Trying to describe the number of patio tiles is like trying to describe the number of grains in a rice bowl. There are so many varieties of patio tiles than someone is bound to find the exact type to fit their style, no matter how eccentric their design taste.
For an outside décor, patio tiles beat out giant paving slabs of concrete. The fact you can get patio tiles in every conceivable color and shape makes them desirable and fun. Also there are patio tiles of different materials. You can have ceramic, wood and many other mediums to create tiles for patio use.
Ceramic tile is made from clay and water. The different firing techniques give ceramic tiles their versatility. Glazed ceramic tile need to be fired at 2000 degrees with a colored glaze to give them their sheen. The use of ceramics on a patio is by far the most popular in use today.
Ceramic tiles can be extremely large or very tiny depending on what direction your outdoor patio will take. Ceramic tiles have a wear rating to help you decide which tile for which application. To help select suitable tiles for specific applications, tiles are rated by the P.E.I. (Porcelain Enamel Institute) scale. The tiles are evaluated for wear resistance on a scale from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest). They are:
PEI 1: Light Traffic – recommended for residential bathrooms or other areas with light traffic and where shoes are not frequently used.
PEI 2: Medium Traffic – recommended for residential interiors, except entryways, kitchens, stairs or any area where tiles may come into contact with gravel or sand.
PEI 3: Medium-heavy Traffic – recommended for all residential interiors and light commercial applications. Not recommended for commercial entryway.
PEI 4: Heavy Traffic – suitable for all residential interiors and most commercial applications, including shopping malls and public areas.
PEI 5: Heavy-plus Traffic – all residential and commercial areas where heavy-duty wear is needed.
A PEI of 3 or above would be most suited for an outdoor patio especially if you entertain regularly. The designs and placement of the tile it totally up to you and will most certainly be accommodated by any number of tile dealers. When shopping for ceramic tile style and price are the key aspects and with so many purveyors of ceramic tile out there it is definitely a buyers market.
You do not have to go for clay to get a decorative tile. Wood tiles are an extremely easy to install substitute for hardwood decks and patios. The wood pavers can be laid over any hard surface are there is no nailing or drilling involved.
You do not even need to know that much about carpentry to install wood tiles onto your patio. They snap together easily and when you are finished it will look like you spent months building your new patio!
Wood tiles let you turn any bare backyard into a cabana patio resort. All you need to do is make sure the ground is hard and level. Frame the section you want to build and lay out black plastic or tarp underneath as a weed deterrent and snap your way to a beautiful backyard property. They are weather resistant and come in kits that provide angle and corners to get around permanent obstacles in your yard or patio.
Making a beautiful patio is not the chore that some TV shows make it out to be. Whether you go clay or wood or whatever other medium any bland porch can be transformed into picturesque entertainment area.
photo by Stef Yau -CreativeCommons Attribution