Tiling Outdoors – There is no other floor & wall covering in the world with the same variety, durability, usefulness and endless possibility as tile.
Understanding the different properties and attributes of types of tile, will help in making an informed Tile Selection.
Frost Resistant: All tiles can be used indoor but in New Zealand’s frosty winters, not all tiles can be used outdoor. The amount of water a tile absorbs determines whether it’s frost resistant or not. As a guide a maximum absorption rate of 6% is recommended. Tiles tested under ISO 13006 &/or EN14411 must display this information on the packaging.
Absorption rate: Interior wet area floor and wall tiles should have a maximum absorption rate of 6%. The reason being porous tiles may change shade(darker when wet) ,inhibit mold growth in the bisque of the tile and crazing(cracking of the surface glaze).
Slip resistance (coefficient of friction) must be considered when using tile outdoors. It is a requirement in the New Zealand Building code that Level access routes to which the public has access, including level accessible routes, shall have a mean coefficient of friction(μ), of not less than 0.4μ when tested in accordance with AS/NZS 3661.1. Access routes to which the public have access include walking surfaces such as decks, patios and steps on the approach to the main entrance to Housing, and common areas of Communal Residential and Multi-unit dwelling accommodation. For other access routes a coefficient of friction of less than 0.4μ may be acceptable, but account should be taken of the effectiveness of the surface when worn or wet.
Not all tile manufacturers display the slip rating for their tile. Check with your tile supplier for the μ rating.