The warmer weather provides the perfect opportunity to entertain outdoors. Why not take full advantage of this by sprucing up your patio area? Tiles offer great durability and are easy to maintain. Tile Africa offers a variety of stylish tiles to transform your patio into an extension of your home. Home owners no longer view exterior entertaining areas as separate to the main home; these are now extensions of the home and as such should reflect the personality and style of the people living there. There are a few aspects to consider before embarking on creating an outdoor area that will take your guests’ breath away. ‘Start by planning how the area will be used and take into consideration function and convenience. Then look at safety and the durability of the tiles that you will use and if your tiles require professionals to install them,’ says Tile Africa’s Retail and Display Coordinator, Liza Watermeyer. Porcelain tiles, including wood-look porcelain tiles, and natural stone tiles such as slate, sandstone and travertine are popular choices for patios, lapa and braai areas. Wood-look porcelain tiles have a warm timber look and imitate wooden planks. They’re perfect for indoor and outdoor use and replicate a wooden deck when used outside. Wood-look porcelain tiles embody summer days lounging next to the pool. ‘It’s very important to know how to maintain your tiles, which will ultimately give them longevity,’ says Liza. For natural tiles use neutral pH cleaners or check for a suited product that can be used specifically for natural tiles. It’s also important to note that natural stone tiles need to be sealed to prevent them from staining. Ceramic and porcelain tiles don’t require special cleaning agents and it’s generally sufficient to brush and mop them on a weekly basis to keep your outdoor area tidy. If you’re still unsure about what tiles to use when gearing up for outdoor entertaining then head down to your nearest Tile Africa and speak to one of their design advisors who will give you expert advice about what will work for your home. Tile Africa is turning 25 this year and to celebrate their silver anniversary they’re running their national Spring Promotion until 3 November 2013, while stocks last. Enter Tile Africa’s online competition and stand a chance to win a stylish braai set for your new patio. For more information call 0800-002-783 or visit tileafrica.co.za. You can also follow @tileafrica on Twitter and Pinterest or like their Facebook page to receive regular decor ideas and tips.