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Outdoor Patio Tile Ideas: Designs to Inspire You

We all tend to fall back on old ideas, don’t we?

It’s easier to do the same thing one hundred times than to come up with a new idea every time. The trouble is, if you fall into old patterns, your patterns fall out of style. Outdoor tiling is a tricky business. Customers are always looking for new outdoor patio tile ideas to keep up with trends, but they’re also worried about how long those pretty tiles will last.

While durability is the key to any tiling project, it’s even more paramount when the tile has to endure all kinds of weather and dirty shoes.

Still, an outdoor living space like a patio needs to be beautiful and inviting. A simple concrete slab works, but it doesn’t draw you into the space as a well-arranged tile pattern does. As always, those patterns change with the times.

It’s important to have a well-stocked folder of outdoor tile design ideas to keep the customers happy and recommend your services to their friends. So what are some trending tile ideas that will keep your business in demand?

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Herringbone

Sometimes it’s not the tiles themselves, but how they’re laid that gives a patio its appeal. Herringbone patterns are very in vogue right now and it looks like they’re here to stay.

To lay a herringbone pattern right, you’ll need the proper tools. Although you can buy pre-cut tiles, herringbone patterns don’t always end perfectly at the edge of the patio. A RUBI wet tile saw or manual cutter is just the ticket for cutting tough outdoor tiles to the right size.

You’ll also want to plan your pattern well.

Because herringbone patterns are laid at right angles instead of in straight rows, it’s important to know how many tiles you’ll need to cut to fill the space. A simple area calculation will help, but different patterns will cover the ground differently. What direction you lay your pattern can save your clients money on tiles and save you time.

Also, make sure to use spacers in your design plans. Good use of spacers can save materials and make your design really pop.

Laying your tiles close together with no spacers squanders the opportunity to add some contrast to your pattern. Going above and beyond by adding small design quirks to your plans will pay off in extra profits. Need to know more about how to lay a herringbone pattern? Check out this how-to article!

outdoor patio tile ideas

Vary Your Colors

outdoor patio tile ideas

Uniform colors look good in a lot of spaces, but sometimes your client will want a more interesting view when they look out their back door.

You can try layering colors by adding a border around the space. You could also add a tiled accent wall for even more layering opportunities.

Checkerboard tiles are another option for color variation. You can try any color combination for a new twist on an old look.

If you’re looking for tiles with a bold color scheme all their own, try patterned tiles. Geometric designs in contrasting colors are popular with the modern homeowner.

Different color choices will also affect your client’s patio. A brighter tile can make a small backyard look bigger, while black tiles add contrast to an otherwise bright exterior wall.

Selecting different color tiles can be challenging, especially when you’re trying to balance durability with style.  Along with new color choices, new materials can bring new life to your creativity.

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Outdoor Patio Tile Ideas (Literally!)

Porcelain is often considered the best tile for outside spaces. It balances style with function because it is waterproof and highly durable. There are plenty of porcelain patio tile ideas to choose from.

Porcelain comes in a variety of colors and patterns that can be mixed and matched for any design. It even comes in different textures like wood-look, stone-look, and matte! Try laying porcelain tile in a herringbone pattern or layering different colors and textures together.

Although porcelain is a reliable option for an outdoor tile, it isn’t your only choice.

Tiles for your patio come in an assortment of materials from ceramic to slate. If you use porcelain often, you may want to experiment with using different kinds of tiles.

Outdoor tile materials include natural stone, ceramic, quarry, rubber, concrete, wood decking, and even plastic.

Because natural stone can look harmonious with nature, it’s a popular choice for outdoor designs. Natural stone tiles include limestone, sandstone, soapstone, granite, slate, and travertine. Cutting these materials is no joke, and requires a high-quality wet tile saw, thankfully RUBI offers wet saws with the necessary horsepower to cut them.

The texture of the material you pick can add visual interest to a space. Creating a rustic look with wood-look porcelain or a sleek design with slate could be the difference between a decent patio and a crowd-pleaser.

The texture of the tile you choose is another important decision for your client’s safety. There are tiles available with anti-slip finishes if you’re concerned about the safety of children running around or elderly people who have a hard time keeping their balance.

Make sure you know the strengths and weaknesses of the tile you choose. Limestone, for example,  needs to be sealed for a durable patio.

Get in Shape!

Did you know that hexagonal tiles are popular in home design right now?

Hexagons have that geometric look that makes a home feel modern while also keeping classic. The honeycomb shape is natural and makes for a picturesque outdoor patio.

Honeycomb isn’t the only shape you have to choose from either. Tiles can be square or rectangular, narrow or wide, or even round around the edges! If the tile your client wants isn’t in the right shape, you might want to try cutting your own tiles with a RUBI Tools tile cutter.

Owning a tile cutter will help you meet client demands every time as you customize the cut of your tiles.

The size of your tile is just as important as the shape. Big tiles enlarge a space. Small tiles add a little texture to an otherwise minimalist design.

You may find it easier to layer different tiles together when varying sizes. Creating a border with smaller tiles and using large tiles inside gives a patio the contrast it needs to stand out.

Tile, Tile, Everywhere!

When your client asks you to give their patio a “natural flow” with the rest of their backyard space, you might just pick a matching color scheme. That’s good, but an extra tile accent can take their backyard look to the next level.

Is there a fireplace? A pool? What about a garden wall? Putting in a little extra work and tiling a backyard feature can pay off big-time when it comes to satisfying your clients.

When you add extra accents to your patio design, it can bring the whole property together in perfect synchrony. Stumped on ideas for where to put that tile accent? Try looking at outdoor tile design pictures for inspiration.

If your client would rather keep it simple and only tile their patio, that doesn’t mean you can’t match their decor in other ways.

You can take inspiration from the design of their home or existing outdoor tile to create a theme that harmonizes with the client’s existing design choices.

Find Your Muse

Sometimes it’s nice to add a little personal touch to your work. Design, after all, is an art.

All of the outdoor patio tile ideas in this article find their roots in nature or older architectural traditions. Hexagonal tiles call back to beehives. Herringbone patterns may remind you of a fish, but the style also dates back to ancient Rome.

Keep your eyes open for patterns that fascinate you. Collect pictures of elegant castle walkways and quaint foot-bridges. Study the designs of the past and you’ll probably find many of them still here in the present.

You can also watch for modern innovations by following your favorite designers on social media. Read design blogs like this one to keep your knowledge up to date.

Keeping a folder full of designs that inspire you will help you to stay in demand with customers through new trends.

Tools of the Trade

You know that changing up your color scheme is essential for happy clients. You’ve considered using new materials and textures for your tile work. You’ve even explored new places for your tiles to go when the patio just isn’t enough.

Now that you have a few new design ideas under your belt, you’ll need the tools to put them to use.

No matter what outdoor patio tile ideas you have, RUBI tools are what you need to complete a premium quality tiling job. Having the best tools on the market means saving you time and labor while maximizing your profits. Check out our tools to see how we can help you bring the best designs to your clients.

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