Non-slip outdoor flooring: the best tiles for outdoor environments

Designing an outdoor environment that is beautiful, functional, and durable requires careful consideration of both space and context, but there's more to it than that. Choosing the right materials is also crucial. The ceramics market has a range of different alternatives, each with specific characteristics, but all sharing the extraordinary technical qualities of this material. Porcelain stoneware provides the perfect combination of excellent performance and amazing aesthetics. Gaining a better understanding of outdoor stoneware will be beneficial for creating customised outdoor spaces that are in tune with the latest trends but which are also durable and long-lasting.

Outdoor tiles play a crucial role in creating elegant and functional outdoor areas. For terraces, balconies, gardens, or pool sides, the right material choice can greatly impact aesthetics, durability, and safety. The technical features of outdoor stoneware, along with its variety of styles, sizes, and thicknesses, have made it a favoured material for various outdoor settings, from private homes to public spaces. Let's examine the details to make the best choice aesthetically and technically.

Where to use porcelain stoneware for exteriors

Outdoor tiles are specifically engineered for flooring in a diverse range of outdoor settings, including both residential and public areas. These areas are especially prone to stress (from weather, temperature fluctuations, foot traffic, dirt, etc.) and given their exposure to rain and humidity, they must offer enhanced slip resistance for safety. Let us take a look at the most common applications of this material:

  • Terraces: porcelain stoneware is an excellent choice for paving a terrace, for example by laying it on self-levelling supports, a solution that lightens floors and allows water pipes and electrical conduits to be hidden and rainwater to drain away easily.
  • Balconies and porches: thanks to the range of formats available, porcelain tiles are also ideal for porches and balconies of any size. The ease of cleaning and the fact that it requires no maintenance are two other major advantages of this material.
  • Gardens: Porcelain stoneware is highly versatile and easy to install, making it ideal for covering patios and pathways, as well as creating walkways and paths across grass, sand or gravel.
  • Pool sides: outdoor tiles have a high slip resistance and are chlorine-resistant and frost-resistant, making them perfect for pool sides.
  • Outdoor condominium areas: With an appropriate thickness, ‌outdoor stoneware ‌ is also suitable for garages and areas used for car traffic.
  • Urban spaces: thicker tiles are also increasingly being used to pave large urban surfaces such as squares, pedestrian footpaths and annexes of buildings with street level access.

Outdoor tiles: technical considerations

Every porcelain stoneware ceramic surface has specific technical properties that contribute to its success across various applications. For outdoor flooring, the surface's unique grip significantly lowers the risk of slipping in wet conditions or when water is present.

  • Anti-slip: let us start with the key factor when choosing outdoor tiles, the high anti-slip coefficient.
  • Frost resistance: outdoor tiles must be frost-resistant to prevent them from cracking or being damaged in cold temperatures.
  • Wear resistance: outdoor surfaces must be resistant to footfall and abrasion, especially in high traffic areas.
  • Ease of cleaning: outdoor tiles must be easy to clean. Why? Find out more in our article on how to clean porcelain stoneware.

Outdoor tiles: available options

In comparison to the alternatives (natural stone, terracotta, composite wood, klinker, concrete...) porcelain stoneware is increasingly used for many different types of outdoor flooring. However, when considering this material for your outdoor space, there are at least three major product families to consider. Let us examine them in more detail, highlighting their specific features.

Outdoor porcelain stoneware with traditional thickness

Thanks to surface finishes specifically designed for outdoor areas, porcelain stoneware is the most versatile tiling for many settings, provided that it is always installed with adhesive on a properly stabilised screed. A distinguishing feature of this product category is the high slip resistance coefficient due to the noticeable roughness of the surface. It should be noted that the excellent grip provided by the surface in no way compromises the ease with which outdoor porcelain stoneware can be cleaned. In the case of Cotto d'Este, the thickness of this product category stands out, being 14 mm instead of 10, which gives the tile extra strength.

Porcelain stoneware with in/outdoor finish: aesthetic continuity from living room to swimming pool

This is an innovative category of ceramic surfaces that combine the safety of maximum slip-resistance and virtually no roughness, offering seamless continuity between indoor and outdoor floors. This surface is available for several Cotto d'Este collections under the name Safetouch.

Outdoor tiles with 20 mm thickness: safety and easy cleaning

Due centimetri è uno spessore idoneo per qualsiasi tipo di pavimentazioni outdoor, incluse quelle posate a secco (posa su sabbia, erba o ghiaia, e pavimenti galleggianti). Questa tecnologia garantisce estetica e sicurezza, come pure durata nel tempo, facilità di pulizia, resistenza al gelo e inalterabilità delle texture e dei colori, che non risentono dell’azione del sole e della salsedine. Progettato per l’outdoor, può essere facilmente installato a secco su erba, sabbia e ghiaia o su supporti autolivellanti. La posa a colla su massetto consente di ottenere un pavimento antiscivolo che non è solo perfettamente planare, stabile ed eccezionalmente resistente, ma anche in grado di sopportare il passaggio e la sosta degli autoveicoli. Tra le realizzazioni che meglio mettono in luce le specificità di questo prodotto ci sono il Parco del Mare di Rimini e la fermata Dubravnaya della metropolitana di Kazan, capitale della repubblica russa del Tatarstan.

Consulta il nostro catalogo dedicato alle collezioni 20 mm e scegli il look che preferisci: scoprirai un materiale che, per la bellezza, versatilità e resistenza, non ha eguali.

Two centimetres is a suitable thickness for any type of outdoor flooring, including dry laid floors (laying on sand, grass or gravel, and floating floors). This technology guarantees aesthetics and safety, as well as durability, ease of cleaning, frost resistance and the stability of textures and colours, which are unaffected by the effects of sun and salt. Designed for outdoor use, it can be easily installed dry on grass, sand and gravel or on self-levelling substrates. Laying with adhesive on a screed results in a non-slip floor that is not only perfectly level, stable and exceptionally strong, but also able to withstand the transit and parking of vehicles. Among the installations that best highlight the specific characteristics of this product are the Parco del Mare di Rimini and the Dubravnaya metro station di Kazan, capital of the Russian republic of Tatarstan.


Browse our catalogue dedicated to the 20 mm collections and choose your preferred look: you will discover a material unmatched in beauty, versatility, and durability.

Looking for non-slip outdoor flooring?

Almost all Cotto d'Este collections offer not only a specific finish for outdoors, but also the 20 mm version. This is particularly true of the stone effect, the most popular aesthetic look when upgrading an outdoor space. The great natural look of the textures and colours of this ceramic product can be expressed in an infinite number of ways, depending on the inspiration taken as a model. Cotto d'Este's stone effect collections range from limestone to Burgundy stone, from Jerusalem stone to Ceppo di Gré.


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