Selection certainly isn’t a problem when speaking of today’s patio materials. It’s trying to decide between them that poses a problem. With so many great patio materials to choose from, how do you decide?
A few things should be taken into consideration when choosing your outdoor patio material, including your budget, your needs and the overall design you’d like to achieve. Once you’ve established these factors, you can then begin choosing your patio’s layout.
Materials typically chosen for patios include:
· Ceramic/Slate Tiles
An important point to remember when considering your patio design is that several materials, combined with strategic placement of these materials, can result in an unexpected design which is both attractive and durable.
Ideas to consider
Do you have a tight budget but want something interesting to spice it up? How about a brick paver border or an interesting stamped concrete design? Keep in mind that your options are virtually limitless when consider your outdoor patio choices, regardless of your budget.
Are you looking for something extra for your flagstone patio? How about planting low-maintenance ground cover between the stones for a soft, natural design?
Do you want a relaxed, casual look for your backyard patio? How about choosing aged brick pavers for a truly rustic look?
Are you looking to add interest to a bland, concrete patio? How about staining it to brighten it up and blend in with your surrounding landscape?
Outdoor Materials and Their Benefits
Your outdoor patio is generally only limited by your imagination, provided you utilize durable materials designed for outdoor use.
A solid, level surface is best achieved by using brick or cast pavers, slate or concrete. Fieldstone is naturally uneven, so choosing this material for a patio area which will accommodate a dining table and chairs is usually not the best option, as the legs of the table and chairs will likely wobble.
Loose material, such as pea gravel, is also not a good idea if you plan on using tables and dining chairs, as this, too, can create sinking, wobbling furniture. Opt instead for crushed granite, as it provides a solid, level surface once it is compacted.
Any material you choose for your backyard patio, whether it’s concrete or pavers, must be laid upon a solid, level area. This is usually achieved by laying a gravel base which is then topped with sand.
Concrete is often a popular choice for backyard patios, as it is easy to work with and affordable. You can also dress it up using decorative stone or brick borders, or enhance it with stains, stamps or inlays.
Brick is a readily available product that is also generally inexpensive. The wide array of styles and colors also make it a popular choice for patios.
Adding a wood porch to your backyard area is also a smart choice, as it warms up and adds interest to any outdoor space.
Think in terms of your surroundings before deciding upon your porch material. Stay consistent with the style and design of the house (i.e., don’t choose tan brick pavers if your house in made of red brick) and use your surrounding landscape as inspiration. In other words, if you have a beautiful flagstone walkway, extend it onto your patio, perhaps even as a patio border.