You know what is almost upon us? Garden. Living. It’s the time of year where all things al fresco kick off and where last-minute garden updates take place to be sure your great outdoors is looking at its greatest before summer shows its face.
But before you go all shovel and cement, run through our Head of Creative, Grazzie’s garden tiling checklist to avoid these five most frequently seen pitfalls…
Picking a Tile that Isn’t Meant to Live Outdoors
Sounds obvious, right? But you’d be amazed how many times a customer hasn’t thought about whether the tile design they love is destined for interior use only. Before you fall hard for a tile that isn’t compatible with outdoor living, be sure to only head into website sections marked as Exterior Stone and Tiles.
Here you’ll find a generous collection of both hardy natural stone and porcelain paving that’s been created to withstand whatever the elements throw their way from snow in spring (as seen this year!) to baking sun and the inevitable floods. Why do you need to think about whether it works outdoors? Well, exterior tiles at Ca’ Pietra have been put through testing, to ensure that they really can take on all of the elements we mentioned above, they’re slip-resistant and frost resistant too.
Overlooking Patterned Garden Tiles
We’ve been conditioned to think of plain stone and tiles when we picture patios. Whether it’s a cool and contemporary slate grey terrace, a cobbled cottage garden or a chic expanse of creamy limestone, a neutral landscape is what we’re most used to seeing. Don’t get us wrong, we love a classic but sometimes, you know, you can just mix it up a little too. But remember, with a little help from porcelain, patterned outdoor tiles are just as up for grabs. Fancy a raised sunbathing area handsomely decked out in our Brompton tiles? Or what about a veranda and hammock setup with our suitably named Vacation Cordoba tiles? I personally opted for our Parisian Cafe tiles and clad them to the front of my bbq, because when I’m not in Ibiza I certainly want to feel like I’m there. Not Hiring the Help of a Professional
We may have mentioned reaching for the shovel, but making this a DIY affair is only worth the effort if you’re a well-seasoned tiler. Keeping down costs is generally a priority for projects of all shapes and sizes, but cutting corners by not enlisting the help of a professional is a decision that’ll likely come back to bite you. Remember too that by investing in the groundwork being laid properly means you’re more likely to have a patio that’ll last the course.
Forgetting About Patio Drainage
One element that often gets overlooked in paving projects is drainage so that your terrace doesn’t become a bathtub full of collecting water. Just like how new flooring indoors requires a floor-levelling screed, a professional will look at all aspects of installing your garden paving to make sure rainwater doesn’t trickle towards garden furniture or your house’s brickwork where it can cause irreparable damage.
From a thin and discreet drainage strip to subtler still paving that tapers off at a slant, you’ve got options, and the important thing is to make sure you consider them and pick one to protect yourself.
Messing up Paving Size and Scale
Last but not least, it’s 100% worth properly pondering what size of outdoor tile is right for your space. The colour, the material, the texture and the character all matter but so does whether you’re going for a mini or maxi-sized slab – and each has its plus points.
Large outdoor tiles work a treat in a small al fresco spot, resulting in fewer joins, less interruption and therefore the impression of extra inches. For example, the cool grey limestone Denham tiles with their generous 56cm width make a rooftop terrace feel far more capacious than the reality. Or maybe you’ve got enough space to play with a few different sizes of tile. The small and sweet Chaldon limestone cobbles suit a garden pathway, leading up to a paved area of the larger format Chaldon limestone with their charming tumbled and etched edges.
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