Filed Under





Julie Muniz

An OUTERclé guide to outdoor materials

How to start your adventure

Filed Under



Julie Muniz

iStock-1402848071 (1).jpg__PID:c59c4cc3-1a04-45fe-ba78-835953e461b1
Stocksy_txp016db30aM1q300_Large_3686319 (1).jpg__PID:e5feba78-8359-43e4-a1b1-0ba4a91f3818
Maroc_1 (1).jpg__PID:4cc31a04-e5fe-4a78-8359-53e461b10ba4
Stocksy_txp016db30aM1q300_Large_904612 (1).jpg__PID:04e5feba-7883-4953-a461-b10ba4a91f38
Stocksy_txp3d62587241q300_Medium_1158066 (2).jpg__PID:6e351a04-866e-4ada-b7ab-9096dbd28a6f

OUTERclé is outdoor design in a whole new way. Where we can forge a connection to other worlds, cultures, times and places… to add another layer of language and narrative to an outdoor space, weaving in history, tradition and character.

A new world calls for a new map. OUTERclé introduces a new world of tile and materials specifically selected for the great outdoors. Many of these materials will be unexpected, not often thought of for the outdoors. And we think that’s a missed opportunity, as most have been used for centuries around the world.

These materials are selected with a keen sense of what will stand up to — and even embrace — the elements: weathering beautifully to create something that works with time and nature, not against it.

Here's how to start on your OUTER adventure.

Screen Shot 2024-06-18 at 7.05.42 PM.png__PID:3d1b81bc-abe0-459c-8cc3-1a04e5feba78

Where to Start: Dreams, Stories, and Scapes

The soul of OUTERclé isn’t a single collection or star material but our “Scapes”: vibes, moods, stories that stoke emotion, fuel dreams.

In digging into the landscapes of our imaginations we realized that it came down to places and spaces defined by the great outdoor traditions in the world… and to particular moments and eras. While our first ten scapes are just that — an initiation into the idea — there will be many more, many inspired by what we see our clients creating.

The curtain goes up on OUTERclé and its world of SCAPES with nods to traditions ranging from the romance of the English countryside with MANOR, the enduring magic of Moroccan design with MAROC, mid-century modern ‘58 to the otherworldly minimalism of NORDIK.

Each scape comes with its own big universe of materials and palettes: begin your journey there. We encourage aesthetic risk taking. The surprise element (or elements). Serendipity. Personality. Fantasy. Personal narrative. This is the place to dream.

But from there on out, it takes a little more practicality, and that will help you narrow your choices.

Once you’ve explored our world through Scapes, you need to start considering what’s appropriate for the particular use you have in mind, and where you’ll use it. This will help you start to narrow down your choices. ▪

Get on the fast track

The fastest way to find tile and surfaces for your project is our handy quiz called the OUTERclé Pathfinder. Answer a few questions, and you’ll have your curated starting point for your journey.

Zero in on Areas

Another way to narrow down your choices is the Areas section, which covers everything from fountains and facades to pools and driveways. Areas help you narrow in on the material properties you need, whether it’s slip resistance around the pool, or ability to survive the blast of heat from your outdoor pizza oven or fire pit. ▪


A Guide to Outdoor Tile Properties

But we encourage you to go deep and understand what to look for… and why. Here's what to keep in mind when selecting the right tile for your specific OUTER usage and climate region. And we can’t say this enough: a well-informed installer has years (or decades) of experience in all the requirements and minutiae of outdoor tile.

Freezing & Thawing

This is one of the most important determinants of which materials you can use outdoors — and the best place to start the decision process. If the installation will be in an area where it could regularly freeze and thaw (and yes, climate change has made this far trickier to ascertain) you should only use tile and materials that are freeze-thaw rated. Even in a covered area, freeze-thaw could be an issue. When in doubt as to whether you need freeze-thaw rated materials, make sure to listen carefully to your landscape contractor and abide with their recommendations.

Texture & Slip Resistance

Are you looking for materials for walls or floors and walkways? If the latter, slip resistance is critical. Look for the DCOF (dynamic coefficient of friction): the higher the rating, the higher the slip resistance (you’ll find details on every product page). In addition to choosing a material with a high DCOF rating, you can also seal tiles with a sealant that offers waterproofing and improves the slip resistance.

Generally, we strongly recommend against glazed and glossy tiles for surfaces you walk on. But if you are set on using a glazed tile, opt for one that is two inches or less in size so you have enough grout to create slip resistance — or have tiles cut down to a smaller size. Then, be sure the grout joints are sealed accordingly. (This is especially important for outdoor shower floors.) Keep in mind that any surface will be slippery when wet: even more so when exposed to soaps, shampoo, lotions, or when traipsing around in the wrong footwear. ▪

UV Resistance

Sunlight will be tough on any surface — but some more than others. We embrace natural wear and tear and we, especially, relish patina. We love the soft, soulful beauty of worn cobblestone streets, along with the faded and sun-bleached terracotta and stone tiles of renaissance-era courtyards in Europe. But this might not be for everyone. If so (and we still hope to convert you), choose UV resistant materials and lighter colors. Save brighter colors for covered areas.

Material matters here too. Cement will experience the most fading (though just take a look at historical cement tiles to see that this isn’t always a bad thing), while ceramic will change the least.

Our filters can come in really handy here. You can select the UV resistant filter on any shop page to help narrow it down.

Stain Resistance

Like death and taxes, staining is inevitable… particularly on outdoor flooring. Whether it’s falling leaves and vegetation, insects and animals, or suntan lotions and BBQ fixings from a gathering by the firepit — surfaces will be marked with these memories. While a certain amount of acceptance is in order, you can lessen the impact of staining by choosing a less porous material like glazed ceramics, or by ensuring any outdoor tile is sealed regularly. That said, many people (including us) choose to embrace the natural patina that all surfaces acquire with time. Ask yourself (or your client) about the tolerance for staining and choose accordingly. ▪


Staying Cool or Heating Up

If people will be walking barefoot on, sitting on, or touching tile that’s in direct sunlight, be sure to find tile that will stay cool. (We’ve all made the mistake of stepping barefoot on the wrong path in the summer!)

Color plays a major role here; lighter colors will stay cooler and darker colors will heat up considerably. Material is also a big consideration; avoid brick and concrete when this is a concern.

Like everything else, this isn’t always a bad thing. You can employ materials that reflect heat to warm up a seating area in a cool climate (hello, San Francisco summers.)

Strength & Durability

Again, weather should be your top consideration (particularly when it comes to flooring) but so should the amount of use and footfall. Each OUTERclé tile has ratings based on the level of use. (Tiles rated as freeze/thaw and UV resistant frequently have the strength and durability needed for outdoor applications with more traffic.)

atman-studios-UPolqOrkbno-unsplash (1).jpg__PID:81bcabe0-c59c-4cc3-9a04-e5feba788359


Pools present their own universe of issues, ranging from full water submersion to the added extremes of salts, chlorine, chemicals and (most importantly) safety. The key question here: will the materials be submerged, or just at the waterline and above it? If you're looking for pool deck material (what goes around the pool area) there is yet another set of considerations, such as slip resistance. Your experienced design team and installers can give the best recommendations for your specific project.

First and foremost, though, start with local regulations, particularly when it comes to pools: the tile installer should have a thorough understanding of what’s required. Commercial, public, and hospitality spaces have a distinctly different set of restrictions than single family residential spaces, for example.

Look to our Swim and Poolside areas to find the right tile and materials. (There may be a limited universe of materials you can use, but it’s hardly a limited set of options: we’re at 1,400 options and counting.)

The point is, take your time to explore — and to think big, boldly and out-of-the-box. Then use the tools — along with guidance from the professionals, should you need to — to find exactly the right materials to make your own “Scape” come to life.

Lapidary | Baguette | Calacatta Viola | Honed

Calacatta Viola



2" x 6" x 0.375" | Baguette | Honed


1970's Glass Works | le Disque | Four Inch | Freddie



1970's Glass Works: le Disque

4" x 4" x 0.13" | le Disque | Unfinished


Lapidary | Blade | Verde Marble | Honed

Verde Marble



3" x 12" x 0.375" | Blade | Honed