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Can You Install Cement Tile Outdoors?

on May 09, 2022

Learn the Proper Outdoor Applications of Cement Tile From the LiLi Team    

We all love a little fun in the sun, right? But, can you bring your favorite LiLi Tile patterns outside? We regularly get asked if you can install cement tile outdoors, and the LiLi Team has your answer. Yes! But, there are a few things to keep in mind about the proper outdoor cement tile applications before you begin. To help, the LiLi Team shares 8 ways to color your outdoor spaces with cement tile and reveals our best practices for installation. Get ready to enjoy your fun in the sun. 


Cement Tiles are Perfect for Indoor and Outdoor Use 

Cement tiles are beautiful, durable, and slip-resistant, making them the perfect choice for indoor and outdoor spaces. So whether you want to tile your kitchen backsplash or outdoor shower, we have you covered. You can even create seamless indoor-outdoor flow by carrying your indoor cement tile pattern onto your outdoor patio. Now that’s indoor-outdoor living at its best!   

 

But Cement Tiles Cannot Be Installed in Pools or Along Waterlines

While cement tiles can be installed outdoors and in wet areas, they cannot be installed in pools, fountains, or along waterlines. Because cement tiles are made of concrete, they are porous. So they will break down over time if submerged in water. However, cement tiles are safe to install on pool decks, showers, and other wet zones with proper drainage and sealing. 

 

If you want the LiLi look in your pool, don’t worry! We designed our LiLi Glaze Tiles to perfectly complement our patterned concrete tiles. Plus, they can even take a dive in the pool! Thanks to their durable glazed finish, these tiles are safe to install inside pools and along waterlines. With a range of tropical-inspired colors, you will have your day in the sun! 

 

8 Ways to Add Cement Tile to Your Outdoor Living Spaces

Are you looking to add color and pattern to your outdoor living spaces? Here are our 8 favorite ways to incorporate cement tiles outside. 

1. Tile Your Patio 

Tiling your patio is a simple but impactful upgrade. We recommend using an 8x8 cement tile pattern just as you would indoors to make your outdoor living space as cozy as your interior. 

2. Deck Out Your Pool Deck 

Draw attention to the pool and make it feel like a Mediterranean retreat by tiling your pool deck. Remember, cement tiles are acceptable to use in wet areas as long as they are sealed and proper drainage is accounted for. LiLi Bonus Idea: coordinate a matching glaze tile inside the pool or along the waterline! 

3. Spice Up Your Outdoor Kitchen 

Take alfresco dining to the next level and spice up your outdoor kitchen with a colorful backsplash. We recommend a 6x7 mini-hexagon tile to add geometric interest and lots of fun style. 

 

 

4. Upgrade Your Outdoor Shower 

Upgrading your outdoor shower with our Tiffany elongated hex tile may make you like it even more than your indoor shower. (That is unless you retile that one, too!)

5. Spruce Up Your Pool Bath or Cabana 

Give your pool bath or cabana a resort-like feel with our Scale Tile Collection. These tiles are perfect for outdoor spaces because they mimic the look of crashing waves (or a mermaid tail). 

 

6. Build a Dog Bath for Your K9 

Don’t forget that your pets love outdoor time, too! Create the ultimate doggie spa for easy cleanups after walks and playtime by designing a dog bath with our Canine Tile Collection. These fun tiles include the faces of some of your favorite breeds, including Shiba Inus, French Bulldogs, and more. 

 

7. Pave the Way With a Walkway 

Lead the way with your own yellow brick road! (Or, should we say yellow tile road?) Adding walkways is the perfect way to direct guests to outdoor entertaining areas and add more visual interest to the garden.  

8. Surprise Her With a She Shed

Whether you want to create a She Shed, Man Cave, or Kid Club House, upgrading an outbuilding with some colorful budget-friendly cement tile is the way to go. Create extra room for playtime, yoga time, or quiet work calls. 


LiLi’s Best Practices for Outdoor Cement Tile Installation 

To get the most out of your cement tiles, follow the LiLi Team’s best practices for outdoor installation. 

Select Suitable Colors 

At LiLi, we have endless combinations of colors and patterns available for our cement tiles. When choosing your colors, consider your style, space, and environment. For outdoor use, we recommend going with soft colors and neutrals to keep the space light, fresh, and inviting. Note that rich colors like deep blue or vibrant red are prone to fading if installed under direct sunlight. Save those colors for your interior rooms or shaded patios. 

 

Create a Solid Foundation 

Concrete tiles are durable, but they need a solid foundation. Just as you would for interior applications, make sure your patio or deck is level and secured. Shifting foundations can lead to cracked or popped tiles, no matter how durable they are. 

Seal and Maintain Your Concrete Tiles

Because concrete tiles are porous, we suggest sealing them after installation and continuing regular maintenance. We recommend STAIN-PROOF Original Sealer by Drytreat to prevent stains and discoloration. This sealer is suitable for indoor and outdoor use, and it stands up to alkaline cleaners and pressure washing. Plus, treated surfaces are easier to clean, dry quicker after heavy rain, and are more resistant to freeze-thaw conditions and salt spalling damage. Finally, don’t forget to maintain your cement tiles and reseal them every year to protect them from sun fading, scratches, and spills.  

Enlist the Help of a Professional

While we love a good DIY project, we recommend enlisting the help of a professional when installing cement tile, especially if you aren’t familiar with the process. Since cement tiles are porous, they require special sealers and grouts to prevent staining and scratching. In addition, every LiLi tile is handmade, which means slight color variations may occur from piece to piece. We recommend doing a dry lay before installation to disperse this variation. Please consider using a professional with prior cement tile installation experience, and always make sure to consult our installation guide before starting your outdoor tile lay. 



Ready to Upgrade Your Outdoor Space? 

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Make sure to follow us on Instagram for more tile trends and design tips. Need some extra help? Give us a call! We love sharing our thoughts on the latest trends and answering any cement tile questions you have.  
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