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. 

How to clean different porcelain floor tiles

porcelain floor tiles

Porcelain floor tiles are one of the simplest forms of flooring to clean in a house or workplace. To keep it clean and clear of dirt and stains, all you need to do is sweep or vacuum it at least once a week. While porcelain is very simple to clean and preserve, it is not completely impervious to these strong stains and other pollutants. Therefore, how do you clean floor tiles? In this post, we’ll walk you through the stages involved in cleaning various varieties of porcelain floor tiles.

Cleaning Porcelain Floor Tiles of Various Types

Tiles That Are Not Polished

A picture containing floor, building, tiled

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  • Sweep and vacuum the area prior to cleaning to remove any loose dirt.
  • Clean the floor tile using a floor tiles cleaner and hot water. Allow the mixture to rest on the floor for about 5 to 10 minutes. It is critical to immediately remove the solution to prevent it from drying directly on the surface. learn more about floor tile cleaning at https://www.hgtv.com/lifestyle/clean-and-organize/how-to-clean-ceramic-tile-floors
  • Scrub the cleaning substance with an abrasive pad or a nylon-bristled brush to remove difficult and tenacious stains. If your floor tiles area is quite modest, a little brush scrub would suffice.
  • Rinse the floor well with clean, clear water to remove the cleaning solution. This may be accomplished with a mop or a vacuum cleaner.
  • Allow the whole floor area to dry naturally.

Polished Ceramic Floor Tiles

  • Sweep the floor to remove any dust or grime that has accumulated on the surface. Following that, sweep up any remaining loose dirt.
  • Mop the floor tiles with a light cleaning solution to give them a lovely shine. The solution or detergent must be used in a proportion of 50% less than what is used to clean an unpolished porcelain tile floor.
  • Rinse the cleaning solution away with clean water.
  • Wipe the floor area dry to bring out the sheen and luster of the surface and to avoid the formation and settlement of water stains.

Textured Tiles

  • Sweep and vacuum away loose debris from the textured porcelain floor tiles. To efficiently clean the floor tiles, begin sweeping in two directions with a soft-bristled broom. After that, suction out any leftover particles using a vacuum cleaner.
  • Clean the floor with a neutral cleaning solution and hot water mixture. Allow it to settle for about 5 to 10 minutes on the surface. Following that, begin cleaning the floor in two separate ways using a brush. learn more about natural cleaning solutions by clicking here
  • Thoroughly clean the floor by rinsing it with clean, clear water.
  • To keep the floor shining and clean, scrub and mop it at least once a day using a light floor cleanser.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Porcelain Floor Cleaning

  • Never clean porcelain floors with ammonia or any bleach-acid solution. These materials have abrasive qualities and may degrade the surface, causing the grout color to alter.
  • Avoid cleaning chemicals that include oil-based detergents, wax cleaners, or sealants
  • Avoid cleaning substances that involve dye or coloring.
  • Don’t forget to install mats at entrances to keep more dirt off the floor tiles.
  • Avoid using steel wool pads for cleaning since they may cause damage to the floor and rust spots in the grout.
porcelain floor tiles

Maintaining a Clean and Shiny Floor

  1. While larger is not always better, it is definitely easier. Floor tiles that are larger in size are considerably simpler to install than those that are little. Larger tiles are often used in bathrooms, but they also work well in kitchens and other spaces. Because the smaller 1x1s will take longer to set, consider a simple design.
  2. What you are unable to perceive will do you harm. Without a level subfloor, no installation will be successful. Self-leveling subfloor material performs well and is simple to install for the do-it-yourselfer. Additionally, plywood or cement backer board may be utilized, but regardless of the material chosen, the subfloor should be at least 1 inch thick “thick to provide a professional finish.
  3. It’s as simple as 3-4-5 to square a space. A 3-4-5 triangle is the optimal approach for squaring a room. Measure 3 feet against one wall, 4 feet to the room’s center, then join the two lines with a 5-foot line to form a triangle. Use 6-, 8-, and 10-foot lines if the space is bigger. If it is less than 18″, 24″, or 30″, use 18″, 24″, and 30″ “‘. All lines should be marked off by snapping a chalk line along with the measures.
  4. Find a way to make the most of a bad circumstance. Not only can thin-set hold floor tiles in place on the floor, but it may also compensate for slight subfloor faults. There are a variety of thin sets available for various types of tile, but for ceramic tile, a latex-modified thin set is recommended. Water is all that is required for latex modified thin-set. Bear in mind that you should only combine what can be dispersed or utilized within an hour; otherwise, the work will become quite difficult. Additionally, there is a premixed thin-set that is better suited for wall tiles. It is more adherent, and the floor tiles will not move as much. With a thin-set, you can always add a bit more on one side or subtract a little on the other to level the subfloor.
  5. If you’re looking to save money, rent a wet saw. Renting one saves you time and aggravation. Unless you have an ideal home with ideal rooms, you will need to trim the tiles. The time saved by correctly cutting all of the tiles will quickly pay off. Wet saws are reasonably priced and are often available at any home supply shop.
  6. Avoid rushing into a bad job. Always take your time and work in a limited area to ensure everything is completed properly. Each high-quality tile installation is the result of an installer who opted to take his time. Even if you are working in a tiny area, take your time laying the floor tiles.

Final thoughts

The tips mentioned in this article will assist you in cleaning floor tiles easily.

Also read: Plumbing Systems for using well water

Some Home Designs Styles To Fit Your Needs

Home Designs

Selecting A House Designs Style

There are many home design styles to choose from. Some sketches of the more popular ones are shown here noting their main distinguishing features of the house designs. This should help you to narrow your search for the perfect house designs considerably. You can also combine features for something more unique or contemporary in your house designs. You should take into account the neighborhood you are building in, and the styles already prevalent. Remember to think about re-sale.

The size of house you need and the size lot that you have must be considered here. It is more economical to build up (2 stories) than to build utilizing more real estate. If your lot will not accommodate the space you need in one story, you may not have any choice but to build a 2 story home.

You must also consider whether you want a basement. Dollar for dollar, you will get much more square footage from a basement home than other house designs. The downside is dampness, especially in low-lying areas, and the fact that you will have more stairs to climb and more tiles and bath accessories to use. If you cannot resolve potential flooding problems, I would not recommend a basement home. On a sloping lot, however, a walkout basement becomes feasible for a very economical, prime living space! The split-level home designs also lend themselves to a moderately sloping lot.

You will also have to take into account the view, the proximity of your neighbors home, and any other issues that are unique to the building site, such as the elevation of the foundation in relation to the elevation of the street.

Georgian Home Designs, Maintains symmetry and has a columned entry, Equally spaced windows, and doorway trimmed with carved wood Sometimes wood siding faces north and brick faces south

Cape Cod House Designs, Maintains symmetry and has dormers, Usually built from wood and has shutters

French Colonial Home Designs, Mansard or hip roof usually stone exterior southern Colonial House Designs, Maintains symmetry – large columned entry, Usually brick with carved wood on the porch

Saltbox and Garrison Home front view. Both maintain symmetry but the saltbox house omits to detail, They are usually built from wood and have shutters

Saltbox Home side view, Garrison Home side view Timber detailing

English Tudor House Designs, Unsymmetrical layout, Built with a combination of stone, stucco, and timber

Ranch Home Designs 1 story with large overhangs and low pitch roof

Spanish Colonial Home Designs. Usually 1 story – Low pitch roof Made of adobe or plaster with arches and iron window grills

Country House Designs, Usually 2 stories with a wrap-around porch Very little detail

Dutch Colonial House Designs Maintains symmetry, has dormers and a Gambrel roof

Dutch Hip Roof Home

This is a basic ranch style with a Dutch Hip on the gables

Shown are some very simplified full building floor plans which are how the building would look if it were cut down the center. There is usually at least one with every set of blueprints, many more on complicated buildings.

They show ceiling heights and treatments, a number of risers to the stairs, the thickness of walls, floors, ceilings, and roofs, depth of foundations, structure, total height of the building, etc. If completely detailed they are very informative and also show interior elevations including trim. At this point in the planning stage, they only need to help you determine the house style you will build.

House Floor Plans Layout

House Floor Plans Layout

Planning House Traffic

Planning floor traffic through your home can greatly increase convenience. You will have to take into account how your house is situated, the view, terrain, size, etc. The traffic flow will never be perfect, but try to follow as many of the floorplans guidelines below as you can. Shown is a very simple one-story floor plans layout with floor traffic flow arrows. Your floorplans layout may not be this simple but you’ll get the idea.

bullet The distance from the garage to the kitchen of the house is direct and short.
bullet The foyer is centrally located and convenient to all parts of the house.
bullet All bedrooms are close to a bath.
bulletFew rooms of a house have floor traffic planned through them.
bulletPay attention to space relationships. (Dining room in relation to the kitchen).
bulletTry to separate the living room from the kitchen of the house if there is a family room.
bulletIt is usually advisable to locate the laundry near the kitchen of the house so you can do laundry while working or relaxing in the kitchen.       
bulletIn recent years it has become quite common to locate the laundry on the second floor of the house, near the bedrooms of the house.
bulletThere should be a closet near all entry doors of the house.

If you are planning single-story floor plans in your house, it is cost-effective to have the plumbing fixtures share a common wall whenever possible as they do in baths 1 & 2 above. Plumbing walls should be built with 2×6 rather than 2×4 to allow room for the plumbing lines. If planning two-story house floor plans, or a basement with a bath, try to line up the plumbing wall with another plumbing wall above or below, or at least get them close.

Room Sizes

Following are some minimum and recommended room sizes for floor plans. The Federal House Authority recommends at least the minimum. Of greater importance is that your furniture will fit. Use paper cutouts of your furniture to lay on the floor plans. Perhaps a better idea is to buy a plans kit which may include miniature Styrofoam cutouts of furniture and other items to actually build yourself a model of your home.

There are low-cost computer programs available for the home PC user. While the developers claim the software is easy to use and design floor plans with, I have found that it takes more time to learn the use of the software than it would take to draw floorplans by hand or build a model of floor plans from a kit. The vast majority of people I know that have tried them have given up in frustration and have used another alternative to design their house plans.  learn more about flooring ideas at https://tileandbathco.com.au/

If you expect to design more than one set of floor plans, however, these programs may be worth the time to learn them, and they can be fun.

bulletBedrooms – Minimum 100 sq. ft. – recommended 125 sq. ft. with at least a 4-foot closet 2 feet deep – recommended 6 to 8 feet. Placing a closet on the interior wall will provide a noise barrier between rooms. (Larger closets are very desirable.)
bulletBathrooms – minimum 5 feet by 7 feet – recommended 6 feet by 9 feet with 2 lavs. Powder rooms can be 4 x 4½ feet.
bulletLiving Room Plans – minimum 150 sq. ft. – recommended 250 sq. ft.
bulletDining Room Plans – minimum 120 sq. ft.
bulletFamily Room Plans – minimum 220 sq. ft.
bulletKitchen Plans – see Kitchen and Bath page

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.