The Grout Medic is your leading experts in tile and grout. Most people have tile inside their home but there are some who have them outside as well. Winter often gets us thinking about what we would like to be different for the next time this season is to come around. If you’re thinking about tile around the outside of your home or already have tile there then here are some tips on what tile to get as well as what you can do to keep it looking beautiful even throughout the seasons.
You have many different choices and options when it comes to ceramic tile especially if you’re not wanting to spend a lot of money on this project. It varies in color, size and durability. So, making sure that you do your research in the type of tile you’re getting is important. Ceramic tile is a man-made tile meaning that it is created using refined clay that has been kiln-dried. Not every tile is cooked at the same temperature for the same amount of time. This also weighs into the durability in the tile. The only tangible way to tell is by getting what you would call a certified porcelain tile.
Porcelain Tile is apart of the ceramic family. However, there are subtle differences that have a big impact on the wear and tear of the tile. Porcelain tile is only considered such if it has an official PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) rating. This rating can be anywhere from 1-5. 1 being absolutely no foot traffic to 5 being heavy to extra heavy traffic. A PEI rating of 4 would be the nice sweet spot for the outdoor use of tile. It is very durable and keeps the options of attractive tiles still open. The additional up side to porcelain tile is that it has a lower water absorption rate than ceramic tile. This certainly puts it in a favorable light for outdoor use with rainy and snowy seasons.
Another option for outdoor tile is slate. This can get very trick though when choosing the type of slate to put outside. Depending on the slate it can be prone to rust and softening when exposed to water repeatedly over time. There are a couple of tricks that can be performed before purchasing the tile you’re eyeing for your hardscape. One way to be sure that either will happen is to ask for a sample piece of the tile (not the one that has been sitting out for people to see) and then take it home and put it in water to soak for a week or so. If you see that the water is starting to turn brown, then you’ll know it’s prone to rust. In addition to this you’ll want to take your finger nail and go across the top of it. If it scratches, then you know that it is going to soften over the course of time.
Picking tile for outdoor use is hard. Regardless of the tile you pick you want to make sure that you like it. When it comes to porcelain and ceramic you’ll always want to make sure that you pick one with a coating that is slip resistant. This is especially important with winter being snowy and icy at times. Doing the research can take time and winter is the best time to get yourself ready to get this project going in the spring! The Grout Medic knows just how to make tile shine like new! If you have had tile for years and it is starting to look old, then don’t think that it is a lost cause! We can make it look brand new whether it is inside or outside of your home. Call us today for a free home estimate!