What tiles should you use in outdoor areas?

The backyard has always been an essential part of Australian culture. From outdoor barbeques to a family gathering, memories are made here, amid the beautiful Australian climate. 

While patio areas traditionally had a poured concrete or paver stone floor, it is also possible to have a tiled floor too. 

Though indoor tiles are durable and chip-resistant, they cannot handle climatic conditions such as frost and direct sunlight. They should be able to handle the repeated freeze-thaw cycles without cracking. 

From an aesthetic point of view, they should create an indoor-outdoor connection, transforming your patio into a lovely spot to retreat and entertain.

As such, the most common tiles used outdoors are:

  • Ceramic/Vitrified Tiles
  • Porcelain Tiles
  • Paving Tiles
  • Natural Stone Tiles
  • Wooden Tiles
  • Concrete Tiles
  • Rubber Tiles
  • Carpet Tiles

Outdoor Tiles

Ceramic/Vitrified Tiles

Ceramic tiles are clay-based products baked at very high temperatures to give them durability and strength. 

Ceramic tiles are dense, non-porous, hard, moisture-resistant and long-lasting. 

Indoor tiles with sufficient PEI rating can also be used outdoors. 

Available in a vast range of colours, textures, designs and sizes, the ceramic tiles are perfect for light use patios and not those which get a lot of footfall. 

Always remember that the floor must be sturdy enough to hold the weight of the tiles.

Porcelain Tiles

Similar to the ceramic tiles, porcelain is denser, and that relates to its longevity. 

With a good PEI rating, they can be used outdoor and in many patios applications. 

However porcelain tiles need to be textured since the high-glossy versions are slippery when wet. 

Paving Tiles

The earthy colours of paving tiles infuse the openness and natural feel to the outdoor space. 

The attractive nature and charm make them ideal for outdoor patios. 

Paving tiles are extremely durable, long-lasting and well protected from stains, dampness, fungal growth, moisture absorption.

Traditionally made from concrete, plastic waste has also been converted to paving tiles which makes them an environmentally friendly option. 

Natural Stone Tiles

Natural stone tiles have a rustic beauty about them, making them unique and the most favoured among all outdoor tile options. 

When used for patio floors, they add warmth and colour easily, plus they have enough texture to gives them a slip-resistant qualities. 

Stone tiles retain the natural grain patterns, making every tile a unique work of art. 

Natural stone tiles are generally made from: 

  • Granite
  • Soapstone
  • Slate
  • Limestone
  • Travertine 

Among these, granite cannot be used outdoors due to its slippery nature. 

However soapstone and slate make for excellent outdoor patio tiles. 

Travertine, though highly attractive depends on the area where it is mined from. Travertine from Italy and Turkey are considered to be of a high-quality. 

Wooden Tiles

Wooden tiles are perfect for open patios or sky balconies made from weather-resistant wood such as redwood or cedar. 

They are usually large squares of timber attached to backing strips with interlocking edges. 

The wood perfectly complements the outdoors and nature while blending with nature seamlessly. 

Apart from being used on the floor, they also make attractive wall tiles. 

Concrete Tiles

Natural stone tiles can be expensive.

To achieve a similar look, concrete tiles are the next best option at a fraction of the cost. 

They are moulded from poured concrete which is then given the textures and colours to resemble a stone tile. 

Concrete tiles are usually preferred by homeowners for their price, durability, resilience, strength and easy maintenance. 

They can also handle freezing temperatures without cracking. 

Rubber Tiles

Rubber tiles are often seen in indoor courts, and children play areas. 

They have interlocking edges that, when joined together, form a robust, hardy and uniform surface. 

Rubber tiles are soft and best used in areas where children play and they’re also ideal for use around pools and slippery areas. 


There are a huge number of outdoor tile options that you can choose from to create the perfect outdoor space. 

But that can be overwhelming at times.

If you need help selecting the perfect tile type or design for your outdoor area, talk to our specialist team of tilers on the Gold Coast.


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