Step into spring with outdoor tiling

on 13 April, 2015

When the weather warms up and the days get longer, we all want to shake off the winter blues by stepping outside – and what better way to appreciate the great outdoors than with a beautifully tiled patio?

Outdoor tiling is one of the hottest new trends, with more and more people discovering the joys of a seamless transition from kitchen to garden. Tiles create an ideal patio covering and are also suitable for decorative front porch stoops, as there is a huge selection of styles, colours and patterns to choose from.

When considering outdoor tiling, we would always recommend using full-bodied porcelain tiles or impervious natural stone. Ensure that the tile meets slip-resistance requirements, is frost-proof and, crucially, is unglazed.

High-quality porcelain tiles have a surface texture that helps make them slip resistant. Many manufacturers make special outdoor tiles that have slightly gritty surface, even when glazed. This invisible grit creates superb traction, even when the tile is wet.

What many installers and merchants don’t realise is that there is a vast array of tile adhesives and grouts on the market. Special adhesives for large-format floor tiles and natural stones are formulated for added flexibility to withstand the stresses and strains associated with outdoor environments such as uneven background, changes in temperature and humidity, movement and vibration.

Frost and water-resistant, these adhesives can be applied to 25mm thickness, making them ideal for tiles or slabs of uneven thickness and uneven surfaces. By using a rapid-setting adhesive, outdoor tiling areas can be grouted in as little as three hours.

When choosing your grout, it is important to consider the joint width. Always use a cement-based product that is flexible and hardwearing to protect against everything the British weather will throw at it. There is no need to worry about the final look, as outdoor floor grouts come in a variety of colours to suit any tile or design.

Debi Boulton is brand manager at Dunlop Adhesives.

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