Visit our premium ceramic tile collection showroom in China. Schedule a tour +86 13380250614


Exterior Wall Tiles vs Interior Wall Tiles

Your home is made with lots of love and is the perfect place to relax and enjoy with your loved ones. Floor and wall tiles are essential aspects of your home’s contemporary interior and exterior design.

They enhance your home’s beauty, offer its durability, and ease the process of maintaining your space. So, when planning a wall tiling project for your house, it is important to pick the right tiles for your interior and exterior spaces.

One important thing to consider is whether the wall tiles will be indoors or outdoors. This is because the wall tiles serve different purposes and come with distinct features tailored to their surroundings. Understanding the differences will help you narrow your choices and select wisely.

If you also want to know more about a detailed insight on choosing the right tile for your project, you can click here to read it.

Also, it will aid in creating the ambiance and warmth in your interior spaces and define the look of your home from the outside.You can consider the differences between exterior and interior wall tiles in the following aspects:

  • Texture and appearance
  • Strength and durability
  • Number of expansion joints
  • Installation process
  • Quality of grouting work
  • Thickness
  • Materials

Differentiating exterior and interior wall tiles forms part of the responsibility of making your home your dream space. The rest of the article extensively contrasts exterior and interior wall tiles.

Texture and Appearance

Outdoor wall tiles are regularly exposed to weather elements.Therefore, planning for different weather elements, such as rain, sunshine, and snow, is important.Exterior wall tiles have a rough texture as shown below, making them suitable for all weather applications.


While choosing the best tiles for your exterior walls, it is important to take stock of the colors and themes for your home.Choosing wall tiles of texture and appearance consistent with your home’s overall personality is important.

The outdoor wall tile of the right texture and appearance provides stability to your home’s external appearance and forms part of its anti-pollution features.On the other hand, as much as sleek tiles may be excellent for your interior spaces, you will most likely want to use wall tiles with more texture in some of the spaces.

Strength and Durability

Exterior wall tiles are stronger and more resilient than interior wall tiles.This is because they have to deal with different weather conditions, from the sun’s heat to the saturation of the rain.As such, the tiles are hard and ideal for harsh weather conditions.

Therefore, when cladding the exterior walls of your house, it is best to choose wall tiles while keeping the weather in mind.For example, if you live in a place that experiences a lot of snow, it is best to use heat-insulating exterior wall tiles.

Alternatively, if your house is in a place that experiences acid rain frequently, it is best to choose outdoor wall tiles that are resistant to abrasion.Moreover, the strength and durability depend on the specific purpose you want the exterior wall tiles to fulfill.

For example, you can use more durable but smooth wall ties for your exterior space if you have a family with young children.On the other hand, interior wall tiles are less durable because they do not have to contend with different harsh weather conditions.

Also, they are thinner than outdoor ones and are more likely to break.The material you choose for interior and exterior wall tiles is also important.For example, if you reside in a place with temperate weather, you can use exterior wall tiles made of limestone or natural stone.

Also, when deciding the color of tiles on the exterior walls, always keep the weather in mind.For example, darker wall tiles are ideal if you reside in a place with a lot of sunlight.

Number of Expansion Joints

Indoor wall tiles require fewer expansion joints than outdoor ones.This is because the distance between joints in exterior wall tiles is lower than the spacing in interior wall tiles.Including the joints throughout the layout of large tiled areas is important.

For the exterior wall tiles, the expansion joints help accommodate the fluctuations in position and size of tiles due to changes in humidity and temperature.Exterior and interior wall tiles require different expansion joints.

Properly installed expansion joints prevent your tiles from cracking, coming loose, or getting damaged.Using the joints at any spot where the floor tiles meet the wall tiles is best.

For example, you can have an expansion joint at the intersection of your floor and wall to keep all the tiles in your space in beautiful shape.

Installation Process

Interior wall tiles are straightforward to install.

They require standard adhesives and grouts for proper installation in the indoor spaces such as kitchens, and bathrooms.Proper installation of the indoor wall tiles improves the overall ambiance of your space and adds to your interior design scheme.

On the other hand, installing exterior wall tiles is complicated and requires careful planning, expertise, and execution.It is important to undertake proper waterproofing and preparation to ensure excellent performance and durability.Also, the process is complicated because it requires specific adhesives and grouts that can withstand the outdoor weather elements.

Quality of Grouting Work

There are various grout formulas for interior and exterior wall tiles.Although different grout varieties may work for an indoor tiling project, you may need a specific variety when tiling exterior walls.

The different types of wall tiles have different grout ratings.It is best for grout on your tiles to stay dry, implying that you can only do outdoor tiling projects when there is no rain.

The different types of grouts on your wall tiles need to be sealed.For exterior walls, it is important to choose a sealant that is suitable for outdoor use.Such a sealant can do a good job of preventing rainwater from penetrating the tile design on your walls.

The difference in grout rating distinguishes exterior wall tiles from interior ones.Therefore, when choosing wall tiles for your exterior space, it’s advisable to choose one with an appropriate grout.

The exterior wall tiles need to have grout that is highly resistant to water and capable of not being affected by mildew and mold.

Using exterior wall tiles of poor grout quality can allow water to penetrate through, leading to discoloration and crumbling.In this regard, it is best to ensure the grout you use has an adequate rating for use in your outdoor spaces.

While focusing on the right grout for exterior or interior wall tiles, you should aim for a uniform and clean look by selecting wall tiles of the same size throughout.Uneven sizes can adversely affect the overall aesthetic of your interior and exterior walls.

There are common tile grouts that are ideal for your exterior walls, including:

  • Cement-based grouts
  • Epoxy grout
  • Polymer
  • Acrylic


Tile thickness has evolved over the years, and there are different sizes that you can use to clad your interior and exterior walls.Exterior wall tiles are thicker than interior ones.This is because they are exposed to the harsh external environment, and the thickness makes it unlikely for them to break.

As much as you need thick tiles for your exterior walls, the material you choose is also significant.For example, you can use tiles made of porcelain for your exterior walls because it is non-porous and not easily damaged by rainwater.

Moreover, the thickness of the exterior wall tiles contributes to the durability.Knowing the appropriate tile thickness for your space when constructing your home or planning a renovation is ideal.

This is important, especially in designing and projecting the overall width of the wall.Given that it may be difficult to know the thickness of wall tiles that will work best in your space, you can get a full-size sample for an idea and overall feeling of your room.


Although exterior and interior wall tiles are made of the same materials, some are unique to interior or exterior wall tiles.

For example, both indoor and outdoor wall tiles can be made of ceramic because of its versatility and affordability.The image below shows ceramic interior wall tiles.


interior wall tiles

Also, ceramic wall tiles come in different styles, making them ideal for a diverse range of designs that you can choose from.Most outdoor wall tiles are made of porcelain and natural stones because of their high density and durability.

Natural stones such as marble, granite, and travertine give your exterior spaces a timeless appeal and enhance the beauty of your house from outside.

Moreover, some interior wall tiles are made of glass as accents. Glass tiles give your interior space a touch of modernity by creating a vibrant and reflective surface.


Choosing a wall tile requires careful consideration of the requirements of the respective spaces.The engineering of exterior walls is for durability and resistance to harsh weather elements.

Therefore, the wall tiles for your exterior space need to withstand the outdoor elements.On the contrary, interior wall tiles focus mostly on the beauty of your interior space. In this regard, they are designed to improve the appeal of your rooms.

Irrespective of the construction project you are undertaking, choosing the appropriate wall tile for your space contributes to achieving your objectives and feel of your space.

If there is anything else you don’t understand, you can contact us at George Ceramics and we will have professional staff answer your questions.

Click here to learn: Glazed or Unglazed: How to Figure it Out in Porcelain Tiles?

Share to: