What are the Best Outdoor Kitchen Tile Ideas

FTC and Amazon Associates Disclaimer: We earn commissions (at no additional cost to you) if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Last updated: July 26, 2023

What are the best outdoor kitchen tile ideas?

To get you started, here are some key takeaways:

  • Plan for weather
  • Pick a suitable material for weather and wind patterns
  • Marble for luxury and porcelain for durability
  • Color coordination matters
  • Quality over cost if you want your outdoor kitchen re-design to last a long time

Our home lies along the Illinois and Indiana border, where weather can be unpredictable but mainly inviting. Family and friends delight n the changing seasons. Building a backyard paradise is the perfect choice for relaxing and entertaining. If you share our enthusiasm for outdoor entertaining, follow these tips for using the best materials to start your project. 

Protecting your outdoor kitchen from wind and rain can be a significant obstacle in many parts of the country. It is worth your time to study and track the wind patterns in your area before deciding on the placement of your countertops and appliances. A gazebo with a privacy wall along one end can shield your food and lightweight utensils from taking flight on a windy day. 

Earth’s winds commonly blow from west to east in the United States. Planning how the wind blows before starting your project can save lots of disappointment in outdoor gatherings for obvious reasons. For example, a kitchen that faces the west or east is prone to catch a large portion of high winds. With winds coming sideways from the east, the force will be less forceful. 

Searching for the best tile for outdoor kitchen areas can present more questions than answers. Learning about the durability of floor tile in hot and cold weather and the necessary maintenance requires lots of research. For example, porcelain tile is a durable material used for outdoor settings. Ceramic tile is not always resistant to water. Glazed ceramic is better protected and often used in bathrooms and outdoors. 

You need to consider the following facts in planning your outdoor space. 

Table of Contents

What are the best outdoor kitchen tile ideas

Here are some ideas for your consideration.

The choices of outdoor kitchen tiles may seem endless but are limited compared to those for an indoor kitchen. Many people are confused between the definition of ceramic and porcelain floor tile. It starts with the raw materials used.

While ceramic tile is made from clay and sand, as is porcelain, talc is added to ceramics to form an aesthetic glaze against heat and cracking. Ceramics is a popular choice for indoor building applications but lacks the benefits of porcelain. Porcelain and some ceramic products use Feldspar as a strength and fluxing agent to stay durable in all climates. 

Porcelain tiles are a great choice for outdoor countertops. Other choices include granite tile and slate tile. The processing method used for porcelain tile differs from ceramic tile, with a unique firing method resulting in a denser material. 

Is marble or porcelain or cement tile better for outdoors

Marble tile is considered a high-end material and more durable than ceramic or porcelain. However, this porous material is a natural stone and must be sealed once a year to keep it protected from scratching and staining. This type of tile is also expensive but can be an excellent choice for an aesthetic backsplash. This way, exposure to extreme heat will be limited while enjoying the popular option of a classy look. 

Pool decks and outdoor kitchens are often created from porcelain tile material because of their durability and beauty. A wide variety of colors is available to match many of the outdoor kitchen designs. However, cement tile has its place as a low maintenance hand-made tile for homes. 

As a wall tile or a floor tile, it lends a durable and decorative touch to any space. 

Care must be taken with the use of outdoor living spaces with concrete. A popular concrete countertop may sound like the perfect solution for an outdoor kitchen countertop, but this is not one of your best options. Freeze-thaw cycles are an enemy of concrete. Cement tile is not for you if you live in a weather zone with temperatures below freezing.

Can kitchen floor tiles be used outside

It may sound like an excellent choice to extend your kitchen floor tiles to your outdoor settings, but most indoor tile is unsuitable for outdoor use. Indoor flooring may consist of strong tiles, but they are usually manufactured of thinner materials. There is no need to use sustainable types of natural stone in controlled temperature settings. 

Not to worry, though. Blending smooth surface indoor tile with outdoor areas of natural stone tiles is simple with a wide range of color options. For example, porcelain look wood tile will not force you to give up your love of natural look wood as you expand your living space to outdoor patios. Non-skid and rough for traction, it flows easily out from the kitchen. 

What is the best stone for an outdoor kitchen

Outdoor kitchen countertops have to be just as durable as the floors. Being able to withstand direct sunlight and water damage from rain will save you tons of money in repair or replacement. The best outdoor countertop material is granite.

Other different materials can withstand a cold climate and high temperatures, but when all of the pros and cons are compared, granite beats them all. Here are some alternatives, but keep in mind they require more maintenance. 


Nonporous and compact, soapstone gives you an elegant stone look for an outdoor dining area or for surrounding an attractive water feature. The only drawback to this beautiful slab is that it is quick to scar. Being buffed and refinished regularly is necessary. It is also known for soaking up the sun and becoming very hot to the touch. 

Marble and quartzite

Marble is a luxurious metamorphic rock that is considered a premium outdoor covering for counters and other surfaces. Regular resealing is necessary to preserve the prestigious look. However, a honed finish will keep this maintenance to a minimum. Marble is perfect if you want the real thing in an elegant stone.

Few people consider quartzite an option for outdoor countertops, but this is one of the most durable options. Not to be confused with quartz, which is a poor choice for outdoor use, quartzite is the best choice when weighing against marble. While quartzite is better than marble, porcelain tile is considered superior. 

New and modern outdoor kitchen on a summer evening, dinner preparation
© Martina Birnbaum

What is the best thickness for outdoor tiles

Tiles come in a variety of thicknesses, depending on the application. The most demanding use is floor traffic where each square foot must meet the demand of heavy weight. Here, the cheapest option is not always a great option. In addition to the thickness of the tile, the grade is also an essential factor.

The best flooring options consider tile thickness for cracking.

A good example is porcelain tile. The traditional thickness falls between ½ and ¾ inches. Thicker tiles are reserved for strength in high-traffic areas. The grade is also higher to guarantee a solid foundation. Porcelain pavers and larger tiles share this same rating to prevent cracks.

Wall tiles do not have to have the same thickness or use the best outdoor tile as floor tile. For instance, mosaic tile applied in small sections throughout a wall of large quarry tiles can present a lovely focal point. The same can hold true by using glass tiles as an edging around a porcelain backsplash. 

A large format where a lounge area, kitchen, and outdoor fireplaces are present can have several types of stone with different thicknesses. A professional tile supplier can show you the best material for making your backyard space one of distinction. 

Outdoor kitchen with a stove an countertop next to garden

What are the best colors for outdoor kitchen tiles

Your exterior area is just as important as your home’s interior coordination. The main drawback is the selection of the right materials and the proper color scheme. Indoor qualities are more smooth and subtle while outdoor surroundings possess more of a natural rough look. A porous surface on a tile countertop would not be lovely if done in pink and blue. The surroundings demand natural colors like neutrals, browns, and greens.

Travertine tile is a classic for lending a natural flavor to your outdoor living. Blending your favorite colors is easy when your backdrop is a neutral stone look. The only problem with travertine tile is the weakness

that sets in after a freeze/thaw cycle. The installation is also intricate with sand set the only suitable form to lay.  Large sizes or varying shapes let you design your own backyard paradise. 

Consider the color of your house for the aesthetic appeal of your patio. Dark colors should compliment dark brick homes while a house painted white will look better with light-colored stones and tiles

Which outdoor tile won’t crack

There is a good reason why selecting the best tiles is worth your time. You may think that an inexpensive stone veneer or a sub-grade product will be good enough for a few years, but quality will always win. You would never consider buying anything other than stainless steel for your grill or pizza oven so why waste your money on cheap building materials that will discolor and crack in less than a year?

There are many suitable choices for building your outdoor kitchen that will last as long as your home and have little chance of cracking. 


Granite is the hardest natural tile that you can buy. Resilient to the elements, you can now find many colors for your design needs. 


Less rigid and more porous than granite, marble is a beautiful choice for a sophisticated look. Tiles are also available in non-skid. 


Unique in color and texture, slate makes a perfect show of visual interest. Although softer than granite and marble, it can resist cracking. 


Porcelain tiles, a popular style, are man-made to resist cracking and discoloration and are nonporous. Beautiful to look at, it often surpasses natural stone as a choice. In addition to withstanding wind and rain, porcelain tile can mimic marble in looks and comes in hundreds of patterns and colors. 

Modern outdoor kitchen and grill with challenger design

Tile Installation and Cost

Installing outdoor tiles or covering walls with stone is not a simple process. There is an art to using tile grout and keeping grout lines even. There is also the danger of toxic fumes escaping from stone dust during the cutting and preparation. While learning the best tile for an outdoor kitchen may now make more sense, finding an experienced installer should be next on your list. 

The cost of tile or stone for an outdoor kitchen is not cheap. The range per square foot can run from $4 to $80. In addition, the labor cost can be $5 to $14 per square foot. The national average cost of a small patio is $2450. You can use this figure to see how much a kitchen, wall, or fireplace could grow in very little time.

Concrete is the cheapest substance for laying a floor. Porcelain is affordable at $2 to $30 per material square foot. Granite and soapstone are more expensive, up to $83 per square foot. Porcelain tile is the most affordable, durable, and practical choice for making your backyard the perfect living space.  Visiting your local home improvement store is a perfect place for ideas on colors, shapes, and sizes that capture your preference in style and look. A backyard kitchen that is correctly designed and built will increase your home’s value and give you years of enjoyment.

Ronin Consulting Inc., operating as EvolutDesign.com Media, makes no representation or warranty, express or implied. Your use of the site is solely at your own risk. This site may contain links to third party content, which we do not warrant, endorse, or assume liability for.