Can I Use Ceramic Tiles Outside? [Suitable Or Not]

Can I Use Ceramic Tiles Outside

Ceramic tile is durable and aesthetic. Just as it adorns the indoors, installing it on the deck or patio would look great indeed. But the confusion is regarding its suitability for the outdoor conditions. In reality, is it favorable to use ceramic tile outside? Will it last? 

Ceramic tile is compatible for use in outdoor conditions. Be it the patio or deck, it would last long due to its durability. Ceramic tile is best for tropical areas as it is an excellent thermal conductor. Besides, its water resistance and sturdy ceramic tile are suitable for the outside.

Before installing ceramic tile outdoors, I would inform you more to help you make a wise decision. Keep reading to get clarity and decide confidently. 

7 Reasons For Choosing Ceramic Tile To Use Outside

Ceramic tile is trendy for outdoor usage. But why so? What makes it different from other flooring options. There are quite a few reasons for choosing ceramic tile in exterior areas. 

1. Durability:

Outdoor tile has to be durable. Ceramic tile is such a flooring option that is impact-resistant and sturdy. It won’t break or crack easily. Bonded strongly, ceramic is long-lasting and rigid. Ceramic is slightly porous but sealing would cover it up, making it durable and strong. 

2. Water-Resistant:

Outdoor flooring needs to be water-resistant due to rain, snow, and moisture exposure. Ceramic is relatively water-resistant though not waterproof. It doesn’t absorb water fast. If dried within 24- 36 hours, moisture or water won’t affect ceramic tile much. This property makes it suitable for outside. 

3. Thermal Conductivity:

Ceramic doesn’t get heated fast due to its high thermal conductivity rate. This means the outdoor ceramic tile won’t be hot during the daytime. It would transfer heat quickly, balancing the temperature of the floor. This is a great advantage which is not offered by many floors. 

4. Allergen Resistant:

Concerned about cleaning and hygiene? Ceramic tile is the solution. Ceramic tile doesn’t stick to dust and allergic components like pollen or grains. The outdoor floor thus remains pretty hygienic. Minimal cleaning would suffice to keep it safe for kids and allergic people. 

5. Aesthetic:

Want an outdoor flooring that stands out? Ceramic tiles are a great choice. Ceramic tiles come in a variety of colors, patterns, and textures. All of these designs are beautiful. You just need to pick the one you like and match the house design. 

6. Cost-effective:

Most highly durable outdoor flooring options are expensive. For instance, wood, vinyl, brick, concrete, and porcelain tile are more or less suitable for outdoor conditions. But they are costly options. Ceramic is one of the cheapest outdoor flooring options available. 

7. Minimal Maintenance:

Any outdoor floor would need maintenance due to extreme external conditions. But compared to other options, ceramic needs only minimal maintenance. Cleaning and sealing would suffice to keep it intact and new. This is a significant advantage for busy residences or commercial areas. 

7 Steps To Install Ceramic Tile On Outside 

The installation needs to be perfect to have a stunning outside ceramic floor; the installation needs to be perfect. On that note, I will add a step-by-step guide on how to install ceramic tiles on the outside. 

Step 1: Clean The Subfloor

To make sure you lay tiles on a plain surface, clean the subfloor first. It may be cement or concrete. Use soapy water for the treatment. A scrubber thoroughly scrubs away the dirt and build-ups in circular motions.

Apply spirit to clear out grease and oil. Next, use a water hose to rinse the subfloor. Leave it to dry after rinsing.

Step 2: Level The Subfloor

If you see any gaps, use a putty and a utility knife to fill these gaps. Wait for the putty to dry out. Next, you may like to sand the flooring once or twice to make it flat and smooth. Sanding would remove the uneven surfaces. After sanding, clean the floor with water and a mop. Leave it to dry. 

Step 3: Know The Ceramic Tiles Needed

Before you start installing, it is better to lay the tiles on the clean subfloor. There should be a gap of ⅛ inches between each tile. As per that, lay the tiles to see how many of them you need. If the tiles require trimming for the edges, cut them with a saw. Now that the tiles are measured and ready, you can move to installation. 

Step 4: Apply Adhesive Or Mortar

If you have an adhesive, you won’t need any extra preparation. But the adhesive must be thick enough to suit external conditions. In the case of mortar, blend it with the right amount of water mentioned in the manual. The consistency should be semi-thick. Blend the mortar very well so that you don’t see clumps. 

With a notched trowel, apply the mortar or adhesive. Don’t oversaturate. Just put a single layer. You need to put 15 tiles at once. Otherwise, the adhesive would settle and fail to adhere to the tile. Done applying enough glue or mortar? Now is the time to install. 

Step 5: Install The Ceramic Tile

Back brush each tile with the adhesive or mortar. This makes the bond stronger. Now put the back of the tile on the glue. Push a bit to let it adhere. Keep installing the adjacent tiles. Remember to put plastic spacers between two tiles for the gap to be equal. Repeat applying mortar and installing tiles carefully until the area is covered. 

The tiles may need between one to three days to adhere firmly. As it settles, take away the spacers. Use a scraper to clean the excess adhesive popping out of the tile sides. 

Step 6: Grout The Tile

Remember the gaps between the tiles? You need to fill these areas with grout. Use a ceramic-compatible grout and dilute it in water. It should have a semi-thick consistency. With a grout shovel, carefully apply the grout into these gaps. Slowly cover the entire area.

Wait for half an hour for the grout to settle. To finish your work, clean the tile with a soft sponge. Damp the sponge a bit and wipe away the extra grout.

Step 7: Seal The Floor

Many may miss out on sealing. But I always recommend sealing for better protection and longevity.  Use a suitable sealer for ceramic tile and spread two to three layers of sealant on the outside floor. Let each layer dry before laying a coating on it. The adhesive would give a glossy look and protect the ceramic from moisture and dust. 

Easy Maintenance Tips Of Ceramic Tile Outside

Maintaining the ceramic tile outside is very important. Poor maintenance means compromising its longevity. So you can follow just a few tips to maintain the ceramic tile floor outdoors. 

  • Vacuum or sweep the ceramic tile thrice a week to remove loose dirt and debris.
  • Once a month, consider cleaning the ceramic tile with diluted vinegar. This would brighten the floor and remove stains, spills, etc.
  • Using a pressure washer, thoroughly clean the floor once a week. You may use a cleaner along with it too.
  • Consider sealing the grout and the tiles once a year. This would improve the water resistance of the floor. 

Related Questions:

What Are The Best Outdoor Ceramic Floor Tiles?

Non-porous ceramic tiles are the best for the outdoors. Non-porous ceramic tile, also known as waterproof ceramic, is more moisture-resistant and durable than porous ones. However, if you have some extra requirements, you may ask the seller to suggest a suitable ceramic tile

Choose the most durable and water-resistant ceramic tile in the market for outdoors. It would last long and won’t get damaged under extreme external conditions.

How Do You Level The Floor For Outdoor Ceramic Tiles?

You need to level the subfloor before installing the ceramic tiles. Otherwise, the tiles won’t adhere to the subfloor. To make the surface plain, you first need to apply putty or leveling compounds to the gaps and uneven areas. Let it dry. Next, you should sand the floor to make the surface smooth and flat.

Finally, you would need to vacuum and clean the floor after sanding. This would give you the plain subfloor ready to install ceramic tile.

Why Do You Need An Isolation Membrane When Installing Ceramic Tile Outside?

If the mortar or adhesive is not waterproof, you would need an isolation membrane. The isolation membrane makes the layer beneath the ceramic sturdy and waterproof. The membranes are rubbers that go between each layer of adhesive. With that, the adhesive sticks well and becomes durable. 

Therefore, an isolation membrane is needed for an outdoor ceramic tile floor to waterproof the flooring. If you don’t use it, make sure the adhesive is water-resistant and long-lasting.

Can Indoor Ceramic Tile Be Used Outdoors?

It is possible to use indoor ceramic tile in outdoor spaces. There is no massive difference between indoor and outdoor ceramic. But while choosing an indoor tile, make sure you select a non-porous, durable, and water-resistant ceramic tile. Also, install the tile correctly to make it last longer. 

Moreover, you should consider sealing the grout and tiles once a year. This would keep the floor intact even if you use indoor ceramic.

Will Ceramic Tile Crack In The Cold?

Ceramic tile won’t crack in the cold if you leave ⅛ inch space between two tiles. During cold, the ceramic tile would contract and expand slightly. When it doesn’t get the space, it will crack. But if given space, ceramic won’t break or crack during the cold. 

Besides, make sure the grout is intact. Otherwise, the ceramic may crack due to moisture absorption. Therefore, it is essential to install the ceramic tile correctly.

Final Touch:

If you want to use ceramic tile outside your residence or office, make sure to take good care of it. Generally, it is tough and long-lasting. But correct installation and proper maintenance would increase its longevity. Follow my installation steps and maintenance tips to have an excellent and durable outdoor ceramic floor. 

All confusion cleared? Now decide whether or not to use ceramic tile outdoors.

Jahidul Alam

Hello dear! This is Jahidul Alam. I am the admin of this Tidy Floor. I have been in the floor cleaning business for the last 20 years. My business is all about ensuring affordable flooring cleaning services for Americans.

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