Cheap Options for Patio Tiles Over Concrete

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New patio tiles hide old or outdated concrete floors.
New patio tiles hide old or outdated concrete floors. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Laying tile over concrete is an extensive job. A floor leveling compound or solution applied to the floor fills cracks and creates a smooth surface for the tiles. You must also ensure the levelness of the floor, which is why many opt for a professional installation job. If you decide to do the job yourself, look for cheaper options on patio tiles that saves you big bucks overall.

Tile Matters

According to CalFinder, opt for ceramic tiles over vinyl or porcelain tiles. Ceramic tiles are not only cheaper, but hold up well when used outdoors. The ceramic is more durable than other types of tiles and handles exposure to the elements. Ceramic tiles come in a variety of colors and designs, suitable for any patio. If you want to save even more money, pick larger tiles over smaller designs. The larger tiles are often less expensive and cover more floor space, resulting in bigger savings.

Mix and Match

A simple way of giving your patio an upscale look involves mixing expensive tiles with a cheaper alternative. When you find an expensive tile that matches your style, purchase half as many tiles as you need for the job, or even fewer tiles. Choose a second tile that complements the more expensive ones, such as a tile that matches a background shade in the expensive option. Alternate the tiles on the concrete floor or, if you don't buy as many tiles, use the more expensive ones to create a pattern on the patio floor.

Check and Check Again

Nothing ruins the look of a floor more than an uneven surface. Before you lay a single tile, hold a level against the concrete. Check the level against the floor each time you use a leveling compound, ensuring the floor is completely flat. You may need more compound on the floors if the concrete has any gouges, dents or dips. Also, check the floors after you start laying tile. By double-checking the floor constantly, you reduce the risk of the tile installing unevenly, which requires removal and more expenses.

Buying Tips

When you purchase tile for the concrete project, buy more tile than you estimate needing. If the tile goes out of stock or the manufacturer discontinues the pattern, finding matching tile is expensive. Measure the size of the patio and determine the total amount of tile needed, and add several square feet to your measurement. The clearance rack at your local home-improvement or hardware store might have enough tile for your job and at a deep discount, because the manufacturer stopped the design.

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