When people gaze out to your backyard, the first thing they'll be looking at is your garden. But then, as they step out of your house and into your patio, they'll be wobbling and stumbling on your worn-out tiles. The next thing they'll say is, "Don't you want to change your floors?"
You want to revamp your outdoor flooring, but where do you start? There are just tons of flooring options, and you don't have the eye for renovating. This article will spark the landscape artist within you as we teach you the types of flooring and factors to consider when redoing your outdoor patio flooring.
Some Outdoor Flooring Options
Traditional Wood Decking
We will first address the outdoor flooring for patios that's probably already on your mind—hardwood flooring. It's timeless as it's been a top pick for years, and this type of flooring is here to stay.
There are different types of hardwood floors, but some popular options are:
- Western Red Cedar
For posh patio flooring outdoors, hardwood is your best choice. But, before you jump to the nearest floor supplier, know that hardwood has a lifespan of up to 15 years with proper care. You might take this as a disadvantage, but it can be a good opportunity to redo your outdoor flooring for the patio.
Composite Wood Decking
Composite decking is the best of vinyl flooring with the looks of traditional wood decking combined. This type of flooring is manufactured from thermoplastic resins, wood fibre, and wood flour.
Compared to hardwood, composite decking is nonporous, so you don't have to worry too much about rots or insects. On the other hand, wood stains and paints aren't effective on these decks, so choose the style and colour wisely.
Maintenance and installation of composite decking are far more affordable than the yearly upkeep you need for natural wood. Plus, its lifespan is twice that of hardwood. However, installing this type of deck can still cost you a small fortune as you pay upfront.
Porcelain Ceramic Tile
Porcelain screams high-class. This ceramic tile flooring has everything you want for your patio floor: it's easy to clean, water-resistant, and gorgeous.
Choosing a supplier for these tiles is important. There are tons of manufacturers of porcelain tiles, but here are the top 3 porcelain suppliers in the world:
- Da-Tile Corporation
- Wonder Porcelain Group
- American Marazzi
Porcelain tiles are also known for their inherent versatility, which has several benefits for your patio renovation. In contrast, it has drawbacks as well. The upscale look is nice but keep in mind that installation and maintenance of any ceramic tile are tedious.
This type of flooring is the most common among homeowners since it's the most inexpensive and durable on the list. Concrete is so durable that it can last for more than a lifetime. You can also go for concrete pavers, which are more expensive than concrete.
If you have kids or family gatherings at the patio is your thing, we don't recommend this flooring for your outdoor space. Concrete can't be completely smooth, so any child who trips and falls might get hurt a lot more than they would with other types of flooring.
This stylish material brings you to England, where streets and flats are made out of bricks. It gives you that homey and cosy look. Imagine your patio made of brick, complete with an outdoor fireplace made out of bricks as well. Isn't the vision lovely?
If you plan to have brick on your patio, we suggest you think long and hard because it's quite hard to remove once installed. Nevertheless, it's a classic flooring that ages well.
Factors to Consider for Your Perfect Outdoor Flooring Option
Outdoor flooring options are not one size fits all. You'll need to factor in a few key considerations before selecting the perfect product for your needs.
Of course, you'll be spending a lot on your patio. So you might as well think carefully on how much you're going to spend. For instance, outdoor flooring can range from relatively inexpensive options like concrete or wood to more expensive choices like brick or stone.
The amount of traffic your outdoor space will see will also play a role in your decision. For example, if your family spends a lot of time out on your patio, you'll want to choose a durable option like pavers or concrete. On the other hand, artificial turf might be better if you're looking for something more low-maintenance.
On top of foot traffic, you should consider the activities you'd be doing in your outdoor space. Are you going to be grilling steaks? Will you be running around with your kids? Or do you like lying down outdoors? Then, you might want to choose something smooth and cushiony.
You'll need to choose an outdoor flooring that will withstand the weather conditions in your country. For example, if you live in an area with severe winters, a material like ceramic tile or stone might not be the best choice since they can crack from the cold.
Colour is mainly a matter of personal preference. However, consider that darker colours will absorb more heat than lighter colours. If you live in a hot climate and choose black flooring, you might not want to stay in your backyard on a lazy Saturday after all.
Outdoor flooring is available in a variety of patterns. From geometric shapes to wood grain, there is sure to be a style that suits your taste. Again, think about how the pattern will work with your overall design. A busy pattern might not be the best choice for a small space, while a simple pattern might be too dull.
By keeping these factors in mind, you should be able to find the perfect outdoor flooring option for your needs.
How to Clean and Maintain Your New Outdoor Flooring
If you're not used to caring for outdoor flooring, it can be a bit of a mystery. So here are a few tips on how to keep your new outdoor flooring looking great:
Give Some Shade
Direct sun exposure can cause your stones' colour and finish to wear down over time; your outdoor stone floors can take a beating from the sun's relentless rays.
Your solution is shade. The shade you provide doesn't have to be fancy, but consider getting a larger, more permanent structure if you want to go all out. You can take it a step further by installing pull-down shades to prevent the sun's rays from entering at an angle. But you might want to revisit your budget first before spending on a pergola or gazebo.
Outdoor stone floors can quickly become covered in dirt, dust, and other debris that's difficult to remove without the proper tools and know-how. It is a pain to have to clean your outdoor floors each week, but if you don't do it properly, you could be doing more harm than good. Follow a simple cleaning schedule, and your outdoor flooring will stay looking brand new for years to come.
It's hard to keep your floors looking new when you have many outdoor activities going on.
First of all, try to pick up any objects that might cause stains as soon as possible. These include gardening tools, tools from your workbench, children's toys, and bicycles. These objects have metal components that can rust and leave orangish-brown splotches on your beautiful floors.
Another piece of advice we can offer to prevent stains is to enclose your stone floor area with a fence. This way, you can prevent wild critters from wandering onto your floors and leaving muddy footprints and droppings behind.
Clean Up Right Away
Waiting to clean your floors until your weekly washing day is a rookie mistake. The dirt and wax will have had plenty of time to set in and will be that much harder to remove.
Cleaning your floors as soon as an accident happens is the best way to ensure the stain doesn't set in. Use a hose or grab a wet mop and some soap detergent. Avoid using white vinegar—it's too acidic and can ruin your floors' shiny finish.
Prepare for the Snowy Days
You love the look of natural stone or outdoor brick flooring but hate how slippery it becomes in the winter. It's hard to keep your footing on those icy days, and you don't want to risk a fall and injure yourself.
Use a plastic shovel or a snowblower to get the job done quickly and safely. If you have a serious ice problem, try using a de-icing agent that doesn't contain salt.
Hire Professional Cleaners
Save yourself the hassle and call in the professionals. A team of experienced floor cleaners will have your outdoor stone floors looking as good as new in no time. They will use industry-grade cleaners and sealers to give better protection against dirt, dust, and grime build-up.
The type of flooring you want should be best for you and the people you live with. Deciding on your outdoor flooring will heavily depend on these factors:
- Budget: This factor includes the material, cost of installation, and maintenance.
- Lifestyle Needs: This has something to do with your preferences and style. What activities will you do on your patio? How often will you stay there? Do you have children or pets?
Remember that renovating your patio costs time and money, so take your time and review every flooring option. While you're at it, explore more of our flooring ideas and reviews at Floor Hero.