If you’re looking for ideas and tips on how to make the most of your patio, you’ve most certainly considered many different options by now. You may have extensive experience when it comes to choosing the right material for your patio flooring and know exactly what you want, but it might be a good idea to consider all available options.
Most of us know what we would like it to look like but are often unaware of possible problems or the price. The latter is also a very important component that heavily influences our final decision. Finally, there are probably things you can do on your own and save some money that can be invested in either better materials or some other segment. So, let’s take a look at what flooring options there are and what each of them entails.
Wood has been a popular choice for a long time now since it fits into almost every environment and is widely available. Other benefits include the feeling of warmth and a more natural look of the patio. On the other hand, you need to be ready to invest more time and effort in the upkeep. Even the type of wood you choose can have a great effect on the type of maintenance required, which is why you should definitely consult an expert before making the decision.
Wood decks are normally best installed by seasoned professionals, although someone with good DIY experience and the right tools should be able to make a small wood deck. So, unless you’re one of them, you’d better ask for professional help.
As a relatively new material, deck tiles have become quite popular, primarily due to the fact that they are practical and allow various options in terms of design. They are also relatively inexpensive and don’t require any particular skills for installation.
However, they do require certain maintenance that some other materials don’t. Namely, you should stain and seal them, so that the tiles are protected from the elements.
Brick and Stone
Many people like the idea of having a brick patio, which has this charming look in almost any setting. Being natural materials, bricks and stones are great if you’re going for a natural look or simply one that reminds us of times gone by.
They are more expensive to install than deck tiles and require professional help if you want the job done quickly or if the area you need to cover is very big. Otherwise, you might see it as a perfect DIY challenge and take your time to complete it.
If you’re brave enough to do it yourself, you should know that you first need to prepare the ground by digging and leveling it. After that, a concrete layer will be laid over crushed stone or gravel to provide the base for laying the bricks with mortar. You can also choose the dry-laid method over dealing with mortar. In that case, you’re going to need a wooden frame to contain your bricks. The main advantage of this method is that it allows you to replace a broken brick much more easily.
If, on the other hand, you decide to hire an expert who will create a mortared brick patio, you can count on it lasting longer and being more perfectly level, not to mention the fact that you won’t have as many problems with weeds.
Concrete is one of the surfaces that is often used as patio flooring, but is still considered dull by some. Nothing can be further from the truth. It is actually a great solution if you want to be creative and paint it using colors and designs you choose instead of having to opt for what is available. Concrete can give a very classy, state-of-the-art look to your patio and is less expensive than most options out there. Still, you should hire a professional since concrete sets very quickly and allows no room for additional corrections.
If you still wish to give it a go and try doing it yourself, you need to make sure the area is dug out and leveled before barriers are put in the shape that you want. After that, you need to spread out a layer of gravel, before the concrete is poured and leveled. Many people use concrete slabs for their patios since they give them the freedom to organize the area the way they like.
When it comes to properly maintaining your concrete patio, using special concrete floor sealers and coatings is crucial for prolonging its lifespan, especially where issues with rust and moderate erosion could arise.
The most expensive of all options mentioned here is bluestone, a magnificent and hard-wearing material that comes in all sorts of shades. The price of bluestone is a bit on the steep side, and since it is not readily available in all areas, you might be expected to pay more for shipping.
This is definitely an option that requires professional help and installation since larger stones can be extremely heavy and, thus, difficult to handle. A stonemason will level and prepare the area and provide proper drainage. There should be a thick layer of gravel below a thin layer of stone dust. The bluestone is then laid tightly so that it typically doesn’t require mortar.
Another quite affordable option known for its durability is flagstone and it has already gained great popularity. There aren’t many people who would be brave enough to install it themselves since it’s time-consuming and sometimes quite complex. Again, the area should be dug out, leveled and filled with gravel and coarse sand before flagstone pieces are set into place. The gaps are then usually filled with sand or gravel.
Having an opportunity to choose from many different options can sometimes be overwhelming, but it’s important to know what options are available, as well as their advantages and disadvantages, before making the final decision. After all, you really don’t want to change your patio flooring more often than necessary.