How can outdoor porcelain tiles be used for practicality and panache with a professional touch? Let’s start by looking at why developers of luxury properties, experienced landscapers and clued-up homeowners alike choose our porcelain paving for their exterior designs. Then we’ll discuss how garden designers used concrete, limestone and sandstone at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show for creations that pack more punch than even the liveliest planting.
Why should I use exterior porcelain tiles by Porcel-Thin?
- Density – The dense construction of our porcelain tiles makes them prone to less than 0.5% water absorption, which far outreaches the industry standard. They’re not going to become water-logged when it rains or expand and crack at a later date. What’s more, they’re resistant to dirt, heat and frost. This makes them the best bet for outdoor tiles that stay neat and intact, whatever the weather or climate.
- Strength – Though ultra-thin at just 4.8mm, Porcel-Thin tiles are twice as strong as standard 12mm thick porcelain tiles. This makes our outdoor floor tiles, such as Tundra Grey Porcelain Large Tiles, suitable for high-traffic areas including commercial paths and patios. In fact, our tiles are strong enough to park a car on and we’ve had customers use our strong thin porcelain tiles to cover their garage floor!
- Durability – Owing to their unique structure that gives them density, strength and resistance, our porcelain tiles don’t need sealing or maintaining like natural stone paving and cladding alternatives. External porcelain tiles are also a more durable, and often cheaper, option than concrete paving.
- Format – Celebrated for their large tile size, Porcel-Thin offer extra-large format tiles up to 240×120 cm in the Leviathan range. Not only does this mean installation is faster but it also means fewer grout lines (which can be bolstered with a waterproof and dirt-proof exterior porcelain tile grout resin for added resistance) for a cleaner more seamless finish. This is of great advantage when choosing a tile with a wood or stone effect as there’s less interruption in the patterning of knots and striations for a more natural look.
- Variety – Outdoor porcelain tiles provide the opportunity for using materials and finishes beyond the scope of traditional stone and concrete paving and cladding. As well as understated plain and simple tiles for a contemporary or industrial vibe, the Porcel-Thin collection offers everything from book-match marble prints and patterned tiles to metallic finishes and wood effects (a fantastic alternative to decking).
- Opportunities – Because of all the superb reasons stated above, Porcel-Thin tiles can be used to tile outside for a wide variety of applications and designs from paving and cladding to water features and pools. These will be discussed in more detail below.
Outdoor porcelain tiles at Chelsea Flower Show
If this year’s Chelsea Flower Show taught us anything it’s that using porcelain tiles of various stone effects – pale grey concrete; beige and grey limestone; and classic sandstone – in the garden is still hot property for the landscaping design scene.
Concrete outdoor porcelain inspiration from Chelsea Flower Show
With a desire for easy care surfaces that were “tonally talking to each other”, Kate Gould used pale grey outdoor porcelain tiles with an air of concrete for walls and paving in her gorgeous Greenfingers Charity Garden. Porcelain outdoor floor tiles were installed using radial cutting to create a hairpin bend around a raised bed and give a soft elongation to the space that carries the eye through this Silver-Gilt winner. Exterior porcelain tiles were used for wall cladding as a backdrop to a water feature too. The pale grey porcelain tile palette is complemented beautifully by lush green and calming white planting as well as fresh aqua splashes.
Limestone exterior porcelain tile inspiration from Chelsea Flower Show
The Wedgwood Garden by Jo Thompson, which also won a Silver-Gilt, showed how limestone paving can add a classical architectural feel to an outdoor space. Limestone adds a classical touch to the shallow entrance steps, main grand walkways, sculpture plinth and stunning stepping stone style paving. Porcel-Thin’s Jerusalem Aged Limestone Tiles would replicate this look a treat.
For The Perennial Lifeline Garden, grey limestone paving is used throughout and then echoed on vertical columns and floating benches to achieve that old-meets-new look in a classic rose garden for the modern day.
Sandstone outdoor floor tile inspiration from Chelsea Flower Show
The Hartley Botanic Garden showed how pale and evenly coloured paving, such as that achieved by our Melbourne Sandstone Tile Collection, can offset the darker tones of garden buildings and planting with outstanding effect. Here also (as in the Dubai Majilis Garden) paving is installed with exaggerated gaps between, creating added interest and the opportunity for plants to grow for a wonderfully wild look.
While Kampo no Niwa, with a zen-like Japanese vibe, shows how light gold-toned sandstone external porcelain tiles can evoke a cool natural feel reminiscent of snow-topped mountains in an oasis of a garden.
Porcel-Thin outdoor porcelain tiles for the win
Outdoor porcelain tiles are most definitely not reserved for patios, paths and steps. As demonstrated at Chelsea Flower Show 2019 and beyond, external porcelain tiles can be used for wall cladding, roof terraces or balconies that either complement or contrast the paving – depending on the effect you want to achieve. Outdoor porcelain also works wonders with water, for which it’s ideal to create and plinth water features or to use in swimming pool construction and the areas around hot tubs.
Whatever your design theme, you always have the option of creating a continuous flow between your indoor and outdoor space when using Porcel-Thin Tiles. One of the best examples of stunning outdoor porcelain floor tiles is this seamless transition from a contemporary open plan kitchen to a matching patio area. This makes a quite the space-enhancing style statement.
For a professional touch, and if you’re not a tiler or contractor, make sure you employ the services of one of our Approved Tiling Contractors who are based throughout the UK. Masters at cutting and installing our ultra-thin yet durable exterior porcelain tiles, with years of skills and experience under their hard hats, they’ll help you achieve your dream outdoor space with the perfect balance of porcelain practicality and panache.