Outdoor Tiles for Garden: 6 Things You Should Know

Gardens are a crucial part of many homes, as they provide a place to relax and retreat from the hustle-bustle of everyday life. However, to ensure your outdoor area looks its best, you need to choose the right tiles. Before you rush out and make a purchase, there are some key things you should know about outdoor tiles for the garden.

Outdoor Tiles for the Garden

Outdoor tiles can be used in a garden to create visually interesting patterns and surfaces, be it a patio or an oasis.

When selecting outdoor tiles for your garden, consider factors such as the material’s durability and resistance to weathering. You should also make sure that the tile you choose is: 

  • Slip-resistant
  • The right color and texture
  • Easy to maintain
  • Within your budget

What To Consider When Choosing an Outdoor Garden Tile

Things that you should consider before buying outdoor tiles for your garden are:

  • Your budget. Tiles can cost around $2-$12 per sq ft and the labor cost can add up to a chunk of around $5-$20/sqft. If you have a budget in mind then that will narrow down your choices to only those tiles that fit into your budget. 
  • The durability of the tile. Tiles are impervious to water, sunlight, and other environmental factors that would otherwise damage the natural stone or wood surfaces. So always check the strength and durability of the tiles, according to your needs and regional climate, before purchasing.
  • The availability of a variety of styles. Moreover, you can easily find something that fits your style and the overall look of your garden space as outdoor tile designs come in myriad varieties.

What Kind of Tile Is Best for Garden Use?

The best kind of tile for garden use is natural stone, as it’s durable and long-lasting. However, natural stone can be expensive, so other great options include ceramic, porcelain, and concrete tiles.

When selecting the best outdoor tile for gardens, it’s important to consider the intended use of the space. For high-traffic areas, such as a patio or walkway, porcelain or natural stone tiles are the best option as they have a high slip-resistance rating (CoF 0.6 or higher). 

On the other hand, ceramic tiles are better for less trafficked areas, such as a seating area, as these don’t meet the OSHA standard for CoF ratings.

From simple yet elegant ceramic tiles to the more ornate encaustic tiles, each type of outdoor tile has its own unique characteristics and benefits. However, some tiles are more functional and popular for garden usage. Here are the different outdoor tiles for the garden that you can choose from:

  • Ceramic tiles: These are one of the most affordable yet durable options when it comes to outdoor flooring. These materials come in an array of colors, shapes, sizes, and textures so you can easily find something that will match your home’s style. 
  • Porcelain tiles: Porcelain tiles are another popular outdoor tile option that’s made from a mixture of different materials including clay, earthenware, and feldspar. These tiles are usually very glossy, hard, and durable (with higher PEI ratings) which makes them ideal for outdoor use. They’re also very low maintenance and easy to clean. 
  • Concrete tiles: If you’re looking for some amazing designs to add to your garden that will stand out from the rest, concrete tiles are your go-to option. Made from a mixture of concrete and other materials such as sand, glass, and gravel, these tiles are very durable and versatile for outdoor use. 
  • Natural stone: Stone tiles, such as slate, granite, marble, or limestone, are cut from large rocks and offer a unique and natural look to a garden. They stand as durable and long-lasting as others but can be more expensive.

How To Choose the Right Size and Shape of Garden Tiles

Choosing the right sized and shaped tiles is a must if you’re a creative person looking for a cohesive design in your garden. Here are a few tips on how to pick the right size and shape of garden tiles: 

  • Measure the area you want to tile. This will help you determine how many tiles you need, as well as what size and shape are most appropriate for your project. 
  • Consider the style of your garden when choosing which type of tile to use. If it’s a traditional garden with a lot of plants and foliage, then opt for something subtle like large square or rectangular tiles with a smooth texture. Alternatively, if it’s more modern with clean lines, then go for something bolder, such as geometric shapes or patterned pieces.
  • Think about where each tile will be placed. If they’re going near pathways or entrances then pick something slip-resistant such as honed stone or even pebbles. Smaller tiles, such as mosaics, can add texture and interest, while larger tiles can make a space look more open and streamlined.
  • Textured tiles can add interest and prevent slipping, especially in wet weather conditions. Smooth tiles, on the other hand, may not be as slip-resistant but can be easier to clean and maintain. 

How To Select the Right Color for Outdoor Tiles for a Garden

The right color can add contrast and beauty to your garden while the wrong color can detract from its appearance and make it look dull or out of place. Here are some tips on how to select the right colored tiles for your outdoor garden: 

  • Overall design: Consider the overall design of your garden and choose a tile that complements it rather than clashes with it. It should fit with your style and theme of the outdoor space.
  • Warm tones: Warm tones, such as beige or terra-cotta, can create a cozy and inviting atmosphere, while cooler tones, such as gray or blue, can create a more contemporary and modern feel.
  • Pathway lighter colors: If you want to use tile for pathways throughout your landscape then lighter colors may be best as they won’t draw too much attention away from other features like plants or flowers. On a more prominent area of the landscape, using a bolder color will help draw attention there.
  • Lighter colors: Lighter-colored tiles tend to be cooler, making them ideal for shady areas, while darker tiles tend to retain heat and are ideal for sun-exposed areas.

What Is the Best Way To Lay Outdoor Tiles for a Garden?

You’ve finished researching everything — from selecting the style and texture of the tiles to the colors and sizes you want in your garden. But that was only the beginning. Now, it’s time for the proper installation of these tiles.

The best way to lay outdoor tiles for a garden is by measuring before purchasing, marking out your design plan, and using a leveler to ensure the tiles are even. However, it’s best to hire a professional to lay your outdoor tiles for the best outcome.

Following the correct method of installation of your outdoor tiles for the garden will increase the longevity and appearance of the tiles. It also assures the durability of the outdoor tiles for years to come without any shifting or damage. Here are the steps to take to lay outdoor tiles for a garden:

  • Step 1. Measure the space: Measure the space accurately before buying your tiles. You’ll need enough tiles to cover the entire area, so make sure to get an extra 10% or more just in case there are breakages during installation. 
  • Step 2. Mark the area: Mark out your design plan on the ground with spray paint, thread, or chalk so you know exactly where each tile should go in relation to each other for an even look.  
  • Step 3. Prepare the surface: Prepare the surface where you’ll be laying the tiles by removing any existing flooring and cleaning it thoroughly. 
  • Step 4. Use a leveler: Use a leveler to ensure all corners are even before starting to lay down your tiles, and a grout float or trowel to spread the mortar evenly around each tile as you install them onto the ground one at a time. Don’t forget to brush a good quality slurry primer on the underneath of each paving tile to make the bonding even stronger.
  • Step 5. Gap: Keep in check that the tiles are being installed with a slight gap between them. This will let them breathe and prevent moisture from accumulating between them.
  • Step 6. Clean: Once your tile is installed and you’re happy with the look of your design, clean up any excess mortar or grout material around each tile with a wet sponge or paper towel. 
  • Step 7. Dry: Allow your tiles to dry for 24 hours before you walk on them. 

Note: If you’re inexperienced with tile installation, hiring a professional is best to ensure the job is done correctly.

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