A patio can provide a peaceful, tranquil oasis that lets you escape the cares of the day, relax and unwind as well as the perfect location for outdoor entertaining. A patio is often easier and less expensive to commission and build than a deck and the number of different looks you can create tends to be more extensive as well. And yet, when done right it can still add a great deal of perceived value to your home when and if you decide to move on and sell up.
The one thing that every good patio needs more than anything else is a great “floor” to build on and set the tone for the rest of the space. There are lots of different options that you can choose from and each of them has their own unique set of pros and cons.
When you are choosing the best materials for your patio flooring there are some very important considerations to keep in mind when you are weighing up your options:
The Size: The size of the patio you want to create has a lot to do with flooring material choice. Natural slate is a durable, beautiful patio flooring choice that appeals to many people because of its rugged good looks. It is however also one of the most expensive choices you can make, so creating a forty foot patio with slate patio flooring might cost as much as flooring the inside of your entire house!
Durability: Just because you will not be using it much in the winter months your patio will still be there. Certain forms of patio flooring stand up to bad weather far better than others so that is something to bear in mind if you live in a place prone to harsh winter weather.
Feel: Some patio flooring materials look amazing but are extremely uncomfortable to walk on barefoot or in lighter shoes, so if that tends to be your style in the summer, or you have pets that will be walking on the patio, then a choice like pea gravel or wood chips would probably be the wrong one, in terms of comfort anyway.
Appearance: Do you want something that looks very natural and blends in with its surroundings, natural rock for example, or would you prefer a patio flooring option that has a distinct character of its own like ceramic or terrazzo tiling?
Ease of Construction: If you are looking for a patio flooring material you can install yourself a complicated option like poured concrete may be a little beyond your skill set. Keep in mind the potential costs of installation when you are weighting up tour options as well as they may impact your proposed budget quite significantly.
Popular Patio Flooring Types
As we mentioned there are a lot of options when it comes to outdoor patio flooring. If you intend to use your patio as an entertainment are on a regular basis a nice smooth and even surface is often the best – and safest – choice.
Red brick and ceramic or porcelain tile are all excellent contemporary choices for a patio entertainment area and they all have the added advantage that they can also be some of the less expensive and more easily obtained options.
If you want your patio to have a slightly old world feel another great choice a fired clay tile like a saltillo tile that can replicate the look of an exotic Mediterranean location.
If you mainly intend to use your patio for quieter pursuits then an option like pea gravel is relatively inexpensive, very attractive to look at and very easy to lay, making it a great choice for the avid DIY fan who wants to build their own patio. and if you really want a unique look you could consider poured concrete. a concrete patio can be created in almost any shape, size or color you can dream up and it stands up to bad weather very well too, making it a good choice for harsher climes!