Patios have remained to be a long-term, high-value, and popular trend amongst homeowners in outdoor living. They are the perfect social hubs for entertainment, dining, and relaxation. However, designing the perfect patio isn't always easy. The almost endless design options and choices available can make your decision-making quite overwhelming, especially if it's your first time.
Take patio surface materials, for example. They come in varieties including natural stone, concrete, porcelain, gravel, tile, brick, etc. It's critical that you do proper research and pick the right option because your selection will significantly impact the cost, installation, durability, maintenance, style, etc.
Here's a look at three of the most critical elements that will help you find the perfect patio surface material.
How much are you willing to spend on your patio? Patio surface materials have different prices for varying reasons. For instance, natural stone is preferred for its aesthetics. However, it's also among the most expensive patio surface materials on the market. First, it's typically quarried, making its acquisition labour intensive and expensive. In addition, it requires skilful installation, calling for the need to hire a professional.
If you are looking for a more affordable option, consider brick or patio pavers. Pavers may contain concrete, stone, and sometimes recycled plastic. These materials are typically easier to install than their natural stone counterparts, and you can even do it yourself, especially pavers. In addition, they aren't quarried but manufactured, helping reduce the production costs.
Are you on a much tighter budget? Consider concrete or gravel with the latter being the most affordable option.
Prioritising longevity is crucial when selecting patio surface materials. Typically, durability will often depend on installation and maintenance. In addition, it's not uncommon for natural wear and tear to occur after some time. However, some materials are tougher, more resilient, and longer lasting than others. For instance, while expensive, natural stone is among the most durable options. It doesn't wear easily, holds up well in the outdoor setting, and can add a unique look to your patio even when it starts wearing.
Pavers, brick, and concrete can also last with proper installation and maintenance. However, brick and concrete tend to be more susceptible to freeze-thaw action and may develop cracks during wintertime. Therefore, consider your climate before choosing them.
Maintenance determines your patio surface material's durability and functionality over the years. However, some patio surface materials have more maintenance demands than others. For instance, gravel requires regular topping up because loose stones will scatter occasionally. On the other hand, pavers and natural stones are virtually maintenance-free. Occasional sweeping and cleaning are enough to maintain the surface's pristine look. Weeds and moss may sometime grow between the stones or pavers. For some people, this creates a natural and unique look that adds character to the patio. However, if you don't prefer this, adding stone dust or polymeric sand in the cracks should do the trick.
Reach out to a patio contractor to learn more.