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How To Lay Outdoor Tiles On Dirt


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Did you ever think about setting down tiles on dirt without making them dirty? Your beautiful porcelain or concrete tiles can’t be tarnished. Then how do gardeners do their jobs so immaculately? We’re here to answer the question, “How to lay outdoor tiles on dirt?

Laying tiles outside can be difficult for so many of us. Many of us don’t have the proper tools. Besides, when you’re busy with work, who gets time to maintain lawns? Sometimes it’s okay for your backyard to be a little untidy. 

In such cases, it’s easy to find yourself in a rough patch. If you ask professional landscapers or landscaping construction companies, it’s likely that they won’t be nice about the unkempt front yard. They might even charge you extra for some simple cleaning work!

However, what you don’t realise is a secret most professional landscapers will never tell you: laying down tiles on dirt is actually easier! It’s easier to pick apart the materials and simpler to operate the entire process. 

So this article should be your go-to solution for ensuring you don’t have to rely on anyone else to lay down some tiles. With some standard preparation and easy-to-find tools, even you can make your garden look fancy. And then, after that, you can very easily lay down your outdoor tiles. 

Let’s get started, shall we?

How To Lay Outdoor Tiles On Dirt

The process is pretty simple, even for amateur gardeners. Let’s provide an outline:

  • Smoothing out the bed for your tiles
  • Getting rid of unnecessary obstacles on the surface
  • Placing the tiles securely on the surface
  • Giving some last-minute finishing touches for final polishes
  • Testing out your newly laid down tiles

Let’s take a closer look at each step. 

1) Ensure There’s A Smooth Bed For Your Outdoor Tiles

While laying down tiles, the important thing to remember is to get a flat, smooth bed. This makes the tiles evenly dispersed across your backyard. Tiles stick to and settle down on such beds. 

Depending on the type of dirt, you can easily lay down your tiles. Make sure to get a layer of sand instead of gravel as it’s finer and, therefore, more evenly spread out. Clear the path if it’s riddled with rocks, small stones or pieces of gravel. 

2) Get Your Surface Up To The Speed To Lay The Outdoor Tiles

Without a well-prepared surface, your tiles might break or shatter as they won’t be properly placed. Remember what we said earlier about clearing the path? It’s time to do that at full speed. 

Get small brushes (which could even be your sister’s paintbrush) to sweep away tiny stones or gravel pieces. If you find bigger pieces, use your hands and collect them in a wagon or a bucket! Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.

The layer of sand should be less than an inch thick but not too thin. A half-inch of thickness is perfect. Spray it a little with water and dampen the sand – this helps you shape it and level it with tools such as a bladed screed. The flatter the bed, the better. 

3) Laying The Outdoor Tiles On The Dirt

Now you’re at the crucial stage. You’ve made your area clean and tidy, and you’ve ensured the surface is as smooth as it can be. Now it’s time to place your outdoor tiles on the dirt.

Select an area you’re comfortable with and carefully set down the tile. Use a rubber mallet to hammer down the tile securely into its place, stamping it firmly. However, be careful not to scratch the surface! Damaging it would be irreparable, and you wouldn’t want that. After all, nobody likes a solitary tile with a crack or a dent. 

After you’ve done this with one tile, move on to the next until your whole plant bed or lawn is filled with tiles. Remember to wear gloves! It doesn’t hurt to protect yourself, and who knows who you might hurt. 

4) Providing Last Minute Finishing Touches To Your Outdoor Tiles

Even though your tiles are now firmly in their positions, there may be gaps between each tile. No matter how slim those gaps are, they need to be filled to ensure dirt or soil from beneath doesn’t creep out. This can also help to ensure the surface is secure. 

If you had spread out a thin layer of sand before placing the tiles, we recommend saving up some extra sand. Why? Because you’ll need it now! Take those grains of sand and sprinkle them all over the tiles. Don’t worry about them getting dirty! We’ll fix that right now. 

Then, using your hands, swiftly slide the sand into the gaps between the tiles. Push it down between the bridges to ensure the openings are closed. Be vigilant in this process – it’ll help you in the long run. 

Once done, use the brush again to sweep away the remaining sand. Make sure the brush is clean as well before you work it. 

5) Do A Quick Trial Test of Your Newly Laid Down Surface

It’s time to see whether your tiles remain stable. Take your garden hose or a water bucket to spray or splash some water onto your tiles. (Your kids will enjoy this.)

Once the area is moist, look closely between the edges of the tiles. If you see sand coming apart and tiny gaps forming, a tile or two is still loose. Hence, you’ll need to get some sand again and fill those gaps. Pack it as much as you can without it overflowing. 

When the tiles are dry, you’ll have a lawn you’re incredibly proud of. 


We hope we’ve answered the question, “How to lay outdoor tiles on dirt?” gracefully. If you follow our guide to the dot, you’ll see that you have a smooth, flatbed with tiles that stay in their positions no matter how much you try to move them. We hope this article helps you out whether you’re a pro or an amateur gardener.