Your outdoor patio gets a lot of use throughout the year. To turn that plain concrete slab into a pretty patio that invites outdoor leisure, you need to add decorative elements. One of the more important elements is flooring. There are several outdoor flooring options, any of which is suitable for space exposed to wind, rain, sun and wide temperature ranges.
If the foundation of your patio is in good shape and you need an inexpensive flooring option, you can paint. Concrete paint is available at home improvement stores and paint stores.
Wash your concrete patio to remove dirt and debris. Use an acid wash solution, available where concrete paint is sold, to thoroughly clean and prepare the concrete. Allow the concrete to dry before applying primer. When the primer dries, you can paint. Seal the paint and the floor will endure the elements for three to five years before requiring repainting.
Always a classic choice, tile brings colour and texture to your outdoor space. For temperate climates, you can use either ceramic or porcelain; do not use ceramic tile in climates that have extended periods in which the temperature drops below freezing. The tile will crack.
Saltillo or Spanish tile is also a flooring option, as is slate. Both, however, require annual sealing to maintain their colour and to prevent cracking.
Floors made from teak or Brazilian walnut will tolerate being exposed to the elements. Decking tiles are squares of wood with a support system on the underside that allows you to snap the squares together. The tiles can be installed directly over your concrete foundation, creating the look and feel of a deck without actually building one.
Outdoor carpeting is manufactured to withstand the elements. Often comprised of synthetic materials such as olefin and polyester blends, outdoor carpet provides colour and comfort and is easy to install.
You can add an outdoor carpet to your patio floor using an adhesive. There are adhesives specially designed to hold the carpet to the concrete foundation. Home improvement stores may have installation services available that include installing outdoor carpeting if you don't want to do it yourself.
This option can be used if you are installing a new patio foundation. Once the concrete is poured, the stamp or stamps can be applied to create different faux stone effects.
Stamped concrete is an art form, and there is little room for error. It is also one of the more expensive options for patio flooring; the cost is in the labour and the price of the stamps.