For the most part, installing tiles outdoors is pretty much the same job as installing tiles indoors. That being said, there are certain important differences to take into account and to keep to mind throughout the process for the simple reason that outdoor tiles are exposed to somewhat different conditions than those on the indoors. Nevertheless, each and every one of the astounding benefits of high quality tiles can and should be made the most of across as many exterior living spaces as possible – this is one investment you will simply never regret making.
Here’s a quick look at the five most important rules to follow when it comes to outdoor tiling:
First and foremost, never take for granted suitability when it comes to selecting the tiles themselves. There are thousands of tiles and tile ranges on the market right now which are perfectly suitable for outdoor use, but at the same time there are just as many tiles designed solely for use indoors. The difference being that outdoor tiles are often made stronger, more durable and more resistant to the elements thantheir indoor counterparts – many examples within the latter category simply would not survive outdoors.
It sounds like an obvious tip but it’s also one of the most important of all – never under any circumstances even consider going about an outdoor tiling job if there is even 1% chance of a sudden downpour. Admittedly, this makes it rather difficult when working with the Great British elements, but the simple fact of the matter is that bad weather could lay waste to your efforts. Of course there’s always the option of putting up a temporary shelter which will indeed work wonders, but unless you wish to do so, you need to make sure the weather is on your side.
With even more care and attention than you would give to an indoor tiling task, you need to prepare all surfaces extremely thoroughly and ensure they are flawlessly clean and damage-free. When tiling on concrete, it’s important to look for any dips, cracks or unevenness which must be addressed with a suitable subbase before you can go ahead with the tiling. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that you’ll get away with simply smearing inch upon inch of grout onto the surface to correct imperfections – you won’t.
Try to bear in mind that depending on the materials your tiles contain, exposure to direct sunlight and high temperatures may result in expansion and contraction. As such, it’s important to keep a close eye on exactly how close the tiles are to one another in order to ensure they have at least some room for manoeuvre and will not crack, chip or generally fall to pieces.
Last but not least, given the fact that your exterior tiles will naturally be exposed to a great deal more punishment than indoor tiles, you need to give them ample time to set solid in place. It may be advisable to add a coat of sealant to your tiles and/or grout (depending on the products chosen) after which it is a case of covering the area to fully protect it from the elements and leaving it for as long as necessary until 100% hardened. Never give in to the temptation to begin enjoying your handiwork before it is safe to do so – you risk undoing all of your hard work.