The first step to building the outdoor living area of your dreams starts with choosing the right type of flooring. Outdoor flooring can be tricky, even if you have re-done indoor flooring before and know a lot about the different types of selections. However, when choosing the type of flooring you would like, there are certain differences to keep in mind; for instance, outdoor flooring has some special considerations that indoor flooring doesn’t require, such as resistance to extreme weather conditions, eco-friendliness, and reaction to elements in nature.
So, how do you choose the best outdoor flooring for you? First, start with asking yourself these four basic questions.
1. What’s the function of my outdoor space?
What will you be using your outdoor area for? Is it for a boat dock? Are you adding a patio to your backyard? Are you extending your backyard’s patio? Is the flooring for a cabana? Will the outdoor living space include a fully functioning outdoor kitchen? Answering these questions is essential to getting started on the right path.
Be sure to recognize the reason and function for your outdoor area first, then start to make decisions based off of your answers. Some flooring may require special lighting to be installed in it. Others may just be for appearances and not necessarily for frequent use. Some flooring may have to be ultra resistant to very harsh weather, depending on the areas in which you live.
2. How exposed will the flooring be to weather conditions?
Weather dictates a lot of what we do, especially when it comes to choosing our outdoor areas and flooring. First, identify the extreme conditions that your geographical area regularly experiences. For instance, Texas has very harsh summers and is susceptible to droughts. North Texas experiences heat, hail, snow and has been known to have a tornado or two come through.
After identifying the range of weather conditions, ask yourself, “How exposed will my area be?” If your area is fully exposed to the outdoor elements and has no covering, you will want to steer away from certain types of rubber and tile flooring to avoid future slippery accidents. If your area will be fully covered, you may not want to choose rough stone or cement due to aesthetics.
There are also different types of wood flooring that are optimal in different conditions. Overall, really begin to think about your weather and how exposed your area will be before making decisions on outdoor flooring.
3. What will the style be?
It may seem like a simple question, but identifying your outdoor area’s style can really help to narrow your search. Because style is unique to each individual, there are a plethora of options available to suit practically every taste and preference. For example, you can choose from natural stone, wood, tile, rubber and cement – all of which also come in different colors, patterns and textures. Identifying your style early on can help you decide your flooring later on in the process. Don’t forget to take the overall style of both your landscaping and your house into consideration; that beautiful Mediterranean tile pattern may seem out of place attached to the back of a rustic ranch-style house, for example.
4. What’s my budget?
Budget should always be a consideration in every purchase. Often, it’s the first consideration. However, for outdoor flooring, it helps to answer a few preliminary questions first before figuring out a budget because there are so many options.
Set a range that your budget encompasses. If you’re not sure what a range would even entail, just ask your landscape designers. A good relationship with your landscape design team will allow you to set a reasonable budget based off needs, wants and expectations.
Working closely with an experienced landscaper that is familiar with your area can help tremendously and alleviate a multitude of stress, both now and in future maintenance. The team at Scapes Inc. has been serving Dallas and the surrounding area for over 20 years. We will work closely with you to assure that you get the most out of your outdoor living area and will ensure that you will not have to worry about high maintenance future preservation of your space.
Contact us today for a free consultation.