The patio is the home’s second living room, where everyone gathers to bask in the open air and enjoy one another’s company. At the heart of a good alfresco living room design is well-chosen patio flooring. From the floors grows the rest of the design, so choosing the right option is crucial. You need to select a flooring option that suits your aesthetic preferences, your budget, and your climate, and BuildDirect is here to help you do it.
The Primary Contenders
These days, exterior design is all about bringing the plush, relaxed feel of the interior to the hardscape, complete with soft textiles and ample toss pillows and indoors-inspired finishes. But contemporary patio designs must be simultaneously performance-driven and comfortable, with furniture and floors that can withstand the elements while still bringing under-foot comfort and Instagram-worthy style. All of the following options are designed to tick all of these boxes and more:
- Wood Decking: Homey and Affordable — A good choice for crafty homeowners, DIY-friendly wood decking can be installed without a professional, which means it can be one of the more affordable options. It’s also considered timeless and versatile design-wise, fitting perfectly into your cozy, rustic, modern, traditional, or coastal patio design. Wood decks are also quite adaptable and can be sanded down and refinished multiple times over their lifetime, so you can consider them an investment.
- Composite Decking: Stylish and Low-Maintenance —The manmade version of wood, composite decking brings a few benefits over natural wood. Though it’s a bit more expensive than wood decking, composite tends to last longer and requires less maintenance. Composite and manmade materials are less likely to crack, splinter, rot, or warp, so they won’t suck up time and money associated with upkeep. Composite decks have a less natural feel but still come in many unique colors and finishes to suit your aesthetic preferences.
- Porcelain or Ceramic Tile: Attractive and Enduring — A staple in tropical and southern exteriors, clay-based tile, including ceramic and porcelain outdoor flooring, offers an attractive, hard-wearing solution with a smooth, cool texture. These flooring options can be extremely affordable and are relatively DIY-friendly, so they can fit into any budget. Porcelain tiles are best for cold-weather climates where cracking is a concern. Both ceramic and porcelain can be made to look like natural stone and include the popular tile terra cotta.
- Natural Stone: Gorgeous and Durable — Choose natural stone outdoor patio flooring if you’re looking for an option that’s natural yet luxurious. Natural stone includes granite, slate, limestone, travertine, and sandstone, all of which bring their own special color, texture, and benefits. Compared to ceramic, natural stone flooring is generally considered more fragile and less stain-resistant, so we would recommend avoiding this material if you have a high-traffic patio where kids and pets play.
- Rubber Flooring: Affordable and Comfortable — It may not be the most luxurious or high-end option on the list, but don’t discount rubber patio flooring. Rubber offers a soft, resilient and shock-absorbent cushion under-foot, making it great for outdoor theaters and living spaces. It’s also relatively low-maintenance and affordable upfront. The primary downfall of rubber patio flooring is that it’s not as hard-wearing and, therefore, long-lasting as a hard-surface option, so you may wind up paying more in the long
More Things to Consider
The above list is meant to act as a snapshot to get you thinking about the basics, but there’s much more to consider when it comes to selecting the right outdoor flooring. For example, if you’re dreaming of a colorful, mosaic-inspired floor, you’re going to want to select tiling rather than wood or composite.
Spend some time thinking about your dream patio design, and you can be sure you’ll get years of enjoyment out of your new alfresco oasis! BuildDirect is always here to help you select the right flooring for the interior or exterior of your home, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us with your flooring inquiries.