Can Bathroom Tiles Be Used Outside? [Pros and Cons]

Last updated on September 1, 2020

The short answer is yes, bathroom tiles can be used outside. But there are some caveats to consider. Read on to find out the pros and cons.

It is inarguable that tiles serve an array of purposes. Apart from their floor and surface protection functions, tiles add a homely feeling to space. They positively contribute to a home’s aesthetics and, therefore, choosing the right tile material, design, color, and placement cannot be overemphasized. People have bought homes but have had to seek home remodeling contractors services because they did not like the appearance of the tiles of their new house.

Tiles not only improve the appearance of inner spaces but also boost the appearance of outside spaces. As such, people are always seeking to understand what tile types they can use for their outside spaces, just like they do when choosing material for a roof replacement. A common question relates to whether one can use bathroom tiles outside. Well, answering this question provides insightful debate.

In This Post:

Why Bathroom Tiles Can Be Used Outside (The Pros)

patio tiles

Some home renovation contractors have successfully used bathroom tiles outside, and the results were exemplary. Some contractors, however, use porcelain tiles which are becoming quite popular due to their qualities. Porcelain tiles, while are nowadays being used for bathroom tiling, are quite easy to clean. Outside the house, countless activities take place—including children play and hosting friends. It is, therefore, important to have tiles that are easy to clean.

Additionally, people nowadays are using porcelain tiles for their bathrooms and replicating them outside as they provide an anti-slip feature. This quality is fundamental, particularly when you have little kids. The benefit of this feature becomes evident during the wet season as it helps prevent accidents.

People are using bathroom porcelain tiles as they are scratch-resistant. You can, therefore, enjoy numerous activities without the fear of wear and tear. For homes that have cars, motorbikes, or other large machinery, you might want to avoid placing bathroom tiles as they are not as durable.

Lastly, porcelain is become common in both bathrooms, as well as outside, as they are frost proof. Compared to other tiles, porcelain tiles are highly impermeable to water absorption and penetration. During the winter, this feature is essential as it protects against cracking when tiles are subjected to extremely low temperatures. Who likes cracked tiles? No one. This is why people are extending the use of their porcelain bathroom tiles to their outside areas. 

Other People Think Otherwise (The Cons)

broken tiles

The other side of the divide argues that one cannot use bathroom tiles outside. This argument emanates from individuals who consider ceramic to be the only material suitable for bathroom tiling. In most home remodels, ceramic is used for tiling based on some of the benefits it confers.

For instance, there are countless designs, types, shapes, sizes, and finishes to choose from. For ceramic tiles lovers, ceramic provides the “you are home” feeling when tiling bathrooms. They are easy to clean, are durable, and have been used for hundreds of years. Those who opine that one cannot use bathroom tiles outside have ceramic-tiled bathrooms. The disadvantages associate with ceramic, therefore, maybe the reason why such tiles cannot be used outside.

For instance, considering durability, bathroom tiles are not designed to withstand extreme conditions. Tiles used for the outside environment are subjected to heat, frost, and direct sunlight and, thus, tiles are susceptible to wear and tear. Outdoor areas are also subjected to many activities that exert pressure on the tiles. Outside tiles are exposed to unending people traffic, people walking out an about while wearing different types of shoes, and children riding bicycles and throwing hard objects around. So these tiles need to have features that equip them to withstand such conditions. Bathroom tiles, especially those made from vinyl and ceramic may not be suitable for outside tiling. 

Another argument against using bathroom tiles outside relates to the maintenance needed. An advantage of tiles used in bathrooms is that they are easy to maintain since the activities are limited. Using the same, especially ceramic ones, outside, might be a hard task.

Ceramic tiles are increasingly susceptible to stains due to the grout lines they have. The lines also increase the tile’s susceptibility to mold and mildew. This means that such bathroom tiles when used outside, will need frequent attention. Such tiles need to be periodically sealed to uphold the grout lines. 

Further, when ceramic tiles are used outside in areas that are constantly wet, they may need periodic caulking where the tiles are joined with other construction elements due to cracking or aging.

Another reason why ceramic bathroom tiles may not be used outside is due to their strength and durability. Ceramic tiles are weaker compared to porcelain, hence the reluctance to use them outside.  Even though such tiles are considerably strong, they may crack when heavy items are dropped on them.

Another downside of ceramic bathroom tiles is that the durability of ceramic may be a drawback in the long term. Once installed, ceramic tiles are increasingly hard to change. Since people tend to show an inclination to change or upgrade their outside spaces appearances, using ceramic bathroom tiles outside may be an unwise idea. Hiring home renovation contractors will be a costly and time-consuming affair. 

Which is the Way Forward?

patio tiles

The above-mentioned drawbacks do not imply that ceramic bathroom tiles have not been used outside successfully. The streets of Barcelona have breath-taking ceramic tiles. This means that one needs to seek the advice of knowledgeable home remodeling contractors for exemplary work, just like one does for perfect roof replacement.

As seen, while some people feel that bathroom tiles cannot be used outside, others feel that it can be done. All that you need is to understand your outside space tiling needs and the external conditions the spaces are subjected to.

Porcelain tiles are hard, durable, and can withstand extreme conditions. They can, therefore, be used outside the bathroom to create amazing and therapeutic spaces outside. Home remodeling contractors should be consulted to offer the soundest advice for home remodels such as outside tiling.

If you cannot do a tile placement without consulting home renovation professionals, you need the same advice when tiling outside. Going with your gut feeling to determine whether you can use your bathroom tiles outside may backfire in the long-run. In the end, however, there is no doubt that using bathroom tiles outside is possible, but the type to be used matters.