Porcelain tiles have become an exceptionally popular flooring option around the home. Used both indoors and outdoors, porcelain tiles offer versatility and durability while adding a stylish, upscale look to your projects that is sure to improve your home’s value.
Many people choose ceramic or porcelain for their indoor flooring inside the home, although porcelain is the superior choice.
Outside the home, ceramic will not hold up to the ravages of the elements. Porcelain tiles, or porcelain pavers as they are sometimes known, are the correct choice. Manufactured of kiln-fired clay and recycled materials, porcelain pavers have undergone proprietary, patented processes to achieve uniformity throughout the slab, superior density, and unmatched performance. This is excellent news for those who prize styling in their hardscaping projects.
You should know that indoor and outdoor porcelain tiles are not interchangeable, as each is specifically manufactured for its intended use.
While indoor porcelain tiles offer incredible quality, durability and style, they are not made for outdoor use. Here are some of the differences between indoor and outdoor porcelain tiles:
Thickness: Outdoor porcelain tiles are often a little thicker than indoor tiles. This is to help support their durability and weight-bearing strength. Indoor porcelain tiles are usually 1cm thick, while outdoor porcelain tiles are 2-3 cm thick. Some outdoor porcelain tiles, like the Frontier20 line from Landmark Ceramics, are thick enough to be used to surface a driveway!
Slip Resistance: Porcelain tiles are available with a variety of slip-resistance properties. For indoor use, porcelain tiles with a slip resistance rating equal to or greater than 0.42 COF (R10) in areas that can become wet such as kitchens or bathrooms. Porcelain tiles for outdoor use should have a rating greater than 0.6 COF (R11 or higher). This additional slip resistance makes them ideal for outdoor installations, such as around swimming pools, a hot tub, or for walkways. You can learn more about the importance of slip resistance in porcelain tiles here.
Durability: While very durable, indoor porcelain tiles are not made to handle things like direct sunlight, frost and other stressors. Outdoor porcelain tiles are manufactured to handle these conditions and many others. Because they need to withstand the elements and face more wear & tear than indoor porcelain, they are specially constructed for exceptional durability.
Glazing: Glazing is a very thin layer of liquid glass that is baked onto tiles to give them a glossy finish. You may find glazed tiles used in your kitchen backsplash, on the walls of your tub or shower or in other places where splashes are common. While the glossy finish is pretty and adds to the durability of indoor tiles, it is not intended to be walked on, as it is very slippery. Outdoor porcelain tiles do not have glazing.
Installation: Indoor porcelain tile installation is best left in the hands of a professional. It requires adhesive or mortar (thinset), a tile membrane, grout and a lot of skill & patience. In contrast, outdoor porcelain tiles are super easy to install, especially when you use a pedestal system, which offers numerous benefits. To learn more about installing outdoor porcelain tiles with a pedestal system, we recommend visiting Canadian Pedestal Systems.