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07/07/2022

Inspiring Patio Tile Ideas

Transform your garden, terrace or courtyard with natural stone or versatile porcelain outdoor tiles

If you’re looking for ways to update and elevate your garden, then the following outdoor tile ideas could make a huge impact. Whether a rambling plot in the countryside or a compact urban space, you can be sure there are patio tiles to suit.

Our outdoor collection comprises of natural stone and durable porcelain tile options, many of which are available in two different thicknesses, making them suitable for use inside and out. If you prefer the tactility of stone but require outdoor flooring with the robustness of porcelain, then look to styles like our Bourgogne (pictured above), Milan Nouveau, Wessex, Bilbao or Avon ranges.

The beauty of garden tiles is that they have the power to completely transform the look and feel of your outdoor space. With this in mind, it’s worth creating a moodboard to help guide the project, as you might when refreshing any other area of your home. Notice the tones and textures you’re instantly drawn to, and consider any other hardscaping elements you’d like your new outdoor floor tiles to complement. To get you started, we’ve compiled a few of our favourite garden tile ideas below for a little outdoor inspiration.

1. DESIGN A COHESIVE INDOOR-OUTDOOR SPACE

Our Wexford natural outdoor porcelain tiles – echo the rugged appeal of Yorkshire paving slabs for a warm and rustic aesthetic. Their tonal variations, textured surface and distressed edges make them a great fit for courtyard spaces, while a 10mm-option means your outdoor tile scheme can be continued indoors. If you love mix of cool and warm shades in this space, then consider our Keswick range, which is also suitable for use inside and out.

2. USE TUMBLED COBBLES TO ADD CHARACTER

Perfect for patios, terraces and driveways, limestone cobbles offer texture in abundance, featuring tumbled edges, subtle veining and occasional surface pitting. Available in three different sizes, these soft-hued Dijon Blend tumbled outdoor limestone cobbles feel wonderful under foot on sunny shoeless days, and their pale shades will help to lift and brighten a small or light-deprived outdoor space. If you’d like to explore more textural, warm-toned neutrals, try our Cotto Earth range of outdoor porcelain tiles.

3. CHANNEL MEDITERRANEAN STYLE WITH BUFF TONES

Whether your dream home is a rustic bolthole in the South of France or a perhaps pared-back Majorcan finca, you can go some way to recreating a holiday feel at home with a Mediterranean-inspired palette. The earthy tones of these Galway buff outdoor porcelain tiles work beautifully with white-painted or light-stone walls, bleached wood and deeper terracotta accents. Their undulating edges and subtly mottled surface creates the appearance of stone and is a good fit for both modern or traditional terraces. For another stone-effect option in a similar hue, try our Chiltern buff outdoor porcelain tile.

4. ADD DEPTH AND DRAMA WITH OUTDOOR SLATE TILES

The cool, dark tones of outdoor slate tiles are great for creating contrast, particularly when combined with other hardscaping materials such as gravel, timber or lighter stone and porcelain tiles. A versatile option for indoors and out, this dramatic Nero riven slate has a naturally textured surface that creates visual interest and provides slip resistance: a perfect floor for an outdoor shower. Available in four sizes, these charcoal-black slate tiles have been calibrated for easy installation. For a porcelain alternative to real slate, consider our Flint indoor-outdoor large format porcelain tiles.

5. BRING IN PATTERN THROUGH GEOMETRIC MOTIFS

If graphic prints are your thing, why not inject a hit of pattern into a terrace or courtyard using geometric tiles in subtle, neutral shades. A contemporary take on ornate cement tiles, our Casa Grande collection comprises of hardwearing porcelain versions that we suggest sealing with Fila Stop Dirt due to their greater surface texture. Their precise, rectified construction makes the tiles as uniform as possible, allowing for minimal grouting and ensuring that the finished design appears virtually seamless.

6. TRY TERRAZZO-LOOK PORCELAIN FOR TIMELESS STYLE

We love the combination of our Jagger mid-grey outdoor porcelain tiles with the russet-coloured walls of this striking arched portico. The speckled pattern of this warm-toned porcelain evokes the timeless glamour of a terrazzo floor, offering an equally durable but more affordable alternative. Measuring well over a square metre, these generously proportioned garden tiles are particularly suitable for large gardens and terraces, and will add an air of understated elegance wherever they’re used. Seamlessly match these with the indoor version of Jagger mid- grey, for the perfect idoor-outdoor flooring.

7. CHOOSE MARBLE COBBLES IN COOL-BLUE HUES

Cool-toned marble works as well in a relaxed rural garden as it does in a sleek city courtyard, thanks to its versatile blue-grey base colour. These Bluestone tumbled outdoor marble cobbles feature a rounded edge that helps to soften the overall appearance of the flooring, while a mix of tones is enhanced by white and rust highlights. Perfect for adding interest to terraces and patios of any size, these dense and durable stone outdoor tiles are as beautiful as they are practical.


ASK AN EXPERT

 

Q- WHAT KIND OF TILE IS BEST FOR OUTDOOR USE/WHAT TILES ARE SUITABLE FOR OUTDOORS?

A- Mandarin Stone offer a wide range of natural stone and porcelain tiles which have been specifically sourced for external use. They are normally thicker (20, 30 or 50mm) than those for internal use so that they are more robust against the wear and tear that goes hand in hand with fixing externally in the UK. Outdoor tiles often have more texture to the surface in order to help increase grip when wet or frosty. The increased thickness of the tiles allows them to be fixed in the more traditional ‘sand/cement’ method without needing to pour costly concrete slabs.

 

Q- WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INDOOR AND OUTDOOR TILES?

A- Before installation, the most obvious difference is the thickness, outdoor tiles are thicker to make them more resilient to weathering and to allow them to be installed onto a compacted sub-base with a sand/cement mix, rather than having to spend additional time and money on the preparation required to fix 10mm thick tiles externally. External tiles both in stone and porcelain tend to have more textured surfaces to increase grip. With stone this takes the form of ‘antique’ surfaces such as ‘tumbled’ or ‘riven’ finishes, porcelains often have an increased texture which is pressed into the tile’s surface.

 

Q- ARE OUTDOOR TILES SLIPPERY?

A- If clean and dry outdoor tiles shouldn’t be slippery as they are designed for outdoor use. There are external factors that can affect the surface grip of your external tiles, such as water, ice and leaf litter from overhanging or surrounding vegetation.

 

Q- DO OUTDOOR TILES NEED SEALING?

A- This debate about whether or not to seal outdoor stone tiles is one that remains ongoing and doesn’t necessarily have a right or wrong answer. All natural stone is naturally porous to varying degrees depending on the type of stone. Sealing will prevent moisture getting into the stone and extend the time that weathering takes to affect the stone, however this could lead to water sitting on the surface of the tiles which can freeze in winter and cause issues of its own. Not sealing will mean that the stone will weather more quickly and more naturally and lead to a beautiful, lived-in look. Porcelain tiles have a very low porosity so it is very difficult to ‘stain’ the tiles themselves, however the increased surface texture of outdoor porcelain tiles can ‘hold on’ to dirt particles so they can be sealed with Fila Stop Dirt which is a topical surface sealant which makes routine cleaning of these tiles less arduous.

 

Q- HOW DO I CLEAN OUTDOOR TILES?

A- Normal sweeping of your outdoor tiles should be enough but all settings are unique and there are many factors that can dictate the cleaning routine required. Occasional cleaning with either Fila Cleaner Pro or Fila PS87 Pro may be required every now and then. Vegetation, animals and normal foot traffic can all leave their mark on your tiles but there are nearly always remedies to anything that flora and fauna can throw at your outdoor tiles.

 

Q- HOW DO I CHOOSE OUTDOOR WALL TILES?

A- Most porcelain tiles are frost-proof so can be used on external walls externally, although some glazes may weather over time. Ceramic tiles tend to be more porous and so are better suited to sheltered areas, while natural stone wall tiles require sealing to protect them from the elements. These are perfect for outdoor kitchens which are a growing popular trend at the moment.

 

If you have a question that’s not been answered here, visit one of our 14 UK showrooms or get in touch where our experts are on-hand to help.

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Wilmslow Weybridge Tunbridge Wells Primrose Hill Petersfield Monmouth Head Office Monmouth Marlow Fulham Road Exeter Cheltenham Cardiff Cambridge Bristol Bath
Wilmslow Weybridge Tunbridge Wells Primrose Hill Petersfield Monmouth Head Office Monmouth Marlow Fulham Road Exeter Cheltenham Cardiff Cambridge Bristol Bath