Tiling outside is a great option to achieve an attractive hardwearing functional space. Whether it's a patio, pathway or maybe steps, tiling can add life and style to your garden.
There are a few things to consider before before you start.
Because you are tiling outdoors it's very important to select something that will resist the weather, be frost proof, and not too slippy when wet.
Generally speaking ceramic tiles are not suitable for outside. You should really be looking for a porcelean tile, or
a natural stone.
There are loads of outdoor paving stones to choose from. Checkout the Topps Tiles website for some great ideas.
Black slate, for example, is highly durable and striking on the eye, whereas sandstone provides a more traditional appearance. Limestone is a great option if you want your tiles to look better over time - like any sedimentary rock, it is affected by the elements without jeopardising its durability.
It is not only the type of stone you need to consider, but also the size of the slabs you purchase. Larger paving tends to be less time consuming to install, but smaller blocks are considered by some to be more attractive. Ultimately it depends on the look you are hoping to achieve.
Preparing your garden before laying the tiles
You will need to prepare your surfaces if you are planning to install outdoor paving. Failing to carry out the necessary work beforehand could mean that the lifespan of your tiling is drastically reduced, so make sure you are working on a solid base.
A common means of achieving this is to lay a concrete slab (which will also provide a good surface to tile onto). This involves digging out a trough and filling it with a layer of hardcore (compacted brick or stone rubble). The concrete is poured on top and leveled. Make sure you have a slight slope so water runs off.
Using a good quality adhesive and grout is essential if your paving project is to stand the test of time. Make sure that it is suitable for outdoor use.