How to Decide Which is Best for Your Project
A well-designed outdoor living space can make a huge difference in whether you feel relaxed and at ease in your backyard. Take flooring, for example, this material can completely transform your project from good to great. Whether you’re opting for a contemporary, minimalistic design or going for more of a rustic look, the flooring you select will set the stage for how the rest of the design comes together – so choose wisely!
Styles To Choose From
Just how you’ve done your research when choosing your living room style, you will probably do the same for your patio as well. There are a bunch of styles you can choose from and combine to fit best to you and your style – whether it’s contemporary, Tuscan, traditional, tropical, or old-world style – so let’s break down each of them.
Contemporary design is all about the present. You can pick trendy furniture and modern flooring, but it may be better for your wallet if you pick some modern neutral pieces that can last you for a few years and still look good. This style goes well with neutral colors, along with black and grey, too. You can also choose wooden furniture and pair it with black cushions, for example. Stone can be used for decoration as well for some cool and creative ideas for landscaping.
This is a style for those that want to be transported to Italy every time they set foot on their patio. Influenced by nature itself, it uses earthy colours and materials like stone and hardwood. It is not unusual to see marble floors, hardwood furniture, and a lot of terracotta and brick with some ochre, green, and golden yellow colours. Add a water fountain and some cypress trees and you’re done. If you’re in search of zen – this is where you’ll find it.
Here’s something for the romantic souls out there. An English-style patio is filled with neatly trimmed hedges, flowers, and plants. It has a perfect combination of tradition and elegance with fairytale-inspired features you’d expect to see in Wonderland while taking a walk with Alice. For this style, aim for variety – plants and flowers of different heights and colors. You can add a meandering path and maybe a nice iron gate or a fence, and a simple seating place, like a bench.
It’s all in the name. This type of garden is filled with tropical plants, a good rainfall, and a mix of foliage texture and colours. Think densely planted plants and materials like bamboo, cane, and concrete. To achieve the density you will have to plant your trees and bushes on three levels – upper canopy, middle layer, and low growers. As for the colours, you can go all in – bright cushions for your furniture and flamboyant flowers. Don’t forget to incorporate the texture of leaves in the whole look. Try and plant different textures next to each other for a full exotic look.
Picture a cottage surrounded by a variety of colorful, carefully planted flowers. This type of garden will never look the same since it depends mostly on how the plants will intertwine eventually. It’s a good idea to plant annuals and perennials so your garden can exist longer in the year. The key is to add little design elements so the flowers can go around them – a birdbath, a statue, or a gazebo. You want to create a captivating environment and a point where you can chill and truly soak in the beauty of your garden. Lavender, phlox, sweet pea, hollyhock, and foxglove are some of the plants that would look great in an Old World-style garden filled with light.
Types of Flooring
Now that you’ve chosen a style for your patio, it is much easier to think about the flooring material. Flooring can add that extra kick and make the whole patio look put together.
When deciding on the flooring, think about the weather and the current state of your backyard – are there sinkholes, molehills, or other issues? If so, getting rid of that would be your top priority.
A concrete patio usually costs less than patios made of other materials. The minimum thickness should be around four inches. Of course, the price can vary, depending on what you want. If you opt for this type, you can count on more time for yourself since it’s very low maintenance. It’s a great choice when it comes to durability, but if it cracks – it could be hard to fix it yourself.
The most common concerns about wooden patios are about rot from moisture, problems with insects, and of course, the price. To answer the latter – the price will vary depending on the type of wood you choose to use. One of the most popular ones is definitely cedar, because of its durability and resistance to moisture. Redwood, Western Red Cedar, and Cypress are also good to consider. To extend your flooring’s life, make sure to clean it regularly – power wash, stain, and seal every couple of years.
Composite lumber contains a blend of wood, plastic, and additives. This type of flooring offers more durability and less maintenance than solid wood, but might not give you the natural look and colour you’re looking for.
Water resistance and a lower price than wood or natural stone may make you want to take out your wallet – but you should think about the weather with this one. Yes, it is durable, but extreme temperature changes can cause the tiles to crack and they can get very slippery during the winter. Other than that, tiles are a great option to go for!
There is no doubt this wouldn’t look good, but it could cost you around 20% more than, let’s say concrete flooring. They are durable but don’t allow a lot of versatility in design. Easy maintenance could help you overlook the price.
Flagstone could go great with a Tuscan vibe. It’s extremely durable and can literally last for centuries. In the sun, the floor could get pretty hot, but this stone isn’t as affected by the weather and will look great no matter what. Basically, it has more pros than cons, but you do have to accommodate the thickness of the stone depending on your land.
Cutting stone can be a daunting job, but it shouldn’t be hard with the right tools. This type of flooring is actually a great way to add texture to your patio and it is usually cheaper than wood or brick, for example. This can be a great DIY project after you have already poured the concrete flooring – the easiest way to do it is with circular saw.
Basically, pavers are just multi coloured pieces of concrete. The joints between them are typically filled with sand, and as a result, you’ll get a beautiful, clean floor that can easily go with any landscaping style you choose for your patio.
Ceramic Tile is a relatively cheap option and does not require a lot of maintenance – a simple sweep and wash will usually do. The thing with this type of flooring is that it can be very slippery when wet. The prices vary, but you can usually find something affordable. However, you have to pour concrete flooring first, then lay out the tiles, so it is double the expense.
Loose Materials (aggregate Stone, Bark Mulch, Gravel, Crushed Stone, Sand, Broken Down Granite)
This can also be one of the most affordable ways to doll up your patio, if you’re using gravel, for example. You can just buy a bag of crushed stones, gravel, river rocks or sand and lay it down over your grass. One of the biggest pros for this one is that it provides good drainage, it’s easy to maintain and isn’t going to break your wallet.
Whatever style of flooring you choose, you first have to know your land well and see what kind of flooring suits you best, based on your financial situation, time for maintenance and local weather conditions. Concrete will always turn out to be the cheapest option, but if you want to add an expensive look, you could opt for cut stone which would cost less than brick or flagstone, for example. Wood is also always a good option, as long as you spend some extra time on maintenance.
As always, though, speak with your landscape designer about which options best suit your lifestyle and budget.