Can You Lay Tiles Directly On Concrete?

Image presents Can You Lay Tiles Directly On Concrete

If you’re planning a home renovation and want to add some tile work, you might be wondering if laying tiles on concrete outdoor is an option.  It’s a common question, and the answer isn’t always straightforward.

Tiling can be a great way to add beauty and functionality to a space. It’s also a durable material that’s perfect for high-traffic areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and entryways. However, if you’re not careful about how you install it, your tile work could be prone to cracking or shifting over time.

When it comes to laying tiles on concrete, there are a few things to consider before you get started. From the condition of your concrete slab to the type of floor tiles you plan to use, there are factors that can impact the success of your project. In this article, we’ll explore whether or not you can lay tiles directly on concrete, and what steps to take to ensure a long-lasting, beautiful finished product.

What are the pros and cons of laying tiles on concrete for outdoor use?


  • One of the biggest advantages of laying tiles directly on concrete is saving you time and money. Because there’s no need to install a subfloor, you won’t have to worry about extra labour costs or materials. 
  • Additionally, if your concrete slab is already in good condition, you won’t need to make any preparations before you begin tiling.
  • Furthermore, tiling directly on concrete can also provide you with a slip-resistant surface that’s perfect for outdoors. This is especially important in areas like pool decks or patios where wet surfaces are more common. And if you choose the right type of tiles, they can be very aesthetically pleasing as well.


  • On the other hand, there are some potential drawbacks to laying tiles directly on concrete. The most important one is that concrete can absorb water, which can cause problems with your tiles over time. This is why it’s important to make sure the concrete slab you’re working on is in good condition and has been sealed properly beforehand.
  • Additionally, if the edges of your tile are not sufficiently supported, they may break or crack when walked on. To avoid this issue, you’ll need to use a levelling compound to make sure all of the tiles are perfectly level and supported along their edges. And if you’re dealing with an uneven surface, you might need to cut some of the tiles to fit properly.
  • Finally, tiling on concrete requires more skill and precision than other materials, so it’s best to hire professional tile installers if you’re not experienced in this kind of work.

Laying tiles directly on concrete can be a great option for outdoor spaces, as long as the concrete slab is in good condition and sealed properly. It can save you time and money compared to installing a subfloor, and it provides a slip-resistant surface that’s perfect for areas like pool decks or patios. However, it does require some extra steps such as using a damp sponge to clean the concrete floor before laying tile and applying a levelling compound along the edges of the tile. It’s also important to hire professional tile installers if you’re not experienced in this kind of work. If you take all the necessary steps and allow your tiles to dry for at least 24 hours, you’ll be sure to have a beautiful, long-lasting tile installation that will last for years to come.

What types of tiles can be installed directly on concrete?

There are several types of outdoor tiles that can be installed directly on concrete surfaces. Here are some common options:

  1. Porcelain Tiles: Porcelain tiles are highly durable and resistant to moisture, making them an excellent choice for outdoor applications. They come in a wide range of designs, colours, and textures, including options that mimic natural stone or wood. Porcelain tiles can be installed directly on concrete using thin-set mortar or adhesive.
  2. Natural Stone Tiles: Natural stones like granite, slate, or travertine tiles can enhance the aesthetic appeal of outdoor spaces. These tiles are durable and offer a unique, natural look. It’s essential to choose outdoor-rated natural stone tiles and ensure the concrete surface is properly prepared and levelled before installation.
  3. Concrete Pavers: Concrete pavers are specially designed for outdoor use and are a popular choice for patios, walkways, and driveways. They come in various shapes, sizes, and finishes, allowing for creative design possibilities. Concrete pavers are typically dry-laid on a compacted base. But, they can also be installed directly on concrete using mortar or adhesive.
  4. Rubber Tiles: Rubber tiles provide a slip-resistant and comfortable outdoor flooring option. They are often used around pool areas, playgrounds, or outdoor sports surfaces. Rubber tiles can be installed directly on a clean and levelled concrete surface using adhesive.
  5. Interlocking Deck Tiles: Interlocking deck tiles are a convenient option for transforming a concrete patio or balcony. These tiles are typically made of composite materials or wood and can be snapped together to create a floating surface. They can be installed directly on concrete without the need for adhesive or mortar.
  6. Outdoor Carpet Tiles: If you prefer a softer outdoor flooring option, outdoor carpet tiles can be installed directly on concrete. These tiles are designed to resist fading, moisture, and mould. They can be glued down or attached with adhesive dots.

When installing outdoor tiles on concrete, it’s crucial to ensure proper drainage to prevent water accumulation. Additionally, consider factors such as climate conditions, maintenance requirements, and the specific use of the outdoor space when choosing the type of tile. Following the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations for installation will help ensure a successful and long-lasting outdoor tile installation.


To summarize, when considering home improvement projects like renovating outdoor spaces or bathrooms, laying ceramic tiles directly on concrete can be a viable option. Nevertheless, it is crucial to inspect the concrete slab to ensure it is in good condition and correctly sealed before tiling. It is also necessary to use the correct type of tiles, tools like a notched trowel, and techniques to guarantee that the installation looks impressive and lasts for an extended period. Don’t overlook details like grout lines, as they can impact the overall appearance of the finished project significantly. With some extra effort invested initially, you can enjoy stunning tile surfaces for many years to come.

We understand how tricky it can be to lay tiles directly on concrete. That’s why Hills Tiles Kitchen & Bathrooms specialise in providing professional tiling services for all your home improvement needs. We have a team of experienced and skilled tilers that will help you achieve the perfect result every time. Contact us today to find out more about our services and get your project underway!