This time of year everyone is migrating outside and fixing up their outdoor spaces. Because of this, I’ve been receiving a lot of questions about tile for a deck of patio. The most common question is what type of tile can be used over a deck or patio. To answer this question you have to look at the environmental conditions common to the area you live in.
Cooler Climates: If you live in an area where the temperature drops to freezing or colder, you need to use a good quality porcelain tile or natural stone. Stay away from ceramic because it can’t stand the drop in temperature and runs the risk of cracking when it goes through a freeze/thaw.
Warmer Climates: If you live in a warmer climate you can use just about any tile you want. As long as there is no fear of frost. Many warmer climates use ceramic tile outside because it is the least expensive tile available and comes in many sizes and colors.
Wet Areas: If the area to be tiled is uncovered consider going with a tile that has more texture to it. Something that is completely smooth with nothing to grab for texture will be dangerous when wet. Don’t even think about installing smooth tile near a swimming pool or hot tub! Consider a tile specifically made for wet areas or course concrete pavers.
No matter what type of outside space you are considering tiling, it is very important to consider the environmental conditions specific to your location. Otherwise you will find yourself having to redo an area you already spent a great deal of time and money on.