Summer is in full effect. Warmer weather is bringing smiles to everyone’s face, much-needed vacations are finally being taken and spontaneous late nights are becoming the new normal. Aside from endless ice cream and poolside memories, what else is there not to love about this time of the year?

More importantly, what better place is there to be other than the wonderful outdoors? Nowhere, in my opinion, and many homeowners seem to agree. The trend in indoor-outdoor living has increased, even since last year, when we here at TILE learned that these projects are some of the most requested designs of today, next to kitchen and bathroom renovations.

People love to be outdoors. There is no denying that. Scientific studies have proven that being in nature is a natural stress reliever — pun intended — helping to eliminate fatigue, depression and anxiety; lower blood pressure; reduce inflammation; improve short-term memory; increase the ability to focus; and even decrease the risk of cancer.

With all of these benefits, it’s apparent why outdoor designs are frequenting many residences and commercial spaces nowadays. Designs that incorporate seamless transitions from indoor to outdoor spaces provide a continuous design plan that can adapt to the changing seasons, which is a favorable feature, especially in today’s design world.

In this edition, we explore various types of outdoor tile installations, from those on high-traffic floors and walls to intricately adorned fireplaces and fountains. Flip over to page 12 to begin our outdoor series, which continues through page 38. From a technical aspect, on page 48, Jim Whitfield from MAPEI explains the challenges and opportunities for growth with exterior tile installations.

We also spoke to a couple of professionals from Laticrete and Fila Solutions about the importance of surface preparation, which you can learn more about on pages 40 and 44. And don’t forget to check out our showcase of the newest tile products on the market, which can be viewed on page 24.

While many of us continue to work hard during this time of the year, I want to take a minute to remind you that it is summertime and the living should be easy. Even if you don’t take a vacation or have time off, it’s okay to kick back, relax and enjoy the ride every now and again. Remember that.



Heather Fiore