The best kind of tile to lay on an outdoor porch

Written by tim anderson
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The best kind of tile to lay on an outdoor porch
Choose from a range of tiles on your outdoor porch. (Image by Holly Kuchera; Flickr.)

When choosing tile for outdoor porches, decks and patios, there are a number of flooring materials you can choose from. Natural stone is one of the first choices for many people, given its rugged durability and natural beauty, while others go for unglazed ceramic tiles to achieve a modern, contemporary aesthetic.

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Unglazed ceramic

Use unglazed ceramic for outdoor settings because the surface of glazed tiles can be slippery when wet, potentially causing injuries. Ceramic tiles come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours, which means you can customise your outdoor porch entirely to your personal preference.

Terracotta tiles

Terracotta (baked clay) tile is known for its standard red, orange and yellow hues. While the tiles vary in colour, shape and hue, it is an appealing look for homeowners who enjoy an adobe look. The surface can come unadorned, or you can purchase tiles with hand-painted designs to customise your outdoor porch. These tiles are best used in warmer parts of the UK as the freeze-thaw cycle can cause the clay to crack.

Natural slate

One of the standard outdoor natural stones used around the world is slate tile. Quarried in a wide range of shapes and sizes, the colours of slate can vary dramatically, depending on where in the world it was quarried, although standard colours are usually grey or black with streaks of browns, reds, blacks and other earthy colours. Standard slate is simply hewn into rough square tiles, but you can also purchase machined slate that has been smoothed down into a more uniform finish to resemble ceramic tile. It is very durable and can withstand all types of weather.

Travertine tiles

Travertine is one of the toughest natural stones known to man and has been in use for thousands of years, ranging from the Byzantines to the Romans and the ancient Greeks. It continues to be one of the most sought-after natural stones for indoor and outdoor use and can be purchased in rough, tumbled form, or in a honed and polished format. While one of the more expensive options when looking at tile for your outdoor porch, its durability and natural beauty can make the extra money worth purchasing it in the long run.

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