The difference between indoor and outdoor tiles is something we’re asked about a lot. We give you the lowdown on why they’re different.

cement porcelain indoor tiles with modern furniture
These porcelain indoor tiles give an easy-to-lay flooring with a modern twist, but aren't thick enough to lay outdoors.

Can I use indoor tiles outside?

You could.

Can I use outdoor tiles indoors? You could.

Is it advisable?


The difference between outdoor and indoor tiles

You can lay anything anywhere, so there’s nothing to stop you from using interior tiles for the patio and outdoor flooring for the kitchen. But there are reasons why you're likely to regret doing it.

Our Jura Beige Honed Limestone indoor Tiles are used in this commercial space for an elegant entrance.
Jura limestone is popular with interior designers and garden designers alike. These indoor tiles have been given a honed finish. Outdoor Jura limestone is likely to be sandblasted and brushed to increase the slip rating


Tiles sold for indoor flooring are generally 10mm thick. This is ample for the purpose, as they are laid on a solid base using tile adhesive.

Outdoor porcelain tiles are manufactured to 20mm thickness, while natural stone can be as thick as 25mm, or more in some cases.

Laying exterior-thickness tiles and flags indoors runs the risk of creating problems with door clearance and skirting boards. In addition, many people lay tiled floors over underfloor heating. Thicker porcelain and stone will take longer to heat up and, though you may find that it also radiates heat for longer when the heating goes off, more energy is required before you can enjoy the toe-warming benefits.

Taking indoor tiles outdoors can also present problems. At 10mm thick, even with a really good foundation they are unlikely to withstand heavy garden machinery or furniture. They’ll also be exposed to rain, frost, ice or snow. As they’ll be less frost-resistant, you are likely to have the disappointment of seeing tiles crack, split and delaminate.


Indoor tiles are surfaced to allow for easy cleaning. Outdoor paving may look smooth but it’s likely to have an “open” texture that gathers dirt and is harder to clean. This is true even of exterior porcelain tiles. If you do want to lay an outdoor tile indoors, you need to consider the texture very carefully and take advice.

Rovere Porcelain Paving used to create an indoor outdoor design.
This Indoor Outdoor design, built by PC Landscapes, creates a continuous living area, but the tiles used will be different specifications indoors and out.

Slip rating

Slip ratings range from R9 (the lowest) to R13 and higher slip-resistance is recommended for kitchens, bathrooms and anywhere that might become wet, such as poolsides or patios in the rain. Our outdoor porcelain tiles, for example, have an R11 rating. You might consider this insufficient for the kitchen or bathroom, while the texture might also impede easy cleaning.

Given a patio’s exposure to the rain, it would be ill-advised to lay anything less than R11 outside.

Here at London Stone we have a wide range of natural stone and porcelain paving for all budgets, which is just what you need if you’re looking for outdoor tiles to complement the tiles inside the house.

If you have any questions, perhaps because you want to create an Indoor Outdoor flow of space from living space to patio, then we're ready to help.