Tiles from Direct Tile Warehouse

The clue is in the name with these tiles! You don’t have to compromise on style by choosing slabs, as thanks to careful material surface texturing, anti-slip tiles give you plenty of grip underfoot. They’re also exceptionally durable, which is great for outdoor spaces which not only are heavy traffic areas with the constant clatter of shoes and paws, but they also take a lot of abuse from the ever-changing seasons.

Anti-slip tiles are the way forward for gardens, especially if yours is home to anything that could be a watery hazard, such as a paddling pool, hot tub or swimming pool. They’re also ideal to create a seamless flow from indoors to outdoors, and when it comes to designs, you can choose from traditional to contemporary and everything in between in a variety of colours, finishes, shapes and sizes.

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Conservatory tiles

Calacatta Marble Effect conservatory

Conservatory floors can experience lots of heavy traffic in the warmer months, especially if they are an entrance and exit for the garden. That’s where good quality floor tiles can come into their own, to provide a hard-wearing floor with anti-slip properties that looks great too. When it comes to choosing conservatory tiles, you can jazz things up with patterns, opt for rustic wood effect or go for modern marble effect for a super smart and shiny look.

A couple of tips for conservatory tiles are to check which substrate you have, as that dictates the type of grout, adhesive and sometimes the type of tile you can use. We would suggest avoiding Quartz tiles and most types of natural stone as they can suffer at the hands of UV damage from the sun peeking in through all that glass. And finally, for a conservatory that is functional all year round, consider underfloor heating to take the chill out of the floor during the cooler months.

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Slate effect patio tiles 

Slate Effect Exterior Tiles

If you’re looking for the gorgeous organic texture and durability of natural slate tiles without the high maintenance required, then take a peek at some stunning slate effect tiles instead. Natural slate tiles can easily be broken as they are fairly brittle, so why not plump for more practical porcelain slate effect tiles that cleverly mimic natural slate due to realistic designs using advanced inkjet technology.

Whether you’re lusting after a luxurious looking lounging area or a rustic looking patio, there’s a wide range of styles and designs to choose from, including rippled effects and natural-looking tiles in various shades from traditional black to lighter greys.

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Modular tiles for outdoors

Black Modular Patio Tiles

Yearning for some rural charm in your garden? Like the option of creating your own unique design? Then modular tiles could be the perfect option for you! Available in a variety of shades and shapes, modular floor tiles come in packs with a selection of sizes and layout ideas to help you create your own bespoke floor designs.

If you like the idea of patterns but don’t particularly want a patterned tile, modular tiles can help you create heaps of interest without being too overpowering. They are perfect for adding lots of texture too, and a modular tile in a natural stone design us a lovely choice for a patio area.

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Moroccan tiles for outdoor spaces

Moroccan Style Patio Tiles from Direct Tile Warehouse

Evoke the essence of the Mediterranean and get the holiday vibe all year round by spicing up your outdoor space with beautiful Moroccan style tiles. They are ideal for creating an element of fun in the garden, with colourful patterned designs to create your very own garden art gallery. They also add bags of texture too.

Moroccan style tiles aren’t just exciting on the eye, they are also extremely practical. Their matt finish and non-porous qualities make them perfect for the aftermath of rain or splashes from the paddling/swimming pool. They’re low maintenance (just the odd brush and mop required) and incredibly durable. Shy away from pared-back minimalism and give your garden a Moorish makeover!

View all Moroccan style tiles

Wood effect exterior tiles

Wood effect exterior tiles

If you love the look of classic wooden decking but are tired of the high maintenance that comes with it, then wood-effect tiles are the way forward. You can create a statement look that’s easy to maintain and transform your garden at a fraction of the cost. Wood-effect tiles are great for the outdoors to create a natural look and are available a wide range of shades from rustic browns to chic greys and everything in between.

Wood-effect tiles have lots of advantages too. Water and frost proof properties mean they won’t warp in cold or wet conditions, and they don’t need to be treated or sealed. They’ll also look great for years as they keep their colour and tone, unlike hardwood decking which can discolour over time, and a broken tile can be easier to replace than trying to match faded boards.

View all wood effect tiles

Veined stone tiles

Magma Veined Stone Patio Tiles

Add a touch of glamour to your grounds by introducing veined stone tiles. Giving the effect of natural stone of marble but without the heavy price tag, this elegant outdoor floor tile option is available in a wonderful range of colours. The veining will add lots of character, whether you go for subtle streaks or hefty lines, and the variation in shade mimics natural stone perfectly.

Stone effect tiles are ideal for patios, paths and for joining the exterior and interior of your home in a seamless effect, creating the illusion of extra space. And the beauty of choosing tiles rather than stone is that they won’t absorb water, plus they’re super easy to clean and maintain, giving you a touch of outdoor opulence all year round and for many years to come.

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Shaped exterior tiles

Mermaid Scale Tiles from Direct Tile Warehouse

Rectangles? So 2020. Squares? Forget it! If you really want the wow factor, why not introduce shaped tiles into your outdoor space? Over the last few years, we’ve seen shapes such as arabesque, hexagon and mermaid scale grow in popularity, and using these is a sure-fire way to elevate your exterior from standard to striking.

There’s a wide range of stunning shapes out there, but if you’re using them outdoors, check that they are suitable for exterior use and look for anti-slip properties. Natural stone effect tiles will also need sealing to protect them against the elements.

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Exterior wall tiles

Exterior Wall Tiles from Direct Tile Warehouse

If you’re thinking of upgrading your garden, it isn’t just the flooring to consider. If you have any walls that need jazzing up or are building any partitions or feature areas, why not cast your eye over exterior wall tiles? Whether you want to create a seamless look from floor to wall or choose a contrasting or funky design such as split face tiles, there’s a great selection out there for you to get creative with your cladding and bring life and character back into areas that might be looking dull and tired.

As with all exterior tiles, check that your favourites are suitable for use outdoors so that they aren’t just a pretty face!

View all exterior wall tiles

We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to exterior tiles. If you’re feeling inspired, why not check out our outdoor tiles here or have a look at some of our customer projects.

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