While we would like to think your visitors are looking up admiring your new patio, we know they are also looking down at your flooring. Choosing your flooring is an important decision as it changes the look of your outdoor area. You will want to love your choice of material as it will be many years before you change it. To make your decision a little easier, ask for a few samples of pavers or tiles so you can check how it looks against the house exterior and how well it matches the flooring inside the house.
1. How You Will Use your Patio
Decide what you will use your patio for as this may help determine the flooring you choose. If you have a young family who will be playing on the ground for the next few years, you may need a smooth paver. If you have two big dogs living on your patio, a timber deck or liquid limestone may not be hard-wearing enough to withstand their claws. If you cook barbeques regularly under the patio, you may need a flooring option that won’t show the grease or use an outdoor mat. Timber, limestone and light coloured pavers can become permanently stained from fat off a barbeque.
2. Patio Flooring Options
There are plenty of flooring options available.
This has been a popular choice in flooring for the past decade. The light colour and texture gives a high-end look for your patio. The main drawback for this option is that it can be easily damaged. Heavy furniture and foot traffic can cause the surface to become pitted. The limestone is easily cleaned with a hose. A professional is needed to pour the limestone and include expansion lines to avoid cracking.
In recent years, some people have opted for a seamless look between indoors and outdoors. Homeowners have chosen similar tiles for the two areas. A non-slip surface is needed for outdoors, but the wide range of tiles on the market allows for similar or the same tile to be used in both areas. Tiles are durable and easy to clean with a broom or high-pressure hose.
The traditional option has been paving and it continues to be a popular choice. Pavers are one of the cheapest options and one of the best if you need access to soak wells in the future. Pavers have a long life and will date well before they wear out. A professional or keen homeowner can lay pavers.
Timber is used on deck areas more often than under patios. There are more timber options available now than there were 10 years ago with the introduction of timber-look materials that require less maintenance. Timber is one of the easiest options for a homeowner to install.
More than forty years ago most homes had a concrete slab for outdoor entertaining. To jazz it up a little, the concrete was tinted or painted. Concrete has been revived with polished concrete now a popular choice for its clean lines and hard-wearing properties.
3. Maintaining your Patio Flooring
It doesn’t matter which flooring type you choose. Unfortunately, none are self-cleaning! The amount of cleaning will depend on how much weather, leaves, dirt and dust your patio attracts. An enclosed patio might only need a once a year spring clean while a patio that is subject to the weather will need to be cleaned before each use.
Pavers near gutters or wet regularly in winter may need cleaning with a high-pressure hose or cleaning solution to remove unsightly black marks or even moss. Timber decking may need oiling or varnishing even when it’s under the patio out of the sun to keep it looking good.
Depending on the size of your patio, the difference in price from one flooring option to the next can be thousands of dollars. If you’re on a tight budget, you could look at second-hand pavers. People are often pulling up old pavers so keep an eye on Gumtree or visit your local recycling centre. Due to its intensive labour requirements, polished concrete and tiling are the most expensive options.
5. Will you Install the Flooring?
Once you have completed your research and decided on your flooring, you will need to think about installation next. If you choose a floor that is DIY, decide if you have the time and expertise to do it otherwise ask for an installation quote.
If you need any advice on flooring for your new patio, visit our display centre in Wangara Perth to see for yourself or make an appointment for one of the Poulter Installations team members to visit you. We cover the full metropolitan Perth area.