Exterior wall tiles: All about outdoor, elevation wall cladding and designs

[] More often than not, people focus on improving and decorating the interior of their homes to make it comfortable and aesthetic and give less preference to tiles for exterior wall. Sure, we have come a long way from using brick bonds for the exterior wall tiles of our house, still we don’t pay it the attention we ought to give external wall tiles, which is a little counter-productive to the effort we put towards designing the interiors.

The exterior is the first thing anybody sees when they come to visit your house. One of the best things that you can use for the exterior of your house, is exterior wall tiles. Exterior wall tiles are tiles (often made up of wood, rock, ceramic, etc.) that are fixed to the outside of a building to make them look more attractive. This is also called ‘exterior wall cladding’ and is gaining popularity. Irrespective of whether you have bought the house for residential or commercial purpose, exterior tiles are a safe exterior cladding option. 

You are reading: Exterior wall tiles: All about outdoor, elevation wall cladding and designs

Exterior Wall Tiles

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While you might think that all tiles- interior and exterior tiles- are the same, this is not true. One of the more obvious differences between interior wall tiles and external wall tiles, lies in their strength and durability. Exterior wall tiles are more durable than indoor tiles and are built to withstand harsh weather conditions, such as sunlight, rain, humidity, etc. Outside wall tiles are resistant to acid rain and hence, can retain their appearance and strength longer. Another difference between tiles for exterior wall and interior wall lies in their texture. Exterior wall tiles, upon installation, have a rougher texture than interior wall tiles.

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Tiles for outside walls also look harsher than indoor tiles in the sense that they have a rocky or stony appearance. Interior wall tiles, on the other hand, look very smooth and soft. They are usually made of limestone, ceramic, or marble.

Exterior wall tiles: What should you choose for your home?

Using exterior wall tiles for your house is a wise choice. Tiles for outside walls provide stability and structure to the outside of your home. Exterior wall tiles also protect your house against pest infestation and have anti-pollution properties since they are made of earthly elements. Tiles for exterior walls also can be used to determine the theme of your house – retro, naturalistic, realistic, European, etc.

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There are several options to choose from for exterior wall tiles to layer up your house. Consider the following pointers before choosing what kind of exterior tiles you want for your home:

Tiles for exterior wall: Value for money

Budget is the first thing you have to think about when you are furnishing your house. Various types of tiles for exterior walls are available (ceramic and vitrified being the most famous ones). With the numerous types of exterior wall tiles design, come a variety of prices. Vitrified front tiles design cost a whole lot more than ceramic wall tiles design for outdoor, even when their main components are the same. Outdoor parking tiles in themselves can range anywhere between Rs 51 per sq ft to Rs 172 per sq ft. When you are considering the cost of the exterior wall tiles, think of the space you want to lay down with exterior wall tiles. Coordinate that with the type of exterior tiles design that appeals to you the most and its price.

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Tough Exterior wall Tiles

Tiles for exterior wall: How strong do you want the tiles for porch wall to be?

Exterior wall tiles are much more resilient than indoor wall tiles. Nevertheless, there is a huge variety available, in terms of strength. Granite wall tiles outside house are supposed to be the hardest and would be ideal for the area near the gate. Slate exterior tiles design, are softer than marble or granite and so, it would be perfect for rebuilding your patio or other such spaces. If you want to tile your pool area, you can use porous tiles made of pumice as the external wall tiles. It just depends on what purpose you want the exterior wall tiles to fulfil. If you have a family with kids, getting exterior wall tiles that are more durable and yet have a smoother texture would be the perfect combination.

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Tiles for exterior wall: Is it weather friendly?

When exterior wall cladding your house, ensure that you choose your exterior wall tiles keeping the weather in mind. If you live in an area with a lot of rain, for example, you can choose external wall tiles that are non-slippery. If you live someplace where it snows a lot, get heat-insulating exterior wall tiles. If you live in someplace with a lot of sun, get heat-reflective exterior wall tiles. If you live someplace where acid rains are a frequent occurrence, do not get marble or limestone exterior tiles. They would be the first ones to succumb to abrasion. Try and choose the colour of your exterior wall tiles design while keeping the weather in mind. For instance, if you get a lot of sunlight, try and install darker colours wall tiles design outdoor.

Tiles for exterior wall: Do they fit?

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Before deciding on the colour, texture and grip of your exterior wall tiles, take an inventory of the colours and themes already present in your house. Ensure you do not come up with some front tiles design that does not blend or is inconsistent with the overall personality of your house. For example, bright tiles for porch wall will not look great in a European-themed house. Choose outside wall tiles that complement the already-present features of your house.

Exterior Wall Tiles: Famous options to choose from

Some exterior wall tiles in the world have been used time and again. These are trusted materials and you can rarely go wrong with them when it comes to wall tiles outside house. One common thing to look out for when searching for exterior wall tiles is to get the ones rated for exterior use. Let us look at some of the materials for tiles for porch wall below:

External wall tiles: Quarry  

Earlier, quarry external wall tiles were mined from actual quarries. Now, they are just made from highly dense unfiltered clay. Quarry tiles as external wall tiles are an excellent choice in most weathers, except in places where lower temperatures are the norm since quarries lose heat pretty quickly. They are a perfect choice for a patio, though. They are highly resistant to water and do not usually get slippery when wet. Quarry outside wall tiles are infamous for retaining stains, though. So, they might not be an optimal choice if you have children around.

wall tiles design

External wall tiles: Ceramic

Ceramic external wall tiles are resistant to most weather conditions, stains and scratches. They are rarely found in unglazed form and are resistant to water and different kinds of germ infestation. Thus, ceramic is a popular choice for the interior of the house including bathrooms, countertops and kitchens. That does not mean ceramic cannot be an apt choice for the home exteriors. Ceramic front tiles design are very economical exterior wall tiles and they come in various designs and colours. Ceramic outdoor wall tiles design also require low maintenance and are easy to replace.

Options to choose from for Exterior wall tiles

External wall tiles: Granite

Granite exterior tiles is one of the strongest materials that can be used to make your exterior wall tiles. Granite outside wall tiles are usually glazed and polished. The strength adds to the durability of the external wall tiles and hence, it is more resistance to harsh weather conditions. There are a few disadvantages of using granite as exterior wall tiles. It is very porous and hence these exterior wall tiles would have to be laminated or sealed regularly. Granite outside wall tiles are also quite expensive. So, if you want to rebuild a whole section of your house, the general advice would be not to use Granite exterior tiles design unless you have the budget for it or are willing to expand your budget.

Granite tile

External wall tiles: Soapstone

Soapstone exterior wall tiles are highly resistant to water and stains. It is also relatively resilient towards harsh weather conditions, such as the sun. Soapstone exterior wall tiles design have a smooth, silky texture. All of these make soapstone external wall tiles the perfect choice for layering tiles around your swimming pool or patio

External wall tiles: Travertine

Travertine is a form of limestone and is mined from various parts of the world, such as Turkey and China. The quality of travertine external wall tiles also depends on its mine and this can affect its water resistance. It is very hard, which ensures durability. Travertine has a rough texture, which is perfect as the exterior tiles design of your house. However, you can always have it polished. It is also a very cost-effective choice when it comes to exterior wall tiles.

External wall tiles: Natural stone

Use of natural stone for exterior tiles design is prevalent in India. They are available in different shapes, like the thinner version of natural stone or the abstract shapes of natural stones. Any natural stone shape as wall tiles design outdoor gives a very classy look.

Natural stone exterior wall

Source: Pinterest

External wall tiles: Grey coloured tiles

Use of grey coloured tiles as exterior wall tiles gives your house a very raw and  rustic look. You can choose from putting narrow slabs of grey exterior tiles to panels of grey exterior tiles. The biggest advantage with grey is you don’t have to be worried about dust being seen on the surface of the exterior wall tiles. So, maintenance is easy.   You can also mix them with other dark colour tiles like blue or black and give a colour makeover to your house’s exterior wall tiles.

Grey exterior wall tiles

Source: Pinterest

External wall tiles: Cement

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Use of cement as external wall tiles gives a vintage raw look to the externals. Infact, a mix of various colours of cement external wall tiles makes the house look fab from outside just as it is from inside.

Cement exterior wall tiles

Source: Pinterest

External wall tiles: Moroccan tiles

For people who love colour and design, Moroccan external wall tiles are for them. While you may use if entirely on your wall with a sober charcoal black colour, you may also play safe by using Moroccan external wall tiles in Mandala patterns for decorative purposes.

Moroccan exterior wall tiles

Source: Pinterest

External wall tiles: Printed

An alternative to Moroccan external wall tiles is the use of printed exterior wall tiles which are available in various colours and prints that you desire.

Printed tiles exterior wall tiles

Source: Pinterest

External wall tiles: White stone

White is a favourite colour when it comes to décor and exterior walls are not far behind when using white. You can use a single shade of white for external wall tiles or a mix of many shades of white including pearl white, beige white, greyish white etc. A disadvantage with white is that it requires daily cleaning as the dust settled on it will be clearly visible.

White exterior wall tiles

Source: Pinterest

Also read all about home exterior elevation designs

Exterior wall tiles: What do you need to do before laying tiles for outside walls?

There are some common things that you need to do before you try to lay exterior wall tiles. 

  • You have to lean and prep your walls. 
  • You need to clean off any dust and gravel stuck to your walls and scrape off anything stuck to your walls. 
  • Lay out your design, measure your exterior wall tiles according to the walls and specify your exterior tiles design pattern. Spread mortar out on your wall evenly and try to stick the exterior wall tiles in the correct exterior tiles design pattern.
  • You must lay down the exterior wall tiles from top to bottom. The mortar acts like an adhesive for the external wall tiles. Once the adhesive has dried out, apply the grout to your tiles and fill in any possible crevices.
  • The last step is to clean the exterior wall tiles of any excess grout and use a tile polisher to finish laying the external wall tiles.

Exterior wall Tiles

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Category: Rent

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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