Use these tips to select outdoor tiles for your outdoor patio

Use these tips to select outdoor tiles for your outdoor patio

In most cases, masonry items like as poured concrete (which is occasionally tinted or stamped) or brick or stone paver products are used in the construction of outdoor patios. However, it is also feasible to apply tile to a patio, which provides you with a plethora of design possibilities. In addition, placing tile over an existing concrete slab or brick patio might be a fantastic way to freshen up a space that has become stale.

The items available from retailers that specialize in outdoor tiles for exposed outdoor applications may be a perplexing assortment, including some that you may not have considered for outdoor usage before. Your choice of the most appropriate product is heavily influenced by the environment and application in which it will be used. For example, an unsealed sandstone tile that would be perfectly acceptable in the bone-dry environment of Arizona would be completely inappropriate in the moist climate of Maine, where frigid winter temperatures are fairly uncommon in winter.

Considerations

While many of the same factors that apply to interior tiles also apply to your selection of outdoor patio tiles, there are a few things that should be kept in mind while making your decision:

Because outdoor tiles are subjected to a greater variety of temperatures and weather conditions than outdoor tiles used on inside walls and floors, they must be exceptionally sturdy and durable. And the strength with which they are built will be determined by the amount of usage that you expect. It is necessary to choose different materials for a patio for a tranquil elderly couple than for a family with lively youngsters who are always tossing play equipment about.

  • Budget: Because a patio may be a large and broad area, tiling it with luxury tile can be much more expensive than tiling a smaller inside space, such as a bathroom or a kitchen. As a result, while selecting patio tile, the price is an extremely significant consideration. It is possible to get materials for as little as $1 per square foot for carpet outdoor tiles or basic ceramic tile or to pay as much as $50 per square foot for a high-end slate or soapstone patio that has been professionally constructed.
  • Design: Outdoor patios should be designed to complement the overall appearance of the landscape as well as the architectural elements and materials of the home. Colors and textures that are compatible with the overall appearance of your property should be used for your building materials.
  • Texture and slide resistance: Texture and slip resistance are important factors to consider. The texture and “slipperiness” of a tile are significantly more crucial in outdoor applications than they are in inside uses such as wall outdoor tiles or even indoor flooring outdoor tiles. If you have a patio outside, moisture is almost always present, therefore the tile texture must have some “tooth” to it to prevent users from sliding down the edge. Non-slip surfaces are essential for outdoor tiles, and certain material options are removed as a result of this need. The texture of the patio surface might also have an impact on your choice of outdoor furniture.
  • Climate: If you live in a region that has a seasonal cycle of freezing and thawing, you will want an outdoor patio tile that can survive drastic temperature variations. • Size: If you have a large outdoor patio tile, you will need to consider the size of the tile. Porcelain, for example, has a very low water absorption rate, but sandstone has a somewhat high water absorption rate. When water is absorbed by a piece of tile and that water subsequently freezes, the process might cause the tile to fracture or the seams between the outdoor tiles to shatter.
  • Light exposure: Although it is not always apparent, the quantity of sunshine that a patio receives has an influence on the kind of tile that should be used. Luminous, sunny rooms need darker outdoor tiles, while dull, shady sections require a lighter-colored substance that brightens the overall atmosphere. You can read about How to clean different porcelain floor tiles by clicking here.

Tile installation on a level base with few defects will provide a smooth start to your project. 

Common Tile Materials

Porcelain

Due to the fact that porcelain tile is a particularly thick and sturdy kind of ceramic, most porcelain outdoor tiles intended for flooring purposes may also be used in a variety of patio applications. Textured, matt tiles will be the ideal option since they will not have a very shiny surface that will become slippery when wet. Most porcelain outdoor tiles are thick and durable enough to be used on flooring, but check to see whether your product is approved for this use before purchasing. Porcelain tile is available at a variety of price points. You can read about These are the tile types you can use outdoors – plus those you can’t – according to an expert by visiting https://www.homesandgardens.com/news/outdoor-tile-types-recommended

Ceramic

For outdoor patios, traditional ceramic floor outdoor tiles might be a suitable option if they have a PEI rating showing that they are of appropriate strength. Ceramic tile, on the other hand, is best suited for patios that get less useful since it is not as durable as other materials available. If you do decide on ceramic tile, be sure it is a floor tile that is strong enough to be used on a patio; ceramic outdoor tiles advertised as wall tiles are often not strong enough to be used on a patio or as a floor tile. Ceramic tile material prices vary greatly, just as they do for porcelain tile, albeit they are generally less expensive than porcelain.

Quarry

Despite its name, quarry outdoor tiles are no longer mined from natural quarries but are instead manufactured from a highly thick form of unglazed clay that is fairly hard to work with. Their strength makes them an excellent paving material for patios, and they look great doing it. 

In fact, this kind of tile was intended expressly for usage in outdoor settings such as courtyards and patios, as opposed to inside settings. Quarry tiles, in contrast to ceramic and porcelain tiles, are only available in a restricted number of hues, such as red, brown, and gray, among others. 

Quarry outdoor tiles have a Mediterranean feel to them, which is highly sought after by many homeowners. Quarry tiles, despite the fact that they are often unglazed, offer excellent water resistance, and their roughness prevents them from becoming slippery when wet or damp. It is not recommended for use in locations where freezing temperatures predominate throughout the winter months. It is also infamous for being easily stained, which is another drawback. However, in the correct environment, this is one of the most attractive patio options. You can read about Cleaning and waste disposal procedures – infection control by visiting https://www.health.vic.gov.au/infectious-diseases/cleaning-and-waste-disposal-procedures-infection-control

Travertine

A kind of natural stone with a wonderful texture and color, travertine is a popular choice for interior design. This stone, which is considered to be a kind of limestone, is mined in the vicinity of natural mineral spring deposits. This stone, although extremely beautiful and durable, does have a somewhat pitted surface that may accumulate dirt unless it is polished to a mirror-smooth finish. 

Furthermore, when wet, highly polished travertine may be very slippery. Because travertine is mined in many locations across the world, the quality of the stone differs greatly. 

Turquoise from Turkey or Italy is often considered to be a more water-resistant option for patio applications than stone from Mexico or China. 

Home Mechanical Considerations

Home Mechanical Considerations

Mechanicals are defined as plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and electrical systems. They all have a great deal to do with the comfort of a home and should be taken very seriously.

Both installation and operating costs can vary tremendously. To ensure that you get the most for your money, they should be determined while planning your home, well before construction begins. All of the mechanical trades are regulated by national, and/or state, as well as most local governing agencies. It is very important that your plumber, electrician, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), specialist be licensed, bonded, and insured.

How they install their respective systems is largely determined by the national and local codes. You must take care to coordinate their activities so as to avoid conflicts, and also to expedite the project.

While you may find a cheaper way to do something, they may refuse, citing building codes as the reason. They have good reason to not violate any codes as they could lose their license. You may want to check the codes yourself. First, find out which code applies to your situation. You can find this out from your local building department. It will usually be a national, and/or state code, plus some local ordinances. A good place to refer to them is at your local library. Do not let tradesmen tell you that some codes are not important and they can do it cheaper. While this may be true in some circumstances, codes are designed for your protection.

The plumbing system has the least flexibility of the mechanical trades. Therefore, it should be installed first, followed by the HVAC system, then the electrical, as it is the most flexible. Switching the schedules of these trades would be asking for trouble and extra expense.

These tradesmen are also a good source of information and advice. Since they are licensed, they should be familiar with all codes, regulations, and special circumstances for your area. As a matter of practice, they will make any necessary calculations to determine the system required for the size and geographic location of your home. You should confer with these trades while still in the design phase of your home.

Heating, Ventilating & Air Conditioning

Heating, Ventilating & Air Conditioning

(Commonly referred to as HVAC)

Solar Heating

Sunlight becomes solar energy when it is transformed to heat. No matter where you live, it may be practical to use at least passive solar heat. Solar energy can provide hot water as well as heat for the home. Passive is solar energy produced without the aid of any mechanical means.

These include, but are not limited to, south-facing glass, masonry walls, and solariums. These are relatively inexpensive and may fit in with your design. Active systems are more effective but can be expensive. They require solar collectors and storage systems. The collectors themselves require unobstructed southern exposure. Talk to your local building department and HVAC contractor to find out if solar energy is a viable alternative in your area. If your situation warrants further research, visit your local library.

Other Heating and Cooling Systems

The most widely used system is Central Forced Air. Both hot and cold air is forced through a series of ducts by a blower attached to the furnace. The air enters the living space through registers on the floor usually located near windows and doors. Heating and air conditioning use the same ductwork and blower. The central system can get its energy from natural gas, oil, propane, or electricity.

Today, natural gas is the most cost-effective, followed by oil. Keep in mind that the A/C condenser will still run on electricity in both cases, and electric bills can get quite high in summer. If you live in a northerly climate you will also want to attach a humidifier to the furnace. It will add keep the humidity at a comfortable level in winter when humidity levels drop dramatically in heated spaces.

An optional electronic air cleaner will help remove dust, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, tobacco, and cooking smoke more effectively than disposable filters.

Another heating system is hot water. Here the water is heated in a gas or oil-fired boiler and then circulated by pipe to radiators placed in the living space, or through coils that are installed into the flooring system. A separate air conditioning system would be required, usually window or through-wall units.

A heat pump is a good choice for a central heating and cooling system but only if you live in an area that does not drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit in winter. It is a very energy-efficient system and also uses the same ducts for heating and cooling.

Electric baseboard heat is another choice. It is inexpensive to install but very expensive to operate. It is most often used in apartment buildings because of the low installation cost, and because the tenant will have to pay the electric bill!

A zone control system requires one heating unit and one cooling unit for each room. The advantage to this is that you can heat and cool selected rooms to different temperatures, thereby saving energy by not heating or cooling spaces that are not being used at any given time.

The key to determining which system is best for you is to determine the operating costs of these systems in your area. Your friends, neighbors, and HVAC contractors can be a great help. You will likely find that one particular system is the most widely used and efficient for your area.

My choice would be a heat pump if the climate permitted, (20 degrees or above in winter). In colder climates, a gas-fired central forced air with a central humidifier attached provides great comfort and efficiency.

Try to locate your mechanical equipment where the noise of operation does not disturb the people living there. (Such as yourself!). It is also preferable to locate the water heater fairly close to the master bath, insuring hot water without waiting.

Your HVAC contractor should provide all materials and equipment necessary for these systems as well as venting ducts for bathroom fans, range hood, and dryer vents. Be sure they are licensed, bonded, and insured.

Fireplaces

Everyone enjoys a fireplace on a cold winter night. Your decision on whether to have one will probably be based on aesthetic appeal more than heating efficiency. Unless you have an ample supply of free firewood and live in an area that seldom gets below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, a fireplace will seldom pay for itself in saved heating costs.

A functional masonry fireplace and chimney should cost about $6000 for a single-story home. You can probably install a metal, wood-burning prefabricated fireplace with a framed chimney for about half that.

In either case, you can get gas-fired simulated logs, which are clean-burning, insect-free, have lower operational cost, look nice and you don’t have to chop wood. They also provide more heat because the damper remains closed. The only downside is that they are imitations.

Kitchen Layouts

Kitchen Layouts

A Few Thoughts on Kitchens

Below are some sample kitchen layouts. They have work triangles drawn between the sink, range, and refrigerator. In a convenient kitchen, the total length of the three legs of the triangle should not exceed 22 feet, and the dishwasher will usually be within the triangle, next to the sink.

You will notice that some of these designs are far more convenient than others. You will need to balance convenience with the overall design of your home. You should also try to leave at least 42″ between an island or peninsula and any other counter, and preferably 4 feet or more, especially if there will be an appliance door that swings into that area. There should be at least 3 feet of counter between the sink and the refrigerator. You can learn more about kitchen tapware choices at https://tileandbathco.com.au/collections/tapware

A built-in desk is a very handy item in the kitchen. A pantry is a necessary item.

A large island or peninsula with an eating counter is especially convenient if you have room for it. They are invaluable if you entertain a lot. In this case, you may find it helpful if your guests can access the refrigerator without disturbing the all-important cook.

It is desirable to be able to see where children are when you are in the kitchen.

Cabinets

You will never have too many cabinets in your kitchen! Towel storage is needed in or very near each bathroom.

When you have decided on the type of layout you would like, shop for your kitchen cabinets. Wherever you find what you are interested in, such as a home center or cabinet distribution outlet, their sales, and design people will be glad to help you design your kitchen, and usually your bathrooms also.

Many have computer programs set up so that you can see what your kitchen will look like and they can print them out for you, generally at no charge in the hope that you will buy their product. You do not need to commit yourself at this point, so try to find the best deal you can. You should not actually buy cabinets until you have room to put them in. Until the kitchen actually exists, you could conceivably change the size or shape of it for a variety of reasons.

You can go through this process either before or after designing your home. Most people will design their home first, and then take the floor plan to the cabinet outlet, where their design people will fit various cabinets into the space that is available. They will typically do the same for the desired appliances, whether they deal in them or not.

Of course, if you now decide you need a bigger kitchen, you would have to change the blueprints. For this reason, you may want to verify the size of your kitchen before laying out the rooms of your home design, by tentatively deciding on a cabinet layout first. Either way, the kitchen is the most used room in the house and should receive a lot of consideration in the planning stage.

Cabinets are typically manufactured in 3-inch increments, so you should not have a problem fitting them into almost any space. Because of the wide range of sizes available, and the many configurations, including corner units that you can use, it is seldom necessary to go through the extra expense of custom-built cabinetry.

Bath Facilities

The same consideration should be given to your bathrooms, especially the master bath. Not only will you use it daily, but if you should sell your home in the future, prospective buyers will give it close scrutiny, as they will intend to use it daily. In today’s market, a master bedroom with a private bath is almost considered a necessity.

When designing kitchens and baths remember to include an exhaust fan of the appropriate size for the room. These fans must be vented to the outside and not to attic space.

A final note for this page, do not order countertops until after the cabinets have been installed. Only then should they be measured and ordered.