An Outside the Box Material Option

Today, the materials we choose to adorn our projects are almost as important as the design itself, as they can (if you do it right) introduce a sleek elegance and class to your aesthetic.

From longevity and maintenance concerns to the ever-growing popularity of recyclability, the focus on material selection is ever-heightening. Traditional materials such as fiber cement panels and siding, while affordable, are not very environmentally friendly, they absorb water and provides maintenance headaches as the paint fades over time. For your next project, think outside the box on exterior material selections.

Our team is in collaboration with Cesar Ceramics and GV Facades, exploring the use of porcelain tile as exterior cladding for the Brentwood Yard House.

Here are some considerations for exterior tile.

Porcelain tile products are often obtained from natural raw materials and do not contain plastic allowing for easy recycling. Porcelain tile is impact-resistant and is a hygienic, safe material that does not produce any substances that can harm one’s health. Its low porosity prevents staining, is easy to clean, and is virtually maintenance-free. Since porcelain tile is commonly found in interior spaces, a seamless match of inside and outside materials allows for a more cohesive design.


The color of porcelain tiles is often obtained using high-quality earth and pigments, which is a fundamental aspect of many collections. The wide variety of colors and sheen provides a diversity of options to fit almost any design.

Size Considerations:

The size of the tiles and large slabs is a key element in terms of the final look. Many porcelain tiles come in large and small formats. From 2’x2′ to 5’x10′ there are a lot of size options that will change the scale of the project. The thickness of tiles ranges from 6 mm for interior wall cladding, 8-9mm for exterior cladding, all the way up to 30 mm for outdoor pavers. This allows for the same material to be used in different locations creating strong visual connections.

Finish Options by Cesar:

Matt – created during the production process; usually smooth or with slight surface effects.

Textured / Grip – Obtained during the production process, non-smooth surface with rough effect.

Honed – Mechanical manufacturing process allowing the obtaining of smooth surfaces soft to the touch, and, in some cases, even glossy.

Honed Bright – A special mechanical manufacturing process that makes the surface brilliant, glossy, and soft to the touch.

Polished – Obtained via a strong mechanical action that, having removed a certain amount of material, makes the surface glossy, brilliant, and co-planar.


As with most of our exterior cladding recommendations, it’s important to provide a rainscreen & weep system for proper ventilation and drainage behind the exterior finish. This can be achieved with tile by providing a drainage mat under the mortar bed or behind the backer board system in addition to providing a weather barrier to prevent water intrusion. For more information related to rainscreens check out this blog post.

Let us know a material you are considering for your next project. More posts about unique materials to come, stay tuned.

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