Most people spend the majority of their time and budget designing the interior of their home or condo. It makes sense, as this is where you are going to spend most of your time, especially if you live in a climate with dramatic seasonal changes. But the outdoor component of your space shouldn’t be an afterthought, particularly when it comes to your flooring. Below are 10 outdoor flooring options to help inspire you to create a beautiful, welcoming outdoor area.
Traditional wood always looks and feels great, but it comes with a price: maintenance. Wood is always in style, and tends to go well with any decorative theme or sensibilities, but as an organic material, it is at the mercy of the elements and will likely need to be replaced before anything synthetic will.
Ceramic and porcelain tile
If you are looking to add fast an undeniable elegance to an outdoor space, ceramic or porcelain tiling is hard to beat. Many people even opt for porcelain instead of stone when trying to recreate the classic and refined look because porcelain (depending on its PEI rating), can be an even harder material.
Cumaru hardwood flooring
Many people have no idea that hardwood is an outdoor flooring option for their home or condo. Cumaru hardwood, which is sometimes referred to as “Brazilian Teak”, is a tropical hardwood from South America. It is highly durable, comes in a range of rich hues. However, hardwood flooring does require constant maintenance in order to maintain its elegance. What’s more, “interlocking, floating, outdoor flooring systems mean that no glue, grout, cement, nails or bolts are needed for the installation”.
Turf gets a bad rap because for many people it conjures up images of sports fields, and obviously fake, and tacky-looking grass. Modern turf outdoor flooring, however, has come a long way. It provides a highly convincing alternative to real grass (whether you don’t want real grass, or it isn’t practical).
Turf is low maintenance, perfect for people with pets and children, and can create some precious green space in an urban setting that will brighten moods. It is even becoming an important option for people in drought prone areas, where water restrictions are in place. The only downside is the upfront cost.
Brick is another one of those outdoor flooring options that creates instant classic elegance. The colours and patterns that are possible with brick are another reason people find it so attractive. Brick is non-slippery, and easy to maintain, though it is prone to water seepage. Just as with any flooring option, however, there are both pros and cons to brick.
Many people don’t immediately think of concrete as an outdoor flooring option, so much as they think of it as the default substrate that exists before anything has actually been added. But concrete – particularly finished concrete – is becoming popular. It is almost zero maintenance, very hard to damage, and depending on the finish, can even look stylish.
Rubber is one of the most flexible and versatile materials out there. It is tough, absorbs shocks, and it even comes in designs that imitate stone and brick. Rubber does, however, require that you compromise on aesthetic a bit.
Foam tiles are a great outdoor flooring option if you are designing an area that is going to end up receiving a lot of water. Whether from water features, or because of weather, foam is easy to maintain, safe, and antibacterial/mold resistant. Foam won’t last forever, however.
Outdoor carpet, if you are unfamiliar, is not like indoor carpeting. It more closely resembles the short, low-pile carpeting you might see in an office space. It typically is placed under covered areas that are not going to receive a lot of water.
Fake slate looks exactly like high quality slate tiles, but it is actually just plain concrete that has been stained. Some of the designs look uncannily like slate, despite being much cheaper, and much more durable concrete.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to create a great looking outdoor space. The above outdoor flooring options are varied, multi-purpose, and with some shopping around and research, look great with a wide range of themes and styles.