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Transform Your Outdoor Space with Porcelain Tiles: The Ultimate Guide

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Don’t stress about concrete slabs and stone. Learn the reasons why outdoor porcelain tiles are one of the strongest and flexible material for outdoor flooring.

According to historians, the ancient Chinese created the first porcelain models more than 1000 years back. The material is often used in delicate figurines or kitchenware however the medieval Chinese recognized the material’s full potential centuries before. The 260-foot tower of porcelain in Nanjing was built using ceramic bricks around 1431. It was in use for over four centuries.

Recently, porcelain tiles have increased in popularity and acceptance, especially for outdoor uses.

What exactly is Porcelain Tile?

Porcelain tile belongs to the ceramic family, however it is produced with higher quality standards than normal ceramics. The highly refined and pure clay is fired for a longer time in higher temperature than the other types of ceramic. It is the result of a custom highly durable and long-lasting material that can be put on walls or floors in both indoor and outdoor settings.

What are the various types of Tiles made from Porcelain?

Unglazed Porcelain Tiles

There is no finish on the outside which means that each tile has an individual pattern. While they lack a protective coating the unglazed porcelain tiles are durable against wear and weather. Unglazed tiles are able to be constructed using any type of texture and can also be polished to give an attractive appearance. Unglazed tiles are classified in two types:

Glazed Porcelain Tiles

These are then sealed by an anti-corrosion coating. They can be solid-colored or patterned. Customers typically have the option of choosing between a matte, semi-polished, or gloss finish. Glazed tiles are classified into two types:

Tiles printed with images, that go through an exclusive glazing process in which an image created using digital technology is printed onto the tile. It means that porcelain tiles are able to look like stone, wood or other flooring types.

Color bodied tiles, that add color throughout the entire thickness and as a coating to provide protection and aesthetic value.

Porcelain tiles are further classified into five grades by the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI). Grade one is considered to be the least durable, whereas Grade five has the toughest.

Are Porcelain Tile good for outdoor Use?

Porcelain tiles are a great material for outdoor use due to numerous reasons:

All porcelain tiles contain a water absorption ratio lower than 0.5 percent, which makes them stain – and weather-resistant. Since they absorb virtually no water, porcelain tiles will not break in cold temperatures like other materials.

Porcelain tiles are highly resistant to UV fading even directly in sunlight.

The process of making porcelain tiles is what makes them more durable and tougher than the ceramics used in areas with high traffic.

The pros and cons of Porcelain Tiles


Superior durability over other ceramics in high-traffic zones;

Perfect for outdoor use;

The versatility of these products is that they can be used indoors as well as outdoors, and are made with a variety of colors, textures and patterns.

More lightweight and thin than outdoor materials, such as concrete and stone;

Low maintenance

Stain, moisture and fire resistant.


Costlier than other ceramics;

It is more robust than other ceramic products.

The material is difficult to cut without specialist equipment.


The installation of porcelain tiles is similar to other outdoor tile installation. It is time-consuming and requires technical knowledge. Ceramic tiles are extremely durable and, while this is what makes them tough but it also means that you require specialized tools to cut them. Do not attempt to install porcelain tiles unless you’re a skilled DIYer willing to invest in the right equipment for the task.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Tiles made of porcelain are easy to clean with water and mild detergent. If you want to tackle more difficult dirt or a deeper cleaning, use a vinegar-water mix or a specific tile cleaner with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Avoid using brushes whenever you can on polished or glaze tiles. Avoid using ammonia or bleach-based cleaners, oils-based cleaners, cleaning products with color, steel wool, or brushes made of hard-bristle.