Garden Tiles Ideas: What Tile Is Best For Your Garden?

outdoor tiles and garden furniture

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Gardens of any size can make incredibly satisfying projects for home improvements. If you want to create usable outdoor spaces, introducing hardscaping materials to your garden design is a great way to weave in walkways and seating areas. 

Often, outdoor tiles are the ideal solution. 

If you’re new to garden design and the use of outdoor tiles, you may well be wondering how to choose the best tile for outdoor use. Well, that’s where we can help.

In this post, we’re digging deep into the world of garden tiles to tell you which are the best outdoor tiles for patios, terraces and pathways.

By the end, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to make an informed decision on which tile will help bring your garden design ideas to life. 

Why use outdoor tiles?

Tiles are inherently hardwearing and strong, which is what makes them such a popular choice for use throughout our homes, including outside. 

But not all tiles are made equal. While it’s possible to use any tile outside, including ceramic and softer natural stones, in the wrong environment they may not give you the longevity you’d expect. 

That’s why, when it comes to choosing the best tile for use outdoors, those that have a few added practical properties are always the way to go. These practical perks include:

  • Frost and weatherproof properties
  • Heat and UV exposure resistance
  • Ability to handle extreme temperature fluctuations
  • Low moisture absorption for excellent water resistance
  • Non-slip finish
  • Being made from hard materials
  • Low maintenance 

With all these properties combined, you’ll find the best outdoor tiles deliver style, durability and practicality in one fell swoop, ensuring your patios, pathways and more stay looking pristine for longer. 

Plus, with modern outdoor tiles, you’ll find plenty of different colours and designs to choose from. Whether you want cool grey anthracite for a contemporary look or a touch of the Mediterranean with warm terracotta, there’s guaranteed to be a tile to suit your garden design tastes.

The best outdoor tile materials

You know what outdoor tiles can bring to the table in terms of practical benefits, but there’s still the decision on which material to opt for. 

Being exposed to the elements 24/7, the tiles you use in your garden need to be made from strong, hard material to stand the test of time. Some of the best tile materials for outdoor use are porcelain and natural stone, like slate and granite. 

Porcelain outdoor tiles

First, let’s take a look at porcelain outdoor tiles. 

Porcelain tiles are fired at extreme temperatures and pressures and given a robust glazed finish. This delivers an exceptionally dense material that’s water, frost and heat resistant, as well as easy to maintain – all the things you need from an outdoor tile. 

Produced in a wide variety of finishes, colours and sizes, you can use premium quality porcelain tiles outdoors to create a wide range of looks. From natural stone imitations like marble, granite, limestone and slate to more colourful designs that can evoke a sense of the exotic or bygone eras, porcelain tiles can be a very versatile choice. 

Natural stone tiles

Having weathered the earth’s climate for thousands of years, natural stone tiles can make some of the best tiles for outdoor use. Their non-porous properties and strength reign supreme, giving your garden a bona fide stone finish that can handle whatever comes their way.

Despite these hardwearing properties, it’s worth noting that natural stone like slate, granite, marble and limestone will need regular sealing treatments to give them added longevity. Without the proper upkeep, over time your stone tiles may begin to look weathered and stained.

This can be advantageous for a more rugged, rustic aesthetic, but if you want your garden design to reflect a clean and modern feel, you’ll likely want your tiles to stay in good condition.

Quarry tiles

If you love warm tones and vintage style gardens, quarry tiles could be the ideal option. Made from a mineral mix that includes clay, shale and feldspar, these sturdy brick-like tiles offer outstanding durability and a material that’s completely waterproof. This makes them one of the best outdoor tiles for patios. 

Their matt surface also gives them anti-slip properties, while their traditional Victorian colour palette of brick red, bottle green, white and black makes them perfectly suited for period-style paths. 

Quarry tiles come in a square or rectangular format with the added option of bullnose edges and corners – perfect for giving stair treads and split level edges a sleek finish.

An outdoor tile for every style

When you’re on the hunt for the best tile for outdoor use, your choice of garden design style will also have a part to play. For instance, a sleek grey slate stone tile isn’t going to have quite the right look for a Mediterranean garden, and vice versa.

With this in mind, here are some ideas on which is the best tile for popular garden styles.

The English country garden

If you imagine an English country garden, you’ll no doubt picture flowerbeds brimming with vibrant flowers in all kinds of colours and heights, set against rugged stone walls and pathways. 

To beautifully capture this look in your own garden’s path and patio, a granite-look grey tile is one of the best outdoor tiles for the job. Mimicking the natural speckled features of granite in a practical and hardwearing porcelain tile, you can pave your way to a long-lasting outdoor area. 

Complete the look with plenty of country garden features like brightly coloured flowers, as well as quaint decorative touches like stone pots and birdbaths. 

The warm Mediterranean outdoor haven

It’s easy to carve out your own slice of the Mediterranean with the right blend of materials, plant life and colour scheme. A good place to begin is with that all-important alfresco dining area. 

This is where using the right outdoor tiles is key, as they can act as the anchoring colour palette and texture for the entire design. 

To nail the look, we’re talking warm colours like red quarry tiles. With the unglazed aesthetic of authentic ceramic, these exotic tiles won’t crumble away or crack when the British rain begins. 

Instead, you’ll have a patio that exudes all the warmth, texture and charm you’d find on the continent, with built-in practical properties that are essential to dealing with the less reliable UK climate. 

Your tiling doesn’t have to stop there for this look. You can use other coloured quarry tiles to cover walls or steps, adding different hues with painted pottery and exotic plant life. 

The cool, contemporary oasis

If sleek and modern is more your cup of tea, the best tiles for your outdoor space could well be slate. Dark, beautiful and timeless, slate outdoor tiles bring a natural sense of depth that gives them the ability to transform an average garden into an amazing one. 

For a cool and chic finish to your slate tiles, opt for modern-style garden furniture and raised beds and planters with clean lines. This should help to give the whole space a minimalistic feel. You can also introduce dark stained wood and black metal to elevate the sense of texture and depth.

This look will also benefit from a blend of tropical fauna – from rugged ferns to striking banana trees. 

Choosing the best tiles for outdoor use doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By factoring in the material, garden design style and colour scheme, you can easily find the right tile for the job. 

If you’re ready to start showing your garden paths and patios some much-needed TLC, we have the best collection of outdoor tiles that’s brimming with durable, stylish and practical options. 

From vintage-style designs to stone-look options, our diverse range has something for every homeowner, whether you’re hiring a pro tiler or learning how to tile your garden yourself.

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