Modern homes are changing. Open-plan, combined living and dining spaces at the rear of the home are increasing in popularity, with the ‘front room’ now almost a thing of the past. Glass sliding and bi-fold doors that open wide onto garden patios are on-trend, as homeowners look to blend the outdoors with the indoors and create the feeling of additional space through a continuous flow.
The greatest tiles for bringing indoors outdoors: porcelain tiles
When it comes to creating flow between your outdoor and indoor space, it’s essential to lay tiles that complement one another – in some cases, identical tiles work best to gain maximum impact. And porcelain tiles are the ideal choice.
Made from dense clay, porcelain is non-porous, which means it resists water – even frost – making it the perfect flooring choice for an outdoor patio. Equally, porcelain tiles look and feel amazing as an indoor floor covering, and most styles are compatible with underfloor heating systems for a fabulous cosy finish.
Managing the threshold
Many contemporary home designs include bi-fold doors fitted at the same level as your patio floor, almost removing the threshold altogether to provide a flush finish between your inside and outside spaces. Of course, this means taking measures to prevent rainwater from entering the home, such as having an adequate drainage system, a slope or steps. Having identical porcelain tiling outside and inside the home looks incredible and provides a genuine seamless transition between the two areas.
And even with a step threshold, you can create the feeling of a flow between your outdoors and indoors simply by using the same tiles. Where this is the case, using an exact match for your porcelain tiles works wonders, offering consistency between both areas to instil a sense of one single, large space.
Since the threshold provides a break between the two, you may choose to lay a thicker tile outside and a thinner one indoors, both with a similar finish. When you’re using two non-matching designs – for example, if your external tiles are glazed to protect against the weather – go for tiles that are consistent in colour to give that feeling of continuation.
Choosing your tiles
So, which porcelain tiles are the most effective in bringing your outdoors indoors? As always, you have plenty of options available to you – it’s about finding a style or design to complement your existing décor and surroundings.
Wood-effect porcelain tiles
If you’re looking for a style that says ‘nature’, then wood is your best bet. Wood-effect porcelain is much easier to maintain than real wood, and yet it looks equally as good – in some cases, even better than the real thing. You’ll find plenty of shades available from light woods through to dark, solid colour or grain.
A bit like wood, limestone has an earthy vibe to it, and its use in floor tiling brings a natural look to your home and garden, particularly the lighter coloured limestone tiles. Tumbled limestone tiling is particularly effective as its textured finish prevents areas from becoming slippery. Bossalino tumbled limestone is a great option for a darker finish, or if you’re looking for a lighter colour, Madras tumbled limestone looks elegant and stylish both indoors and out.
Marble-effect porcelain tiles
If it’s the luxurious look you’re after, then polished or marble-effect porcelain tiles fit the bill. Whites, greys, creams, caramels, blacks – there is a marble effect tile design for all tastes and colour schemes just waiting to lift your living space to a whole new level. For elegance and endurance combined, marble is a clear winner and will serve you well for years to come.