Exterior Floor Tiles: How to Choose and What Types Are Available on the Market

Exterior floor tiles are the best option when we want to design our terrace, courtyard or even balcony. However, choosing the right type of exterior floor tiles is not very simple.

To choose the exterior floor tiles that best suit your needs, it is very important to know that they can be found on the Romanian market in a wide range of colors, textures, and finishes. The use of exterior floor tiles offers unlimited design possibilities, as a result of the varied models available on the market.

In general, floor tiles are preferred by buyers because they can be applied directly to floors, so they can be installed both indoors and outdoors. Its advantages are multiple: it is installed quickly and easily, is durable over time, easy to clean and does not require special maintenance, as in the case of other surfaces.

Types of Exterior Floor Tiles

Porcelain floor tiles are formed by firing ceramic plates at very high temperatures above 1200⁰C. As a result of the high temperatures, the process called “vitrification” occurs, resulting in a compact and highly resistant tile. Due to its density, porcelain floor tiles can be used under high wear conditions, and due to their hardness, they resist heavy traffic, being used for outdoor floors.

Unlike indoor floor tiles, porcelain tiles can be used for outdoor spaces. Indoor floor tiles do not withstand high temperature variations and increased wear and tear. Porcelain floor tiles are produced with a matte, glossy, or polished surface through the polishing process (polished tiles receive a noble, shiny surface).

The advantage of porcelain floor tiles is that they can also be used for interiors.

The term “rectified tiles” does not refer to the physical or mechanical properties of the tiles, but to the process of rectifying the tiles, that is, cutting the edges of the ceramic tiles so that they form a 90⁰ angle. This results in rectified floor tiles being uniformly suitable on the surface to which they are applied, with a dimensional deviation between tiles of max. 0.1 mm. In general, non-rectified floor tiles may have small size differences of 1-2 mm, caused by the shrinkage phenomenon after the firing process.

Freeze-resistant exterior floor tiles

It is important to consider that we live in a country with four seasons, which is why we need to consider the use of exterior floor tiles that are resistant to freezing.

Most of the time, such arrangements are made in summer, and many simply forget to consider temperature variations when choosing the materials they will use. Given that in Romania, during winter, temperatures drop even below -15 degrees Celsius, it is advisable to choose frost-resistant floor tiles for outdoor spaces, such as terraces or balconies.

Porcelain floor tiles are frost-resistant, so they are the most recommended type of tiles for designing outdoor spaces. Frost-resistant floor tiles can be found on the Romanian market in a variety of models and colors.

Anti-slip exterior floor tiles

As previously mentioned, the best type of exterior floor tile is porcelain, but it is important to keep in mind that not all porcelain floor tiles react the same way.

Therefore, it is important to take into account the PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) classification, which measures the wear resistance (abrasion) of floor tiles using a special device with abrasive rollers.

There are five wear resistance indexes, and the floor tile is chosen based on the degree of wear to which it will be subjected, and therefore the space in which it will be installed:

PEI I – for areas with light traffic (bathroom, bedroom)

PEI II – for areas with moderate traffic

PEI III – for residential areas with heavy traffic (kitchens, hallways, stairs, terraces, courtyards, walkways)

PEI IV – for commercial areas with medium traffic, such as offices or hotel rooms

PEI V – for commercial areas with heavy traffic, such as shops, city pedestrian walkways, etc.

For greater comfort and safety, it is important to consider the slip resistance of the tiles when purchasing a particular type/model of outdoor tile. Therefore, it is important to choose the best anti-slip floor tile for areas where there is a higher possibility of the tile becoming wet or even frozen, such as near swimming pools or on entrance stairs. The classification for slip resistance of floors is called the Rating for Shod Feet and has five categories:

R9 – very low slip resistance (used for hallways, stairs, medical offices, etc.)

R10 – low slip resistance (surfaces used in restaurants, medical offices, etc.)

R11 – medium slip resistance (warehouses, cafeterias, auto repair shops)

R12 – good slip resistance (cold rooms, etc.)

R13 – very good slip resistance, as is the case with car ramps, parking lots, or large industrial kitchens.

Outdoor floor tiles for terraces

For exterior terraces, it is important to use non-slip and frost-resistant porcelain floor tiles as they are typically exposed to harsh weather conditions.

For example, CESAROM Garden is a collection of porcelain floor tiles that are ideal for both terraces and courtyards.

Outdoor porcelain floor tiles are the best choice for design, functionality, maintenance, and durability for the exterior space that needs to be arranged.

Outdoor floor tiles for stairs

When it comes to outdoor stairs, it is also important to choose frost-resistant and slip-resistant porcelain floor tiles. Pre-made porcelain floor tiles for stairs are available on the market, and the advantage is that they are extremely easy to install and do not require additional accessories such as corner pieces.


There are several types of outdoor tiles available when it comes to design, such as stone or marble.

Outdoor tiles have the advantage of a wide range of finishes. Due to the large number of finish options available, this type of tile can be adapted to any project, whether you want a certain color or a tile that imitates stone, for example. As such, there are several types of finishes available for outdoor tiles, including:

·         glossy

·         matte

·         semi-gloss

·         stone-like

·         wood-like

·         concrete-like

However, indoor floor tiles cannot be used for outdoor projects as they do not have the necessary technical characteristics.

In comparison, porcelain floor tiles are more expensive than glazed tiles. Nevertheless, the price difference is reflected in durability and resistance, which means long-term savings.

You can find various types of outdoor floor tiles that fit your needs in the CESAROM collections, available HERE.