How to Choose the Best Outdoor Tiles for Your Backyard

Choosing the best outdoor tiles for your Sydney backyard is very important because they are a great addition to the overall appearance of your outdoor areas. Use these tips to help you choose the most suitable tiles for your backyard:

Choose Outdoor Tiles to Match the Weather Conditions

Different outdoor tiles are manufactured for application in regions with different weather conditions. Most of the times, any outdoor tile will work in areas with warm climates. However, if you come from a region with predominantly cold weather, you need to use outdoor tiles that have been designed to withstand low temperatures. Otherwise, the tiles are likely to shrink after they are installed, and this may cause gaps between the tiles and eventually interfere with their use as well as the visual appeal of the outdoor.

Outdoor Tiles for the Backyard should be durable.

Making Your Tiles Last Longer

Backyards experience a higher degree of foot traffic and moisture hence the tile’s finish should be taken into consideration to ensure that the outdoor tiles do not lose their aesthetic value with continued use. Porcelain tiles are ideal for this kind of application since they don’t wear out easily. Non-porcelain tiles on the other hand might require tough glazing to withstand the outdoor conditions. Also, remember to choose tiles with non-slip finishes to reduce the chances of injuries or accidents due to slips.

Large Tiles would be okay if you deal with large flat surfaces

Outdoor Tile Sizes

Since you are dealing with the outdoors, there is a possibility that the surface may not be even to facilitate the placement of bigger tiles. In such a case, smaller tiles would be the ideal choice because they won’t require a lot of prep works to get the surfaces ready for installation. But if you are dealing with even flat surfaces, large tiles would be just okay. Larger tiles can also be used in small outdoor areas to create the illusion of big spaces. They make the area look big even though it is very small in size.

Consider the Tile’s Absorption Rate

Absorption rate refers to the tile’s ability to soak up water. The preferred tile for outdoors should have a low absorption rate. This is so that it doesn’t take up a lot of water and be predisposed to stains and cracks. Basically, there are four absorption levels for tiles and they include-:

  • Impervious – do not absorb any liquids and are easy to maintain
  • Vitreous – this is the standard absorption levels for tiles. Suitable for use in outdoor areas with low to medium traffic.
  • Semi-vitreous – exhibits low degree of absorption
  • Non-vitreous – highest absorption rates and should never be used in dump places.

Durability of Your Outdoor Tiles

Tiles installed in the backyard should be resilient and very durable. These features will help them to withstand the imminent wear and tear that is characteristic of the outdoor spaces. To find out about the tile’s durability, simply check the PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) durability rating. Typically, PEI ratings range from 1 to 5 with one being suitable for indoor uses while 5 for heavy commercial applications such as banks, shopping malls, etc. The ideal PEI rating for backyard tiles should therefore be between PEI 3 and PEI 4.

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How to Choose the Best Swimming Pool Tiles

Well chosen swimming pool tiles are like the secret sauce that will add to the aesthetics and functionalities of your pool and make it more enjoyable for use. However, choosing the right swimming pool tiles goes beyond the design, color and aesthetics. Use the following tips to get the best tiles that will accentuate the appearance of your pool, create a welcoming aura and make the pool safe for use by everybody.

Pool Safety First – Choose Slip Resistent Tiles

The last thing you need in your compound is a beautifully designed pool that will cause nothing but accidents or even death to your loved ones. Since the areas around the pool will be wet for most of the times, you need slip resistant swimming pool tiles installed on the walls, at the bottom and on regions around the pool. It’s the only way to prevent slips that might lead to serious injuries.

Always Go For Tiles with Lifetime Guarantees

If you want a lasting aesthetic appeal for your pool and also save your pocket from unnecessary and repair and maintenance costs, always go for swimming pool tiles with lifetime guarantees. In this manner, you are assured of getting tiles that won’t lose their color due to fading and also won’t break or get damaged easily to warrant regular repairs and maintenance.

Swimming Pool Tiles

Consider Top Notch Designs

The beauty or the visual appeal of the pool will be dictated by the design of the tiles. There are a plethora of decorative designs you can choose from to create various artistic visual impacts on the pool. Be very keen and choose on the swimming pool tile designs that you are comfortable with. It would be a waste of time and money to install the tiles only to uninstall them later because you are not pleased with the appearance.

Closely related to the design are the tile colors. In most cases, people will choose blue or white tiles for the floors since they are reflective hence add a special aesthetic appeal to the pools. But remember that you are under no restrictions to use these colors alone. You are free to use contrasting bands of colors or bright colors with creative patterns to add splash and life in the pools.

You should however not use dark or dull colors for the base of the pool. They won’t just affect the beauty of the pool but also they will not indicate the extent of the pool’s depth. This can create serious safety concerns.

Choose Durable Tiles for the Pool’s Interior

The tiles used outside the pool should not be the same as the ones used inside the pool. It is advisable that the ones used for the floor and the walls should be durable and preferably be made from stone, pebble or slate. Slip resistance is also another important factor of consideration when choosing the inner tiles.

Ask to be Shown Tile Samples

Before you finally make any commitment, ask so that you be shown samples to have an idea of how the pool would look like after the installation of the tiles. From the samples, you will have a clear picture of what to expect, and you can also draw certain inspirations concerning the designs of your pool. ‘

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Common Tile Installation Problems

Every tile installation project will have its set of problems. Most of these problems are however as a result of inexperienced installers who attempt to install the tiles on surfaces that have not been prepped properly for the installation. Sometimes, they are in the oblivion of the particular materials ideal for use in different kinds of conditions. Watch out for the following common tile installation problems and learn how to navigate past them for fast and efficient installation process:

Difficult Surface is Bad for Tile Installation

Difficult Surfaces

Problematic surfaces are usually a big challenge when it comes to tile installation projects. Such surfaces come about when the old floor is removed to prepare a new surface for the new installation. Some surfaces might have cracks or damages while other might uncover yet further uneven surfaces beneath.

Excessive mold growth may also make the surfaces problematic for the smooth installation of tiles. The best ways to deal with these kinds of problems is first to repair any damaged surfaces and flatten them out to ensure even surfaces before you embark on the installation process.

Odd Layouts

Apart from problematic surfaces, uneven layouts are another big problem that is usually encountered during tile installation. Tile installation is a fairly simple process when done on symmetrical areas. But when the layout becomes uneven, it is imperative that you first determine the correct number of tiles and start the installation process from the correct point.

Choosing a random start point might lead to some places having small sized or narrow cut tiles. Such won’t just affect the visual appeal of the section but also predisposes the tiles on the smaller sections to other problems like getting dislodged or cracking. To avoid all these, map out your layout correctly and begin installation from the most appropriate spot.

Poor Grouting

Poor grouting is another common problem usually encountered during most of the tile installation projects. Just like the mortar, the grout will crack or deep if not mixed properly. Again, if less grout is placed between the tiles, dipping may be observed after some time. The solution to this is to use more grout than you might think is necessary then gently remove the excess without scooping out from the regions between the tiles.

Wrong Underlayment

Your choice of tile underlayment is very important for successful tile installation process. A good underlayment will not only enhance the strength of the tiles but also improve their longevity. However, many people tend to get it wrong when it comes to choosing the right underlayment.

Ideally, you need to check the layout as well as the environment you are working on so that you use the correct underlayment. For instance, if you are working on an environment with a high amount of moisture content, consider using an impermeable grout together with a waterproof underlayment to prevent the tiles surfaces from getting wet and encourage the growth of mold.

Wrong Mortar Mixing

For most of the tile installation projects, mortar is usually used as a base for the tiles to keep them in place. Many people are however unable to mix the mortar properly, and this is likely to hinder the successful installation of the tiles. A poorly mixed mortar will make the tiles to shift thus ruining the desired layout of the tiles. Always observe the recommended ratios when mixing the mortar to avoid such problems.

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Top 5 Tile Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

At one point in time, you may have the need to undertake tile renovation to improve the functionality and aesthetics of your home. Whereas updating the tiles can be a relatively easy and quick task, there are certain tile renovation mistakes you must look out for lest you end up spending more time and resources in accomplishing the project. These mistakes are mostly committed by those who embark on DIY tile renovation projects. Be careful not to fall a victim of them. They are as follows-:

Unnecessary Tile Renovation

Not all occasions will require you to do a complete tile renovation for your bathroom or kitchen. If you want to renovate because you hate the tile type, or it’s ruining your interior décor, then that’s fine. However, if your main reason for renovating is due to damage, you need to assess and ascertain that indeed, the damage is dire to warrant a renovation.

A Kitchen Floor Tile Renovation

Before you start tearing apart your old tiles, you may consider repair alternatives since this will be less costly and will take a relatively shorter time. Think about re-grouting if age is your main concern or replacing the chipped or the broken tiles with new ones with a satisfactory match.

Choosing the Wrong Tile

Choosing the wrong tile type is one of the most common mistakes that the majority make when they look forward to doing a tile renovation. A wrong selection may be in terms of functionality as well as the aesthetic aspects of the tile. It is important to consider the fact that different tiles have different areas of application, and this is the only way to ensure that you get the most out of your tiles.

For instance, a fragile and slippery tile may not be a very good candidate for the floors but it will work well on the walls. You also need to be conscious about the color and the motifs of the tiles because they will have a great bearing in complementing the interior décor and the architectural style of the home.


Avoiding the Preparation Work

Before the tiles are laid, proper prep work needs to be done to make the surfaces ready for the tiles. Over the years, the walls and the floors might have settled differently thereby resulting in uneven surfaces. It is imperative to counter these effects by leveling all the surfaces to make them flat for easy and efficient tile installation.

Improper Laying of the Tiles

The other predominant error in tile renovation is the tile laying errors. This is very rampant in DIY tile installation projects because most of the time, such installers lack the technical aspects of proper tile installation. They may not be aware of how to cut or grout the tiles in the right manner, or they may forget to smoothen out comb marks to give high-quality finishing.

Poor Measurement

Failing to take the correct measurements is the fastest way to blow up your renovation budget and have nor result or mediocre results at the end. If you fail to take the right measurements, you will either end up purchasing more tiles than necessary or fewer tiles which may not be enough to get the job done. You are also likely to run into installation problems since the tiles will look off center or crooked because you started with the wrong measurements.

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How to Choose Unique Bathroom Tiles

Choosing the right bathroom tiles can be a challenge. While there are plenty of tile designs to choose from most of them are generic and will not bring any unique aspects to your beloved private rooms. What you need for a lavishly elegant and refined bathroom is sweetly and uniquely designed bathroom tiles to exude style and warmth in the bathroom.

Bathroom Tiles

In addition to this, your ideal choice of bathroom tiles should offer you with great functionality while at the same time complimenting the interior décor of the entire room. Outlined below are a few tips to guide you on how to choose unique tiles for your bathrooms-:

Consider the Tile Material for an Unique Bathroom

Bathroom tiles are made of different types of materials. Materials such as terracotta, granite and ceramic are very common, and almost everyone who looks forward to tiling their bathroom will choose them. They are thus not ideal if you are looking for something unique.

However, materials like marble, slate or natural stones offer numerous possibilities for great interior details and also for the bathroom. Besides, they are strong, durable and versatile hence suitable for use in the bathroom. Simply choose one which will blend well with your current interior style without the need for a lot of changes.

Bathroom Tile Ideas

Unique Bathroom Tile Installation Possibilities

The generic tile installation methods will not bring any uniqueness to your bathroom. Instead, such installation will make your bathroom appear just like the rest. The tiles you prefer for the bathroom should, therefore, have unique installation possibilities to give you the flexibility you need to have a bathroom of its kind.

Rather than going for bathroom tiles with unidirectional installation, consider choosing tiles that will allow you to have creative installations. For example, natural stones and marble tiles come in unique shapes and textures and can thus be used to effect completely different bathroom tiles installation.

Choose Unique Colours For Your Bathroom Tiles

The choice of your ideal bathroom tiles should not be pegged around the shape and the materials alone. The color is equally important since if chosen in the right manner, it will add a nice brilliant touch to your bathroom. Ideally, the color preference should match the existing style and décor of the bathroom, with special emphasis on the dominant bathroom paint.

However, be careful not to change your bathroom scheme in trying to pick a completely different color in a bid to try to be unique. Everything should fit in just well for real uniqueness to be realized.

Different Pattern Installation

The other way to have unique tiles is to consider different installation patterns. At times, uniqueness in tiles doesn’t have to come from the materials or the color of the tiles. You can opt for the ordinary tiles but install them using different pattern combinations to have exquisite end results.

This solution is not very expensive, and it offers you with a lot of flexibility. Simply choose the common tiles available at affordable prices then introduce pattern twists during the installation to have unique tiles for your bathroom.

To use these tips effectively, it is highly recommended that you consult your contractor for their professional opinion regarding your choice. It will enable you to avoid certain design and structural mistakes you might have overlooked when making your choice.

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