Picking a flooring material goes far beyond choosing something that looks pretty – it needs to be completely practical as well. But even though it can be quite a boring job (much less exciting than, say, choosing wallpaper options for your bedroom or hallway), it is crucial that level-headed thinking be employed here.
Today we are going to focus on a very specific type of flooring: the exterior kind. Here are many extra factors to take into account, since it is a surface that must withstand both high and low temperatures as well as other stormy weather conditions. And of course it needs to be visually pleasing, too!
Let’s take a look at 4 well-known options to help make your search for that perfect outdoor flooring surface so much easier…
Ceramic outdoor flooring is one of the most commonly used options due to its many advantages. Easy to maintain and clean, ceramic is resistant to temperature changes, making it ideal for exteriors.
There are several types of ceramic floors that we can choose, from clay to porcelain stoneware, each with its own advantages.
1. Clay flooring. The ideal choice for a rustic touch, as it is not 100% smooth, with its irregular surface and imperfections adding to its appeal. Although very resistant, some treatment and maintenance is still required to ensure longevity.
2. Porcelain stoneware. Highly recommended for its durability and resistance to scratching. In addition, numerous options are available in a multitude of colours and finishes that can also perfectly imitate other flooring options like marble or even wood. When used for outdoor surfaces, be sure to leave some legroom in-between the various tiles in case sudden temperature changes cause the materials to expand.
3. Normal stoneware. Cheaper and easier to place, but being thinner than porcelain also means it’s less resistant to outdoor conditions.
With its aesthetic appeal and comfortable texture, wood has become a firm favourite for many. But although resistant, it is generally more delicate than other materials and requires more continuous maintenance, especially if it is natural wood. Whether artificial or natural, the installation of wooden flooring is more complicated than that of other materials, so it is advisable to put your flooring needs in the hands of a seasoned professional.
In terms of advantages:
1. Beauty. Wood is definitely a popular option due to its beauty and aesthetic appeal. And thanks to its wide choice of types and styles (like bamboo, tropical timber, etc.), we have lots of options to pick from. Don’t forget that wooden floors also provide a warmer surface for barefoot walking than stone floors.
2. Practical. Wood is quite easy to transform and work with, especially when it comes to irregular surfaces that need a little “editing”.
Natural stone is such an environmentally friendly and visually pleasing option. Whether polished or rough, stone is quite easy to maintain and trusted for its durability.
The most common types of stone for outdoor flooring are:
1. Granite. Not the cheapest option, but one of the most beautiful. Highly recommended for warm areas due to its resistance to heat, this material is also very versatile, as it’s available in different colours, styles and shapes.
2. Slate. Very popular for roofs, since it is a very waterproof material and, therefore, a good thermal insulation. It has a grey colour, which ranges from lighter shades to almost black greys, which gives a very particular look to a surface or space. Definitely an aesthetic option, but also very resistant.
To give a modern touch to our terraces, polished concrete floors are the best option. Although they are quite popular for indoor surfaces, their durability and sturdiness have ensured that they deserve a spot on our list. Concrete is very easy to clean and maintain, as well as super economical. And even though most of us are used to seeing grey concrete, this material is also available in numerous colours to fit in perfectly with your desired space and look.
Up next: The best floor options for every room.