• can-i-use-porcelain-tiles-outside

Can I Use Porcelain Tiles Outside?

The short answer to this question is yes. Porcelain is ideally suited to use outdoors as it is extremely strong and hard-wearing. Often natural stone or concrete slabs are used on patios, however these materials can require regular cleaning and sealing, and can look a little old fashioned. If you are looking for a long-lasting and modern looking alternative to traditional paving products, porcelain is the perfect choice.

While it is the perfect material for outdoor use, not all porcelain tiles can be used outside. Standard 8-10mm thick porcelain tiles are not recommended for external use, as they are not strong enough to withstand heavy furniture and harsh weather conditions. Valverdi Indoor-Out tiles are available in two thicknesses – 10mm for inside and 20mm for outdoor use. PorcelPave external tiles range from 18mm to 20mm thick, again making them perfect for patios, driveways and terraces.

If you choose to lay the same 10mm porcelain tile inside and outdoors you will be compromising; if it has enhanced slip resistance the internal floor will be unduly rough and difficult to clean, if the tile has a lower slip resistance to facilitate internal cleaning then the outside floor could be dangerously slippery.

Benefits of Using Porcelain Tiles Outside

  • Strong – porcelain is extremely strong, meaning that it can handle heavy patio furniture and foot traffic.
  • Hard-wearing – the tiles are long-lasting so they will look fantastic for many years to come.
  • Frost proof – as the tiles do not absorb water, they will not be affected by frost or harsh weather conditions.
  • Scratch resistant – the tough material is extremely hard to scratch.
  • Impervious – this means that the tiles are resistant to staining as well as moss and mould growth
  • Fade proof – there will be no change to the colour of the tiles, no matter how much sunshine they are exposed to.
  • Flexible – Valverdi & PorcelPave outdoor porcelain tiles can be used on patios, roof terraces, balconies, driveways and around swimming pools
  • Slip resistant – the external tiles have a HD ani-slip finish that makes them perfect for outdoor use
  • Low maintenance – unlike natural stone paving, porcelain tiles do not need to be sealed and can be easily cleaned.
  • Calibrated – for straight edges and even thickness.
  • Profiling – a profiling service is available to add anti-slip grooves, bull-nosing or holes for lighting
  • Modern & stylish – available in a range of cool colours and designs including bright white, striking black, wood or concrete effect.
  • Create flow – matching indoor tiles are also available in the Valverdi range to enable you to create a seamless link between your indoor and outdoor living spaces.

There are a number of fixing methods available for outdoor porcelain tiles, including traditional adhesive installation and self-levelling pedestals. Not sure which colour tiles will look best in your garden? Order a sample online today or visit one of our showrooms.

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  • Safia - 7 months ago

    Excellent article, thanks. I’m after a porcelain patio and the tiles I’ve seen are just under 10 mm thick. They’re being sold by one of the bigger stores as outdoor tiles. There is no slip rating on the website. How can I ensure they’re OK for external use?
    Judging from your article the only difference between indoor and outdoor porcelain is thickness and how slippery or not they are. Is it possible to use indoor tiles outside if they’re not slippery?

    • London Tile - 7 months ago

      Hi Safia
      Great question. Obviously we can’t comment on the practices of other companies, but we never advise the use of 10mm tiles outdoors. Despite being a hard and dense material, you really need 20mm thick tiles to ensure that they don’t get damaged by ground movement, heavy garden furniture, and the great outdoors. The extra 10mm doubles the thickness and durability. I would also email the company and ask for the slip resistance rating. It needs to have an R9 rated anti-slip surface to ensure that it isn’t slippery when wet, and a quick phone call to check will give you peace of mind. If you have any more questions about the uses of porcelain tiles feel free to contact me on social@londontile.co.uk.