Outdoor Flooring

by HomeRepairExpert.com
?When it comes to extending your home’s living space to include part of the great outdoors through the use of patios, walkways, decks and balconies, one of the biggest decisions a homeowner will have to make is the choice of the type of flooring they will use outdoors. The different types of flooring options include considering the safety, ease of maintenance and overall expense of the type of materials used. However, since outdoor flooring involves elements of both functionality and décor, choosing the type that will best suit your needs gets easier once you know what you're looking for.

Wood flooring has traditionally been a first choice for homes with outdoor patios, decks and areas around pools because wood lasts a long time and goes well with just about every type of structure including the surrounding plants and landscaped areas too. The multiple advantages of wood flooring are that it is widely available in all parts of the country and it requires very little preparation and maintenance to allow it to endure extreme weather conditions like high temperatures, rain and snow. The most popular choices of wood types for outdoor flooring are teak, eucalyptus, cedar, redwood and mahogany. However, the main downside to almost all wood flooring is that it can be very expensive to purchase depending on the size of the area to be covered.

Ceramic tiles and bricks are also popular choices for many outdoor flooring projects. Ceramic tiles are easy to install and available in a wide variety of colors. Ceramic lasts a long time and is relatively inexpensive, easy to clean and just like wooden flooring, ceramic tiles can also withstand extreme weather conditions without too many problems. However, ceramic tiles also have the drawback of becoming very slippery whenever they get wet, making the chance of slips and falls a big issue for children and elderly people living in places with a lot of rainfall. Regular red bricks and brick tiles are another popular outdoor flooring choice because brick is widely available, relatively inexpensive and it can withstand most any type of weather conditions without becoming slippery when it gets wet. Brick also has the advantage of being able to be installed in interesting patterns like basket weave designs and herringbone patterns, and unlike most other flooring options, bricks also work very well in circular patterns.

Much like brick, plain concrete is another of the least expensive options for outdoor flooring surfaces because it lasts a long time and it holds up well in all weather conditions. Concrete also has the advantage of being easily painted or decorated by stamping design imprints into it, but like ceramic tiles, it can get slippery when wet.

One other outdoor flooring option that many people overlook is the use of rubber tiles that can help provide an element of added outdoor safety for elderly homeowners or for families with children. Like most good outdoor flooring choices, rubber tiles are inexpensive, easy to install, last a long time and also come in many different colors. However, rubber tiles do have one significant drawback in that they do not always perform well in very wet climates where water can seep down between the seams and cause the attaching glue to lose its adhesiveness. This problem is somewhat mitigated by the fact that rubber tiles can be purchased individually and homeowners can usually replace damaged or loose tiles relatively easily and inexpensively.

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