8 External Wall Tiles That Can Help You Increase Home Valuation

External wall tiles are a simple, effective way to add uniqueness and personal flair to your home in an exciting way. The variety of styles, colours, and textures available means that you can easily help your external wall or walls match your personality and your home’s decor. 

We’re going to give you the scoop on eight of our favourite external wall tiles, but first, we want to ensure that you know as much as you can about outdoor wall tiling and the process involved in these types of projects. 

With all of the knowledge and tips we’ll provide today, you’ll be able to choose your favourite tile and get started on your project without any headaches or hesitation.

What’s the Difference Between External and Internal Tile?

You can’t run out and buy any tile you see for your outdoor space. Tile makers create certain tiles for indoor use versus outdoor, and the difference is largely in the porousness of the tiles. You’ll want vitrified tiles, which are less porous, in outdoor settings. 

Another difference between internal and external tiles is durability, which is based largely on the materials from which they are made. 

Porcelain is the most common material for external tiling, as you’ll see from our favourites below. That’s because the process to make porcelain causes the materials to harden and dense up to a point where little can break or stain them. Porcelain is one of the most durable tiles available, and its popularity and price are reflections of that durability. 

Other external wall tile materials include slate, limestone, travertine, and other natural stones. There are a couple of external ceramic tile options, but this tile isn’t nearly as durable as the others in outdoor settings, so we don’t recommend it as a good option, especially if your goal is to add value to your home.

Can You Tile Any External Wall?

One question we hear a lot from homeowners interested in tiling an external wall is whether or not they can use tile on their concrete or plaster walls. The answer, overall, is that you can tile almost any wall as long as you prepare it correctly. 

Of course, there are some exceptions to the walls you can tile. For instance, you won’t want to tile over vinyl or laminate sheeting on walls, plywood, or lead-based paints. Aside from those surfaces, the only qualifier is a dry, bare wall clear of debris. 

You can tile directly onto concrete or plaster, or even an already tiled surface. Tiling over tile will add additional thickness that may not appeal to the eye, but it is possible even if your tiles are glossy. Textured walls are also fine places to begin, just as long as they are clean.

How Do You Prepare for External Wall Tiles?

Tiling any surface is quite the job. It requires patience, precision, and the right materials to make a finished product worth seeing.

Let’s start with the materials list. At a bare minimum you’ll need the following tools for an outdoor tiling project: 

  • Thinset or concrete or mortar rated for external use
  • Rubber mallet
  • Tile saw
  • Pencil
  • Outdoor rated grout, grout sealer, float, and sponge
  • Bucket
  • Stiff brush and scraper

Once you have assembled all of your tools, you can start the process. Make sure you know what pattern you’d like to use before you begin if you’re using a single, large scale tile versus tile sheets. Tile sheets will speed up the process because you can work in simple lines. The pattern already exists for you. 

If you’re still a little stumped as to how outdoor cladding works, this video is a great resource to show how to prep and complete the project. It will also give you some tips and tricks as to how best to lay your external wall tiles to ensure the statement you’re making lasts for a long time to come.

How to Prepare an External Wall for Tiling

Preparation is key when you’re beginning an external tiling project. You need to ensure your wall is clean and level before you start to lay your tiles, and that can be a pretty hefty project in and of itself. 

Start by power washing the walls where you’d like to add tile. Power washing is the easiest way to get a lot of debris and dirt off at once. Don’t make the mistake of pointing your power washer too low or into mud or grass, as that can make dirt and debris spray up onto your freshly cleaned walls and add stress to the situation. 

Once you have power washed, you’ll need to allow your walls to dry. Washing in the morning and then allowing the walls time to dry in the sun is a great idea for a small project that you can finish in an afternoon. You may need to watch the weather report and wash one day, then allow the walls to dry overnight and tile the next day if your project is too large to finish quickly.

Choose the Right Adhesive for external wall tiles

There are an enormous amount of adhesive options for tiles. Ensure that you read about what you’re planning to use before you choose. Some tiles will go on best with an outdoor-rated thin-set, whereas others may require a liquid adhesive. 

You’ll want to ensure you’ve chosen your tile first, and then choose the adhesive that works best for that tile and the wall material. That way you aren’t running back to the store to exchange adhesives after laying your first couple of tiles. 

Some of the best types of adhesives for porcelain tiles on concrete walls are as follows: 

  • Modified Thinset Mortar
  • Epoxy Tile Mortar
  • Powdered Adhesives
  • Tile glue

Other things to keep in mind when choosing an adhesive for your project are the colour, application process, and set time. Depending on the colour and thickness of your tiles, you may be able to see some of the adhesives, therefore you’ll want to choose an adhesive that matches or doesn’t alter the colour of your tiles. White or grey are great options for most tiles.  

It is vital to understand your adhesive’s application process, as each one may have different rules to applying tile. Some require specific tools to apply, while others work by simply painting them onto the backs of tiles. Ensure that you are confident in how to apply your adhesive before you begin a project. 

Finally, pay attention to the set time for your adhesive. Not only do you need to know the set time so that you know how soon you can grout, but you’ll also be working against the set time of your adhesive when applying the tiles. You will need to only put as much adhesive up on the wall as you can get covered with tiles before it sets up. 

Getting Started

You’ll want to measure your space before purchasing your tiles and adhesives. Be sure to purchase about 10% more tile than necessary for your project so that you have replacements if cuts don’t go as planned or accidents happen. 

Start on a corner and work your way down and over to ensure the tile pattern remains constant. You may want to lay out tiles on the ground to see how the pattern should look before you start. Finding out a pattern won’t work after a few tile sheets are already up is not fun. 

Once you know your pattern and starting point, go for the gold. Take your time, and you’ll find that you quickly get into a rhythm. We do recommend tiling with a partner if you can so that one person can do cuts as the other continues to put up tiles so that the adhesive doesn’t dry. Remember, you’re working against your adhesive’s set time here, so you can’t move too slowly.

8 External Wall Tiles to Increase Home Valuation

Now that you understand how to install tile outside of your home, let’s take a look at some of our favourite value-adding tiles for your external tiling project. 

  • Tiles Per SQM: 5.76
  • Material: Porcelain

Brick effect tiles are a trendy, fun, and simple way to create a stylish space outside of your home. They look beautiful around the skirt of your home, around a door, covering your patio walls, or in almost any other application. 

Brick effect tiles are cheaper and easier to install and maintain than real brick slips. 

The colouring of these tiles is natural with a white overtone, which creates an elegance that allows you to dress up your outside decor. It’s a great statement piece that will look nice with whatever flooring or decking you decide to use on your patio as well, including traditional brick.

  • Tiles Per SQM: 5.76
  • Material: Porcelain

If you’re looking for a unique and bold statement with your external cladding, then look no further. These waterfall textured tiles are the perfect solution to a boring outdoor wall. The large sheets and slight overlapping of the skinny tiles on each sheet make an eye-catching display on your patio or fencing. 

The subtle, natural colouring of these tiles makes them work with any colour scheme or home colour. You can dress them down to a more rustic appeal, or dress them up to make a formal statement. The texture is meant to create a downward, waterfall effect, but for a unique twist, you can always hang the tiles sideways to add even more interest to your space.

  • Tiles Per SQM: 5.56
  • Material: Porcelain

These dark grey tile sheets mimic slate or real stone perfectly. The tile pieces on each sheet are a variety of sizes, making them look all the more natural in your space. We love the neutral colours offered by the grey stones. 

These tiles are perfect for outdoor spaces where the light shines most of the day. The darker colour can cause small indoor spaces to look slightly smaller, but outdoors these tiles will add elegance to almost any space. The shape of these tiles creates a widening effect that isn’t available with brick or some of the smaller tiles we’ve seen.

  • Tiles Per SQM: 5.76
  • Material: Porcelain

The rustic simplicity of these white, brick-effect tiles is something that any homeowner would love. Painted brick is making a huge comeback in the world of home decor. It’s simple and formal style allows homeowners to add pops of colour elsewhere and start with a blank canvas for decorating. 

Although white does get dirty quicker than most, the fact that these tiles aren’t real brick means that they are easier to clean. They are also more durable than a painted brick wall. They are an excellent addition to a patio space, but these tiles would also look nice as an accent piece on the skirt of your home or around a doorway.

  • Tiles Per SQM: 5.76
  • Material: Porcelain

If you like the look of brick, but want a modern spin on the old design, then the Casa Rich Brick Slip Effect Tiles are your ideal design piece. These tiles have the colouration of natural red brick with a slightly different pattern than the straight up and down that you’d expect from a brick wall. 

These porcelain tiles come in sheets with 18 “bricks” on each. The larger size of each tile sheet makes them easier to work with than many other tiles, and much easier to install than real brick. The natural brick colouring acts as a neutral pallet, which means that these tiles will work in most spaces and with most decor.

  • Tiles Per SQM: 5.76
  • Material: Porcelain

These grey tiles come pre-grouted, which means installation is easier than ever. You will still likely need to add some grout between sheets, but not nearly as much as would be necessary for individual tiles or non-grouted sheets. The beautiful colouring adds a modern look to your outdoor space, and the simple installation is an added benefit. 

These tiles bring rustic and elegance together in harmony for a modern design that matches almost any decor. The brick-like appearance of these tiles makes them timeless, and the slip effect makes them look seamless on your walls.

  • Tiles Per SQM: 5.56
  • Material: Porcelain

The stone effect of these serpentine tiles adds a rustic style to any outdoor space. The tiles aren’t textured stone similar to some others on our list, which can be a bonus if you like a less aggressive look to your spaces. It’s also much simpler to clean if you use these tiles in an outdoor kitchen or another area that may need frequent cleaning. 

These tiles have a matte finish that creates a contrast to the shiny tiles you’ll often see inside homes. From afar, you’d think these tiles were real slate, and close up the formality of the look doesn’t ease much. These are trendy pieces, but we don’t think they’ll go out of style anytime soon.

  • Tiles Per SQM: 22.22
  • Material: Slate

Ledgestone Copper Split Face is the only slate tile that made our list. That isn’t a reflection of our thoughts on the slate as much as it is a reflection of the price point and somewhat limited colours slate offers. These tiles are quite similar to those in the video we provided above, and we like that the look can go nicely with slate patio options as well as brick. 

These tiles come in simple pieces that make laying them easy for a first-time tiler. They are small and eye-catching without being too bold. These tiles would make a great accent on the front of a home, as well as a beautiful covering for all your patio walls.

Final Thoughts

External wall tiling isn’t the easiest project, but it’s well worth the time, energy, and price. Outdoor tiling projects spruce up the look of your home and often increase home valuation even when you tile only a small area. 

Remember to choose your tiles wisely for your space. The look of the tile isn’t the only thing that matters. You’ll also need to choose a durable and less-porous material like porcelain, slate, or other vitrified tiles so that your project won’t stain or crack within a couple of years. 

You’ll want to ensure you use an outdoor-rated adhesive for your tiles as well. Indoor adhesives won’t hold up to the harsh weather conditions that external wall tiles deal with regularly. 

Now you’re ready to go tile shopping. We hope you’ve found one of our favourites that will fit in with your outdoor tiling project perfectly. We know any of our featured tiles would look excellent on your exterior walls.

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