Using stone tiles outdoors is the latest trend. There are plenty of good reasons why, but before you race out to your nearest tile supplier
and order stone flagging
for your patio, pool, driveway or pathway, there are some things you need to know about using stone tiles outdoors.
Using Stone Tiles for Patios
A great way to include your patio
as part of your indoor/outdoor living space is to use the same type of stone tiles in your patio as you use inside. This, combined with wide sliding glass doors and perhaps a patio enclosure, can easily double your available space and transform a dark, cramped room into a room you will truly enjoy living and entertaining in.
Highly polished stone tiles are very slippery when wet, so don't make the mistake of using the same highly polished stone tiles outdoors as you use indoors, especially if the patio is going to be exposed to water. Instead, use rough hewn or textured surface tiles. You still want to use a sealant on them, because without it the stone can more easily be stained, but avoid polished stone and gloss finishes.
Using Stone Tiles Around the Pool
Limestone is an ideal stone tile for use as a pool
surround. Naturally pitted and fissured, it offers great traction and is also naturally cool under foot. Even on the hottest days, you can walk on limestone tiles when other types of pavers may become unbearably hot. Limestone pool pavers come in a variety of textures and colours, so you are not limited to just white or off-white. In fact, creative pool designers often mix colours to create striking effects around the pool.
Using Stone Tiles on Driveways
You need to be careful when laying stone tiles on driveways because the weight of vehicles can shift the tiles out of place and if they butt against each other, they can easily chip or break. The best way to ensure this doesn't happen is to choose rectangular tiles and lay them in a herringbone pattern. It's also best to leave a little extra space between the tiles (3mm is recommended), to accommodate some slippage.
Using Stone Tiles on Walkways
On walkways more than any other surface, it is important to use non-slip stone tiles. Rough cut flagstone pavers, cobblestones and other rough-surfaced stone tiles are a must on sloping walkways.
If you're stuck for ideas or need professional assistance with your overall landscape design, a landscape designer
in your area will be able to help you. They know which types of stone tiles are best for every application and how to make them an organic part of your landscape.