Summer is here and with it comes enjoying the great outdoors. HL chatted to Jasmin Kraneveldt from leading sanitary-ware and tile supplier, Bathroom Bizarre, about the choices we have when it comes to outdoor and patio tiles. Why bother with outdoor flooring at all? With South Africa’s fantastic climate, outdoor areas are as important as your home’s interiors, and should be decorated accordingly. What are my options? Tiles are extremely durable, long-lasting and easy to clean. Manufactured for outside use and waterproof, they can withstand our harsh climates, from below freezing in winter to really hot temperatures in summer. They are also extremely hard-wearing, making them cost-effective and ideal for high-traffic areas. Are they easy to maintain? Yes, and unlike wood, they don’t need sanding or treatments to keep them looking great. All you need is a good tile cleaner, water and a minimum amount of elbow grease. What are the other practical benefits of tiling outside? You can use tiles to successfully give your walkways, driveways, garden paths, steps, outdoor patio area, balcony or pool area an immediate facelift. Or you can use them to create an attractive outdoor wall feature that you will never have to repaint. What kind of tiles are available for outdoor flooring? If you choose well, you can be assured of a timeless makeover. It is essential to keep in mind the look and feel of the rest of your home when making your selection, so that your outdoor areas integrate with your home’s interior. The following tiles are available for the outdoors:
- Ceramic tiles are popular. Made out of clay, they’re fired in a kiln at very high temperatures. They’re durable because they are glazed and have a sealed surface. This makes them easy to clean, but be sure to choose tiles that are frost-resistant. The thicker, the better!
- Porcelain tiling has become common in many outdoor areas, and for good reason. Porcelain tiles are much denser and less porous than ceramic variants, making them more hardwearing. They also offer a highly polished, streamlined glamour to any space they occupy. They're a good choice for outdoor applications, even though they are usually a little more expensive than their ceramic counterparts.
- Natural stone tiles are also perfectly suited to life outdoors. Since they stem from the natural environment, natural stone handles the elements extremely well. They are also textured, which means they offer good grip for walking purposes. The drawbacks to natural stone however, is that they are porous and can absorb stains, so they need to be sealed. Comparatively, they are also very costly.