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4 types of outdoor flooring with advantages and disadvantages

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Penthouse Terrace makeover Classic style balcony, veranda & terrace by Studio Earthbox Classic
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Choosing the right type of outdoor flooring for your house is not always a simple task and is often considered an insignificant detail. However, to make the right decision, one needs to go beyond just aesthetics and should evaluate the technical details – something for which not everyone has the expertise. Finding the type of floor that best suits your house may seem more boring than picking the perfect colour for the walls or the right style of furniture for the living room. However, it is critical to make an intelligent choice as it will last for years to come.

So, today, we are going to focus on the exterior, specifically the best outdoor flooring options. There are many factors to consider, since the flooring should withstand both high and low temperatures as well as other weather elements. In addition, although the technical aspects of outdoor flooring are fundamental to making the right choice, we also need an option that is visually appealing since we will spend a lot of time on the terrace or in the garden during the summer months. To help make the search easier for you, today, we talk about the four most popular types of outdoor flooring.

1. Ceramic tiles

Ceramic tiles are the most commonly used outdoor flooring option. The reason – it has many advantages such as being easy to maintain and clean, besides being resistant to temperature changes, making it ideal for exteriors. 

We can choose from several types of ceramic floors, from terracotta to porcelain and stoneware. Each of these outdoor floors has specific advantages. 

i. Terracotta floor: This is ideal for giving a rustic air to our terrace, as it is handmade, and therefore, has irregularities and imperfections that make it very special. Although resistant, it requires some treatment and care, as it is very sensitive to spills and stains. 

ii. Porcelain stoneware: Highly recommended for its durability, porcelain tiles are scratch resistant and can withstand high and low temperatures. In addition, they are very versatile as today, you can find tiles in many patterns and colours, some of which imitate the textures of other materials, such as stone, marble and even wood. They are easy to install, although a few precautions need to be taken. When it is used for outdoor flooring that is subjected to sudden changes in temperature, expansion joints must be provided between the tiles. 

iii. Stoneware: It is cheaper and easier to install, but being thinner than porcelain stoneware tiles are also less resistant to the natural elements.

2. Wood

Penthouse Terrace makeover Classic style balcony, veranda & terrace by Studio Earthbox Classic
Studio Earthbox

Penthouse Terrace makeover

Studio Earthbox

At the time of installing the floor on the terrace many home owners look at wood as an option. It is an aesthetic and comfortable solution, which although has many advantages, also has some drawbacks. While it is resistant, it is more delicate than other materials and requires continuous maintenance, especially if it is natural wood. Synthetic or natural, the installation of wooden tiles for outdoor floors is more complicated than any other materials, so it is advisable to hire a specialist or a professional to get it right. 

The advantages of wood, however, make worth it considering:

i. Beauty: Wood is undoubtedly the best outdoor flooring material when it comes to beauty and aesthetics. Additionally, wood comes in a wide variety, including teak, bamboo and oak, which are more resistant to the rain and other weather changes. Wooden floors give a feeling of warmth and are comfortable for walking barefoot. 

ii. Practical: One of the great advantages of wood is that it can be placed on a frame, so we can level the floor and eliminate irregularities and resulting consequences, such as the tables and chairs that shake due to an uneven surface. In addition, by installing it on top of the existing flooring, we avoid future problems that may arise due to dampness or leaks.

3. Natural stone

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zen deck


Natural stone is an environmentally friendly and visually pleasing outdoor flooring material. Both polished and unpolished stone is easy to maintain and extremely durable. The best part of stone is that being a natural material each slab is unique. 

The most common types of stone recommended for outdoor flooring are:

i. Sandstone: Resistant to all types of weather, sandstone is highly recommended for the coldest places, as it not affected by ice. A well-maintained sandstone floor can last a lifetime. 

ii. Granite: Not the cheapest option, but one of the most beautiful, granite is highly recommended for warm areas, due to its resistance to heat. This material is also very versatile, as it comes in a variety of colours and textures. 

iii. Slate: Usually used for roofs, since slate is water resistant and therefore, provides good thermal insulation, it can also be a wise choice for outdoor floors. It has a grey tone, which ranges from lighter shades to almost black, giving a distinctive look to a terrace. It’s an aesthetic option that is also very durable.

4. Concrete

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iammies Landscapes

A Luxirious Thatched Villa

iammies Landscapes

To give a modern touch to our outdoor areas, polished cement flooring is the best option. Although cement is usually used for the indoors rather than the outdoors, its impermeable property makes it ideal to use as outdoor flooring around pools. Outdoor polished cement flooring is easy to install, and because it is a material resistant to all types of oils and detergents, it is easy to clean, and its maintenance is very economical. Although we are accustomed to seeing it in grey, the truth is that one can play with a wide range of colours when choosing it for outdoor flooring. 

Now that you have ideas for the outdoor flooring, see 14 modern fountains for small patios or entrances  to get inspiration for installing a fountain to your patio.

Which of these options will you pick for your terrace or patio? Answer in the comments.
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