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What to consider when choosing tiles for your terrace

Moderne terrasse helt ved sjøen  med skiferflis fra Otta Pillarguri
Are you renovating your terrace and giving it a complete make-over? Something that's up to date and reflects your taste? So you can really enjoy your terrace for another ten years and more without any maintenance, and which makes a statement about who you are and what you think is important?

When re-designing your terrace or patio area, you should choose with both your heart and your brain. Unobtrusive natural materials are an investment that will survive changing trends and fashions.

A patio with gray slate tiles and brown-stained wood paneling on the wall. The terrace is furnished with a black table and two chairs
Outdoor tiles of Oppdal quartzite with a natural surface.

1 – Think about slip resistance!

Falls are the most common cause of accidents in the home and wet, slippery surfaces are often the biggest sinner. So it’s important to choose tiles with a high degree of slip resistance for outdoor use.

Most tile material has undergone slip resistance testing, and you should check out the results!

Outdoor slate tiles have a naturally rustic appearance with a discreet textured surface that makes them completely non-slip. They get the highest possible score on the R13 slip resistance test scale. Our product data sheets contains test results for slip resistance and other parameters.

A close-up of a pool in a garden. Slate tiles from Offerdal are surrounding  the pool.
Offerdal quartzite slate in a natural surface.
En stor terrasse med svømmebasseng og sittegruppe. Terrassen er belagt med skiferfliser av Offerdalskifer.
Wet = slippery! If your terrace is without a roof or with a pool, choose non-slip! These slate tiles from Offerdal are R13, ie at the maximum on the test scale.

2 – Think about not being trendy!

Exciting colours and patterns may be trendy and great fun, but they can often prove to be a short-lived joy. Trends come and go and our taste often changes with the times.

This makes it a good idea to choose more unobtrusive, classical terrace tiles that can withstand the test of time, not just in terms of quality, but also appearance. Then you can add other elements of colour, patterns, textiles and style. So your terrace can be a refreshing, summery, romantic oasis one year and an exotic meditation area the next.

Slate terrace tiles are a classical, neutral material that don’t shout for attention and serve as a reliable backcloth for your other design ideas. Often this may be no more than adding elements such as coloured cushions and textiles to update your style from year to year.

A terrace with Oppdal slate tiles. It is furnished with bright garden furniture.
Light Oppdal quartzite outdoor tiles.
A terrace with outdoor fireplace and bench with pillows. Narrow slate tiles are glued to the cast slab.
Light Oppdal quartzite outdoor tiles.
A patio under a tree with a sofa group on a cover of Offerdal slate.
Offerdal quartzite outdoor tiles.
A detailed picture of slate outdoor tiles laid on a terrace and as a stepping stones directly on gravel.
Offerdal quartzite outdoor tiles.

3 – Think integrated!

Many people want the style of their home’s interior to be replicated outdoors. One way of doing this is to choose neutral terrace tiles with accessories that match the interior style.

Another interesting and elegant way of integrating styles is simply to use the same materials outdoors and indoors. If you choose a similar type of furniture and other elements for your outdoor space, this will have the attractive effect of seamlessly integrating you living area with you terrace or garden.

We can supply slate tiles with both brushed and honed surfaces. This means you can choose the same type of slate for indoor and outdoor use, with a more non-slip surface outdoors and a smoother, more easy-care/cleaning-friendly surface indoors.

You can do the same with slate bricks. An indoor wall or chimney can continue outside as a retaining wall or screen in the garden or on the terrace.

A modern cottage by the sea. Slate tiles of light Oppdal quartzite is laid both on the terrace and inside the dining room. Large glass doors open up the entire wall.
Cabin in Ryfylket, Norway designed by architect Tommie Wilhelmsen. Tiles of Light Oppdal quartziteis used both outside and inside for a seamless transition.

4 – Think about maintenance!

Your terrace and garden should be a place for relaxation and recreation. We would rather spend our time relaxing than on maintenance tasks. Slate terrace or outdoor tiles require very little maintenance. A quick rinse with the garden hose is usually enough to get you ready for spring, year after year.

An outdoor terrace with slate of Otta Pillarguri -  bricks for the pergola and outdoor tiles on the terrace floor.
Otta Pillarguri slate is used both as a terrace deck and as walls for the pergola.
A terrace with walls of brown rusty slate from Otta Pillarguri and with black slate tiles on the ground. On the patio there are sun loungers and a dining area.
Otta Pillarguri slate with its unique property of turning golden over time gives a warm expression in beautiful earth tones.

5 – Think about the climate; in more than one way!

Rain, snow, hail, wind and sunshine The surface of your terrace must be non-slip and frost resistant.

Avoid porous materials that absorb water as these will suffer during winter. The freeze/thaw cycle can be tough up here in the north and this will gradually weaken materials that easily absorb water, causing them to crack.

Norwegian slate has a robust beauty and elegance, while also being extremely hard wearing, with low porousness.

A close-up of outdoor tiles in Oppdal slate on a terrace.
How short is “short transportation”? These outdoor tiles in light Oppdal quartzite had barely 20 minutes travel time from the slate quarry before they ended up on this beautiful terrace.

Soft shapes or straight lines?

Most people are familiar with a flagstone with its organic forms. But did you know that slate also comes as precisely cut tiles for both indoor and outdoor use?

Our ourdoor tiles are a 100 % natural product of pure, solid slate, created 750 million years ago. The stone blocks are quarried in the mountains and our quarrymen split the blocks into their natural layers by hand. The blocks are then cut into rectangular slabs and tiles.

The result is a robust local natural material with a record-low carbon footprint. Slate has a robust and minimalistic appearance, but gives the same good, warm feeling as walking in the mountains.

A patio with Oppdal slate crazy pavings and white wooden furniture.
Crazy pavings in Light Oppdal quartzite with gorgeous organic shapes.
A terrace covered with narrow slate tiles in Light Oppdal quartzite slate next to an area with decorative river stones.
Same type of slate, but in a narrow tile format.

Laying outdoor slate tiles

Slate tiles can be laid in a number of ways. The slate tiles can be glued to a pre-cast underlay (like ceramic tiles), laid directly on sand, gravel or grass, or laid on corner blocks.

With the last option you can very quickly lay a paved outdoor area that requires almost no maintenance, completely without using cement, glue or grouting. Installation is so simple that you can easily do it yourself and avoid the risk of cracks in the grouting or frost damage once the tiles are laid. The bricks can be laid directly on balconies, pre-cast verandas and solid wooden terraces. It’s also easy to build steps up to the house or down to the lawn.

Recommended thickness of the tiles vs installing method

  • Less than 2 cm thick: gluing
  • 2 cm thick: system flooring
  • More than 2 cm thick: loose materials (sand, fine gravel, etc.)
A terrace covered with slate tiles. It is furnished with a sofa set. There is coffee on the table.
Light Oppdal quartzite with a natural surface.

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