What type of flooring would one choose for an outdoor area? Well, it depends on the function of the space as well as on a bunch of other factors and there are actually more options than you’d initially think, including some really cool and creative ones.
Every little decision ultimately has an impact on the final look and feel of the space and in particular the flooring so be extra careful when choosing the materials, finishes, colors, etc. Let’s now check out some cool ideas that others had and see what makes them special.
Things you should know about outdoor flooring
Before you start thinking about all the little details and features that you want to incorporate into the design of your new floor, take some time to figure out the basics. For example, go outside and take a look at the area that you want to cover. Think of anything that could present challenges along the way such as any elements that need to be removed (existing flooring for instance) or reorganized. It’s pretty easy to put pavers on top of grass but things can get more complicated if you’re dealing with turf or other materials that require more prep work.
Take into consideration any previous issues that you might have had with the land that you wish to cover. For example, you might have to deal with holes in the ground made by animals or with a sloped terrain. The type of soil can also be relevant to the project.
The climate and the weather should also be taken into consideration. That of course depends on your location. If you’re living in a place with lots of sun you’ll probably want to add a roof but in any case the flooring will have to withstand all the heat so don’t pick a material that fades or cracks easily. A lot of rain is not great either and you’ll have to account for that when building your outdoor floor so you create a solid foundation that can last for years.
Outdoor Material Options
Then there’s also the type of material that you want to use for your flooring. There are many different ways to categorize these but we’ll divide simply into natural and synthetic for the moment. The natural options include materials such as wood, stone and tile while the synthetic ones refer to composite decking, rubber or carpet.
Wood is a very versatile and also very common material for outdoor flooring. Some types of wood are better-suited than other for this task. For example, oak or hickory are not particularly great but redwood and cedar are excellent choices because they have a natural resistance to rot and to the elements in general. If you are building an outdoor floor out of wood it’s important to seal it and to regularly maintain it if you want it to last.
Stone as a general category is of course defined by durability. Keep in mind however than while a stone floor will last a long time this also means it won’t be easy to replace in case you later decide you want something else in its place. Stone comes in a variety of different forms like travertine, granite, slate and marble and each type has its own unique particularities and requires a different type of care.
This is an interesting option because tiles can actually mimic the look of other materials, including wood and stone. It’s a good choice if for example you want your outdoor floor to look like it’s made of wood but to be more resilient and easier to clean or if you like the look of natural stone but you find it too expensive or not suited for your style. Keep in mind however that some types of tile can be very slippery and can become a real hazard in winter or around water.
Brick floors have a classic and elegant look with a distinctive old-school kind of vibe. That of course is if you want it to look that way. Bricks are actually very versatile and come in lots of different colors. You can also arrange them in all sorts of different patterns which is definitely the most fun part of the interior project and one that you can really be creative with. Brick outdoor flooring is durable, looks great, require very little maintenance and is also slip-resistant. Bricks are however porous and retain water so you do need to properly seal your floor if you want it to last.
Then there’s also of course concrete, the most durable of all materials. That can be really great but can also pose problems if you want to redesign the outdoors and get rid of the concrete floor. The good news is that concrete flooring is easy to install, easy to maintain and doesn’t cost a fortune. You can also personalize it in a lot of different ways, some of which are explained in more detail down below.
Anything in this category is basically made from a mixture of wood and plastic. These are combined and turned into planks that look similar to natural wood but are better suited for outdoor use and can last longer without as much care and maintenance. Composite boards are also very versatile. You can use them to achieve a rustic, traditional or a modern look for your deck or patio. They’re also fire-resistant which can’t also be said about natural wood and they’re also less expensive.
You can get rubber flooring in the form of tiles or in rolls in case you prefer a smoother look. As you can expect, a rubber floor is very resilient, has great traction and is also comfortable underfoot. Rubber flooring is durable, slip-resistant and thus great around pools and also shock absorbent which could be a favorable detail if you have kids. It’s a great option for a backyard playground. You can expect a rubber floor to last for a long time but of course not as long as one made of concrete or brick.
In case you were’t aware of this, there is actually carpet that’s specially designed for outdoor use. It’s not as soft and fluffy as an indoor rug but it does help to make an outdoor area feel a lot more comfortable and inviting than it would otherwise feel. Outdoor carpets are easy to clean and resistant to mold, mildew and stains and a lot of them are also made from recycled materials. They’re very comfortable and very stylish, they come in lots of different styles, colors and patterns but they do require more maintenance compared to a bare floor and they don’t last forever.
Of course, you can’t expect artificial grass to look or to feel the same as real grass or to be actually be mistaken for it unless you spend a lot of money on some high-quality turf but it’s still a pretty good option if you want a bit of green outside and you don’t have a garden or an actual green yard. Artificial grass or Astroturf is easy to install and doesn’t require much maintenance. It’s not particularly long-lasting and you do need to vacuum it to get rid of any debris that gets trapped inside.
Cool ideas for outdoor flooring
Until you actually step on this floor it looks those are actually tiles. This is in fact concrete flooring and the tiles are painted on it. It’s a very clever and ingenious idea which adds color to spaces such as outdoor patios and terraces. It’s also easier to paint the floor instead of installing actual tiles plus it’s more practical too. You can easily change the pattern or the color scheme any time you want. Check out oldbrandnew for more details.
Painting the concrete is a cool idea if you want to give your courtyard more character and color. The actual process is pretty easy and no different than painting the walls in your living room. The most important thing is to make sure you choose the right type of paint so it looks good and also so that it lasts. Check out stylebyemilyhenderson to find out more details about the project.
Wondering how you can create such a beautiful pattern on your own patio? With a tile stencil, of course. If you have a special design in mind you can create your own unique stencil and then you can use it to paint your outdoor flooring. A concrete patio would be perfect for this because it’s flat and pretty smooth. If you like the idea, check out cuttingedgestencils for more tips and details.
Geometric tape stencil
There are several different ways to paint your patio and outdoor flooring in general. Reusing a stencil over and over again is one option but if you want to create a simple geometric pattern like this one for example you can simply use tape to mark the design after which you paint the floor. Using only one or two colors makes this whole process easier and faster. You can find out more on abeautifulmess.
Wooden floors always make indoor spaces look cozy and inviting and the same thing applying to outdoor flooring as well. Of course, it doesn’t suit every type of space. If you’re looking to create a cozy outdoor sitting area, consider reclaimed wood flooring. It looks wonderful and it has lots of character. This setup featured on thefreshexchange is a perfect example.
Stone is another option you might want to consider for your outdoor flooring project. A paver patio can look very beautiful and there are lots of ways to make it special. This includes details such as the type of pavers you use, the finish, color as well as the pattern that you arrange them in. In any case, we think this DIY tutorial from simplykierste can definitely set you on the right path.
If you like puzzles then perhaps you’ll also enjoy making a mosaic. We’re talking about a mosaic stone floor for your outdoor patio or lounge area. As it turns out, it’s not such a difficult project. You need a piece of plywood or something similar to fit the mosaic on, mosaic tile mesh, plastic wrap, glue, tile grout, a paint brush and either mosaic tiles or just a bunch of broken tiles. You can check out stoneartblog to find out more details about this cool project.
You can also use brick as an outdoor flooring material. It gives a nice rustic look to the floor, especially if you’re using bricks with that red-ish color. Laying the bricks is pretty easy especially if you choose a simple pattern. The prepping part of the entire surface is very important so make sure you don’t skip any steps there.
You can choose to arrange the bricks in all sorts of different patterns. You can select a classic pattern or you can create something custom designed specifically to match your own patio or backyard. Perhaps you could even combine different patterns. We really love this design featured on creativeendeavors4u so be sure to check out the full tutorial if you want to find out more about it.
Flagstone slabs are often used to create pathways in gardens and backyards and we like how they look with grass growing through them in particular. It just gives an organic and natural look to the whole setting. If you want to create your own flagstone pathways from scratch, this is what you’re going to need: flagstone slabs, sand and shovels.
We mentioned before that reclaimed wood can be used to make outdoor flooring look and feel more inviting and cozy. The same goes for pallet wood. You can build a pallet wood deck and you can make it look great while saving a lot of money in the process. If you’re interested in the idea, check out hoosierhomemade for more details.
Making a pea gravel patio area isn’t easy and takes some time and effort but it’s great in the end and you should definitely do it if you think it suits your backyard. It’s even better when you add some furniture, hang some lights and add some decorations. You can find more cool ideas as well as a tutorial on how to make the patio on ishouldbemoppingthefloor.
In case you didn’t know, there’s something called concrete stain which you can use to make your concrete floor look nice and shiny. You can use it to give your outdoor flooring a makeover and it’s a cool idea especially if you want to maintain a simple, neutral look and you’d rather not use colored paint. find out more on rachelteodoro.
This is a really nice-looking outdoor floor. It has concrete slabs that create a flat surface and a stylish pattern and there are white pebbles filling the little spaces between them, like grout would when installing tiles. The whole area is delineated by grey pebbles which adds a nice contrast. You can find out more about this design and the entire project on desertdomicile.
Building a wooden deck from scratch is not easy but shouldn’t sound intimidating either. It’s definitely a project you can complete and it’s just a matter of planning everything right. There are several important steps to follow and it’s only at the very end that the deck actually starts to take shape.
More design ideas for your outdoor floor
A classic flooring design made with bricks can suit a lot of different styles. This setup has a traditional vibe that really suits this space. The planters and some of the other decorations add a Mediterranean vibe to the décor and the brick flooring maintains a warm and welcoming ambiance. This is a design by Terra Ferma Landscapes.
Natural stone has a charm of its own and is perfect as a flooring material and as a design element for this sort of organic landscaping. This little backyard fire pit area looks very natural in this setting, as if the spot was already part of the landscape and was polished and transformed into this cozy nook. This is part of a project by Ketron Custom Builders.
If the goal is to create a contemporary or modern backyard then giving the lawn and floor a very clean and sharp aesthetic could look quite nice. This is a great example by studio Randy Angell Designs which shows how such a space can potentially be organized. The floor tiles create a visual connection between all the different areas and contrast nicely with the greenery.
When doing the landscape and the flooring out in the backyard the borders can be quite problematic. This right here is a really simple design which creates a nice and clean transition between the tiles, the lawn and the plant beds. It’s a style that can suit a lot of different backyards, both modern and more traditional or rustic. Check out Rachel’s Landscape Design for more info.
This is such a beautiful oasis thanks to the natural and organic design of the pool, the flagstone pathway and the way in which the terrain around it is landscaped. The natural stone colors help to achieve this almost magical ambiance and they go really well with all the wood and the greenery. This backyard was designed in collaboration with Pool Environments.
Another nice strategy is to use pavers or bricks to create paths in the backyard or the garden and to give them organically-shaped outlines. That way you can create a more natural-looking landscape but still make it look clean and man-made. Having lots of greenery or beautiful flower beds helps. This right here is a gorgeous backyard with terraced flower beds and lovely borders that match the pathways. It’s a design by Artistic Landscapes.
Combining two styles can also work. Check out this lovely farmhouse-style backyard by Stone Acorn Builders as a source of inspiration. It has a beautiful gazebo-like space with a brick floor and a very clean and modern-looking pathway connecting it to the house. It has a geometric design with perfectly cut while tiles and greenery growing in between them.
Speaking of backyard gazebos, Remodelers of Houston also worked on a beautiful backyard project which has this lovely covered patio. It has a smooth concrete floor and a corner fireplace and the area around it looks very fresh and green. There’s a bunch of stone tiles sprinkled across the green grass lawn that guide the path towards the house.
This beautiful stone pathway is absolutely perfect for a zen garden. It’s flat and has a very soothing feel and we love how the tiles have all these different shapes and sizes that allow the pathway to change proportions and to adapt to the terrain and the space around it. This whole backyard has a zen feel to it and although it’s not particularly large it’s very detailed and has lots of character. Check out LandCrafters for more similar projects.