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Using Tile in Landscaping


  When we think about tile, we usually think about its’ placement inside the home. In the past, it was not popular to use tile in colder climates like Canada, since the outside elements would destroy the tile in no time flat. Now, however, new material and modern manufacturing methods in tile make your dream of having a tiled outdoor living space all too possible.

Tile can be used in a variety of applications outside; it can be applied on walkways, a feature garden wall, a patio, and an outdoor entry way. Now, you can bring the beauty of Mexico into your Canadian outdoor space if you so desire. But first, consideration must be given to the material of the tile and what you plan to use it for.

            First of all, tile used for the outdoors should be non-porous. Furthermore, tile should be slip-resistant for walkways for safety reasons. Almost any type of ceramic, stone, or glass tile can be used for an outdoor wall, as long as it is rated for exterior use.

            Prior to installation, choose tile with slip-resistance for any walking areas, or have it treated. Remember, porcelain tile is more durable and absorbs less water than ceramic tile. A concrete slab must be cleaned thoroughly before laying tile. A waterproof membrane is also required. Adhesives must be chosen specifically for outdoor use. Moisture and cracking are main concerns when tiling in the great outdoors, so take care in applying appropriate outdoor waterproofing, grouting, sealer, caulking, and mortar. A professional tile representative will be a valuable resource throughout construction. Moreover, follow material application instructions closely to avoid costly mistakes.

Specifically for patio tile, choose a porcelain or solid stone like granite, slate, marble, travertine, limestone, or quartzite. Excellent colour choices include all tones of beige, grey, blue, green and red. Be mindful that in areas of extreme weather, outdoor patio tile must be made of material that withstands freezing and thawing. Otherwise, your tile will soon be cracking and popping up. A tile that is slightly abrasive is a safer bet for patios, providing traction when wet.

Next, landscape tile adds a certain design aesthetic to your garden space and walkways. Porcelain and ceramic tile approved for outdoor use are simple to maintain, and usually require a sealant roughly every four years. They’re also easy to wash off with a water hose. In addition, they’re affordable when compared to other types of tile, easier to repair than concrete or stone, and can be custom designed in every colour of the rainbow. Stone, however, remains popular for aesthetic reasons.

Tile in your garden area can be implemented into all kinds of irregular shapes to keep your garden natural looking. Grout can be hidden with sod and mulch for a more organic ambience. Alternatively, tiles can be tightly arranged in a single colour for a calming effect to bring the focus to the greenery and flowers. Truly, your imagination can run amok with outdoor tile design.

Modern tile makes creating the back yard of your dreams a reality. You can be confident knowing that the materials and colours available will withstand every Canadian season. Check online for ideas and inspiration and get tiling!