Outdoor Living Spaces: Choosing The Right Surface Materials


Outdoor living areas are not just patios today, but entire furnished spaces that are often as carefully designed and decorated as interior rooms. Homeowners are installing outdoor sitting rooms, dining areas and kitchens to entertain and increase their living space. Every detail matters because it will affect the comfort, cleanliness and appearance of the landscape. Here are the pros and cons of a number of the patio surface options available and what people should know about their care and functionality before they invest in them.

Brick and Concrete Pavers

The Pros: They are both available in a number of colors and patterns, so each space can be unique. Intricate designs are possible with the use of stamped concrete. Removal and replacement of single pavers is simple if one cracks over time. Both brick and concrete are very durable and sealing concrete makes it possible to protect the surface from pool chemicals, stains and other debris. 

The Cons: Concrete will fade over time and it is difficult to match exactly with a new product. Resealing the pavers regularly is necessary to prevent excessive fading, stains or other damage. Brick pavers also require annual maintenance of the sand between the pavers to reduce the risk of grass and weeds. 

Textured Granite Tile 

The Pros: Textured granite does not have the sheen of polished granite, but it is still an attractive and high-quality material. Granite is extremely durable and can withstand a lot of foot traffic without any appearance of wear. The textured surface reduces the risk of slipping when the tile is wet. Granite is bacteria- and mold-resistant. 

The Cons: It can be more expensive than other surface materials. Textured granite is a product that has been treated under a high-heat that causes the stones in the material to burst. This makes the tile very porous, so it is important to have it professionally sealed after installation and resealed regularly. The texture may make it difficult to level furniture and difficult to sweep or wash thoroughly. 

Crushed Rock Surfaces

The Pros: The rocks are durable and issues like cracking or chipping are not a worry. It is an affordable option in both the material costs and the installation. There are a number of colored stones to choose from for variety. 

The Cons: The rocks are always loose, so it is difficult to shovel snow without scattering the rocks and it can be challenging to keep down dust. It is not a level base for setting furniture on and it can be difficult for people with mobility issues to walk across. 

Porcelain Tile Flooring

The Pros: It has a low absorption rate, so it can withstand moisture without affecting the quality of the material. The tiles are unlikely to crack even in cold temperatures. The color of the tile is consistent through the product, so it will not fade and small chips are often unnoticeable. Porcelain tiles are smooth and easy to clean. When they are glazed they are protected against stains and can withstand exposure to pool chemicals.  

The Cons: They can retain the outside temperature enough to become uncomfortable under bare feet. This means they may be too cold on a breezy, cool day and very hot during the summer. The tiles are grouted and the grout will need extra care to prevent mildew stains. This may undo the benefit of how easy the tiles are to clean, particularly in wet and humid areas where mildew is a constant concern. 

Establishing outdoor living areas requires people to make a lot of decisions. The choice of a surface material is one of the most important because it is the base where everything else will sit. The appearance and comfort of the entire landscape is often greatly affected by this one decision. Contact a company like Integrated Paver Systems for more information about the surface materials you are interested in.


13 June 2016

Discussing Landscaping Practices

Hello, my name is Willy Wilson. When I was in college, I rented a small home with my friends and coworkers. The home was in bad shape and needed a lot of help across the entire property. My friends and I decided to build up the home from the inside out with a unique landscaping layout. The landscaping process ignited a passion for creating gardens out of tired, patchy lawn space. I want to use this site to explore all of the different ways you can create a beautiful landscape around your home. Come by anytime to learn about this fascinating subject.