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Outdoor Tile Ideas: Creating Beautiful Spaces

Bridgette Bathgate

If you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor living space in your home, you’re undoubtedly aware of what a difference they can make to your quality of living. Whether it’s lazy spring afternoons sipping spritzes on the patio, hot summers spent splashing in the pool or cosy winter nights rugged up by the firepit — our outdoor living spaces are an extension of our lifestyles. 

Finding the right outdoor tile to spruce up your home can feel like a monumental task — you need to balance aesthetics with durability and longevity to find the perfect match. With these parameters in mind, you might think your outdoor tile options are limited. That is not the case! We’re here to inspire you with outdoor tile ideas for every space and taste. Whether for the poolside or the patio, we’ve got loads of options to help you create beautiful, functional outdoor spaces with tiles.



Tiling for alfresco areas

Do you have some spare space in the backyard that could be better utilised? Turn that dull patch of empty land into an eye-catching alfresco area. Laying down some tiles in an otherwise unused space is a low-cost way to create a new spot for entertaining, relaxing, playing and more. Add some outdoor furniture, and you’ve got yourself a party!

Keep it concrete

The versatility of concrete-look tiles makes them a fantastic choice for your alfresco area. Their textured appearance gives off effortless industrial vibes – and with the huge variety of sizes, colours and finishes on offer, you can find concrete-look tiles that fit seamlessly with your design vision. Whether you go for something light and bright or dark and moody, the concrete look still maintains an edgy undercurrent. 

Get geometric

Are you looking to infuse your alfresco area with a touch of personality and flair? Consider giving geometric or patterned tiles a go. Made from durable ceramic or porcelain, these tiles also come in various colours and intricate designs — ideal for adding a vibrant and exotic touch to your outdoor space. With so many options available, you can easily craft a unique alfresco look that is as pared back or as loud as you’d like while maintaining visual interest. 

Stone-look stunners

A porcelain tile with a natural stone-look finish offers the best of both worlds — you get the durability and the aesthetic appeal of natural stone pavers without the price tag that comes with natural stone. Stone-look tiles come in various styles and can mimic the look of a range of raw materials, creating a classic yet luxurious alfresco space.

Incorporating tiles in the garden

From a stepping-stone pathway to a neat border, incorporating tiles into your garden design is a practical way to add a touch of personality. When choosing outdoor tiles for your garden area, it’s essential to consider the overall style of the site and your maintenance preferences — because keeping cream-coloured pavers clean when they’re surrounded by soil is no easy feat. 



Keep it natural

Use natural stone-look pavers — think slate, limestone or flagstone finishes — to evoke a rustic and elegant feel for your garden pathway. These stone-look tiles offer a timeless and organic look that blends well with the natural elements in your garden. The textured appearance of natural-look tiles also lends well to the outdoor environment — it’s earthy while still retaining a touch of refinement. 

Make a mosaic

Mosaic tiles can add a pop of colour and artistic flair to your garden. You can create intricate patterns, designs or even mosaic art on your garden path or in specific areas (bring back the bird bath!). The beauty of mosaicking means you can use tiles in different materials, colours, sizes and styles to make your own unique flooring. It’s also a very low-waste process, as you’re encouraged to use all the odd bits and offcuts that might otherwise get discarded.

The perfect patio tile

Whether you’re an avid entertainer or just like spending time in the fresh air, having a gorgeous patio area is like having an extra room in the house. However, there are a few things you need to factor in before you get swayed by a particular aesthetic for your outdoor patio. Does it get a lot of sun? Is it protected from the weather or primarily out in the open? Are there design elements of your home’s exterior that you want to incorporate? Once you’ve figured out the practical details, it’s time to have some fun!



Go textural

One of the simplest ways to make a beautiful outdoor paved area is to embrace the power of texture in flooring. Using natural-look tiles in an outdoor setting pays homage to the unique imperfections in the natural world, creating an earthy yet classic look that will never look dated. Look for ceramic or porcelain tiles that mimic natural stone to ensure the right level of durability for your outdoor flooring.

Play with patterns

Want to make a statement with your outdoor space? Porcelain tiles with intricate patterns and vibrant colours are an easy way to add personality to your patio. Often used in Mediterranean or Moroccan-inspired designs, these tiles evoke a sense of easy-breezy Euro summer — perfect for warm spaces that catch the sun year-round. You can mix and match to make unique patterns and a one-of-a-kind look for your outdoor patio.

Supersize it

For those chasing a sleek and contemporary look, a large-format tile is the way to go for your patio. You can use these big beauties to create a seamless and minimalistic design, and they come in a wide range of colours and textures to suit your taste. From a practical standpoint, they are also easy to clean and maintain (hello, fewer grout lines) — perfect for families with kids or pets.

Luxury poolside tiles

Pool-area tiles allow you to make a statement with your outdoor decorating. The right outdoor tile can take your swimming pool area from purely practical to a drool-worthy design. Safety is paramount, but that doesn’t mean you must sacrifice style — loads of chic pool-area tiles balance aesthetics with grip and stability.    

Tempting terrazzo

Hard-wearing and eye-catching terrazzo-look tiles are a prime candidate for pool areas. These speckled beauties create a timeless, elegant look that won’t become dated as trends come and go. Their texture adds visual interest and depth to an area, not to mention you can find terrazzo-look tiles with different colour schemes and chip sizes. This versatility means it can complement plenty of styles, from minimalist and contemporary to eclectic and retro.

Classic checkerboard

If you love a retro look, checkerboard tiles could be just the thing for your pool area. Once relegated to simple black and white, this groovy style is now being seen in all the colour combinations of the rainbow — from calming sage and soothing blues to earthy terracottas and buttery yellows. Whether you want to emulate the vibes of a luxe mid-century resort or are keen to create your own contemporary twist on the look, checkerboard tiles will instantly inject fun and frivolity into your poolside landscape. 

Get a little crazy 

Are you seeking outdoor tile ideas a little outside the box? Contradictory to its name, crazy paving is one of the most innovative ways to create a unique look for your poolside area. Opting for different-sized pavers creates a playful and abstract yet chic vibe — not to mention it takes the stress out of trying to lay down a symmetrical design. These pavers are made with a cushion edge specifically for use with broader grout joints, making them perfect for folks who prefer to play with designs that don’t necessarily fit the mould. 

Remember: don’t neglect functionality

Creating a beautiful outdoor space with tiles is such an exciting and fulfilling project – and with so many tile ideas out there, the world is your oyster! Just make sure that the tiles you’re buying are fit for exterior surfaces. Outdoor living tiles are designed to resist the elements, boasting a little extra grit and endurance than their indoor counterparts. Pay special attention when shopping for your outdoor tiles — look for non-slip surfaces, proper sealing, a stain-resistant finish and specific mentions that the product suits your exterior project. With this knowledge in mind, you’re bound to make the perfect choice for your outdoor area.

Bridgette Bathgate
Bridgette is a creative problem-solver with a knack for storytelling and holds a Bachelor of Design. She's obsessed with all things digital, design and social (and has a mild addiction to TikTok). At TileCloud, Bridgette leads the content team as Content Strategy Lead. Her background has predominantly been in the media industry, formerly working at Mamamia and Are Media.