The question, “what is the best flooring for a patio?” is a question with a twist. The twist is the extreme weather of the north that can complicate choosing the right outdoor flooring. Outdoor flooring for patios and porches needs to be incredibly tough to withstand hot summers and freezing cold winters.
Choosing the Right Outdoor Flooring
Outdoor flooring needs to check off many boxes to be considered suitable for a patio or porch. Choosing the right outdoor flooring revolves around a few key flooring features.
- Temperature Tolerance. The Midwest is known for hard frosts, extremely cold wind chills, and hot summer days. If the outdoor flooring is not built for extreme temperatures, the flooring can crack. If the tile is installed in a patio in direct sunlight, the outdoor flooring needs to be fade-resistant.
- Grip. Heavy rainfall, snow fall, and even morning dew can make a patio and porch very slippery. For high-traffic areas, choose outdoor flooring that won’t get slippery from moisture.
- Durability. Just like choosing flooring for indoors, the amount of use that a patio or porch receives needs to be factored into the decision. High-traffic areas need incredibly durable outdoor flooring. Some outdoor flooring products may not be able to handle the foot traffic and activity in a busy outdoor space.
- Looks. Outdoor flooring can take a patio or porch from basic to wow, especially when the flooring coordinates with outdoor décor. Visit a local flooring store to check out the outdoor flooring options; choose the tile that can handle the elements and combine with other colors to make a show-stopping space.
Outdoor Flooring Ideas
Concrete is a top choice for outdoor spaces because it is durable enough to withstand extreme temperatures and heavy-foot traffic. Right after its poured, concrete somewhat lacks in the looks department. Luckily, concrete can be spruced up a with a concrete stain that complements patio décor and exterior home colors.
Porcelain tile checks off all the boxes, especially the looks box. Porcelain tile comes in a variety of colors and unique looks; some porcelain tiles mimic the look of stone while still being durable enough for the outdoors. For a touch of character and a unique look, consider a porcelain tile that looks like brick. Not all porcelain tiles are manufactured for outdoor spaces. When shopping for tile, ask the flooring professional for tile products that are suitable for outdoor conditions.
Rubber flooring is an outdoor flooring option that comes with a caveat. This flooring looks great, is extremely durable (durable enough even for home gyms and heavy equipment), and provides a cushioned surface that is ideal for high-traffic areas. While rubber flooring is a great option for outdoor spaces during the summer, this floor should be brought in before the snow flies. Rubber flooring gets brittle when the winter temperatures drop, leaving it susceptible to damage. In addition to being brittle, rubber flooring can become slippery; care should be taken to choose a rubber flooring with some grip to prevent accidents and injuries.
The softest outdoor flooring idea is a rug. Not all rugs are built for the outdoors. Instead, ask the local professional to see rugs that can be used indoor and outdoor. Rugs are a great way to break up the monotony of a concrete slab, add character to a wooden deck, or make a concrete patio less slippery. Outdoor rugs should be stain-resistant and durable enough even for high-traffic areas.