Now that you know the right questions to ask, here are the top types you will want to check out. Be sure to take your time, read up, and choose carefully
One of the most luxurious looking tile choices is without a doubt travertine. With outdoor patio tiles made from this natural stone you can transform the look and feel of your space dramatically. Normally you will see travertine ranging from brown to cream in color.
This material is well-known for its beauty but also its pitted surface which is a result of gasses escaping as the stone forms. Many people love the rustic appearance of these small pits but if you don’t, you can always choose tiles that have them filled in.
The edges of travertine tiles may also be straight for a uniform look or chiseled to make them appear older. Finishes include tumbled, honed, brushed, and polished but you won’t want to use a polished finish on floor tiles outside since it would be too slippery.
The natural texture of travertine actually provides grip making it an attractive choice for use as tiles for outdoor steps and around swimming pools. A favorite feature for many tile owners is how cool their tiles feel even on a hot summer’s day which is especially convenient around the pool so you don’t burn your feet.
They can also handle extremely cold temperatures without the risk of cracking. When thinking about this material you will definitely want consider installing your tiles in the Versailles tile pattern for which it works famously well.
Tiles made from slate are an excellent example of the stunning looks that natural stone has to offer. While most people think that they are only available in grey they actually can be found in everything from orange to black. Depending on what you prefer, you may want to choose tiles that are one uniform color or those that have many different color variations in each individual tile.
There are different finishes too so that you can find tiles that are totally smooth or have an uneven surface known as a natural cleft finish. Slate is very tough but also highly resistant to water. These traits along with the fact that it can be used to create both modern and rustic looking spaces make it a very popular outside choice.
Outdoor wall tiles made from slate can be used in outdoor showers, on decorative walls, and on the exterior of the house. Slate split-faced tiles in particular are one of the most frequently purchased choices for wall installations because of their appealing rough natural texture.
You will also see tiles made from this stone used on patios and as flooring in areas that are frequently wet. This is not just because of their looks and water resistance. It is also because they provide serious natural grip and this easily makes them one the best exterior tiles for steps.
Even though slate is stain resistant you will definitely want to seal your tiles to protect them from things like oils which can cause staining. You may want to consider using a stone enhancer which will give your tile a wet look. And don’t forget when installing slate tiles outdoors on your patio it is very important you do so over a concrete slab.
These are the strongest and most durable type of all natural stone tiles. They also can be quite expensive. Granite is naturally waterproof and just about impenetrable to bacteria. It also won’t chip or crack and is extremely scratch resistant. Unlike many other types of stone it will not stain or absorb oils easily.
These traits along with its looks also make it the most sought after material for indoor use on kitchen countertops. Most often tiles will be grey in color but can range all the way to pink. When used as outdoor patio tiles or to make walk and pathways they create spaces that don’t just impress but last a lifetime.
Limestone is formed underwater by shells, coral, algae and calcium carbonate. It is a material that has been favored by builders since ancient times because while it is easy to cut and work with it is also strong and durable. Usually gray, tan, brown, or red in color this strong, heavy material was used to make castles and even the Egyptian pyramids.
Their light color actually reflects sunlight and help to keep them cool even during very hot weather. Needless to say limestone tiles are very tough. However, care must be taken as they can be scratched. Limestone tiles need to be properly sealed as they are somewhat porous and highly susceptible to damage by acids.
They are easy to clean by sweeping or mopping with a neutral cleaner just be sure not to use anything acidic such as bleach or vinegar. Limestone is one of the best outdoor tile choices for creating a rustic appearance and its neutral colors make it a fabulous pairing for use with wood furniture.
Sandstone has been used to make tiles since ancient times. As a sedimentary rock it is made up of tiny particles of other rocks and sand which have been displaced by wind and water. Because these tiny particles have a huge range in colors, so do sandstone tiles. However they are usually available in white, tan, red, gray, and brown.
Their beautiful variations in texture and color make an eye-catching addition to gardens and patios. Outdoor sandstone tiles can be used in wet areas but they will need to be sealed first as this stone is highly porous and will absorb water if it isn’t. Sealing is also critical to prevent the absorption of salt which can cause serious damage to sandstone.