Patio Options

Published by: Elizabeth Gormley
Published on: 2010-01-10 15:26:13

There are a lot of options to consider if you are thinking about a new patio surface for your Connecticut home.  Factors to consider include style, cost, climate, and the amount of traffic and stress your patio will endure.  If choosing indoor flooring seems tough, choosing outdoor surfaces may seem especially daunting.  Who will be using the patio, and how often?  Do your homework to narrow down the choices significantly. 
Red or yellow brick has been a popular patio choice for a long time.  There are two important things to consider with brick.  The first is to pay attention to the weather rating.  Severe Weather, Moderate Weather, and Negligible Weather are applicable to any given climate.  Second, remember that a brick is uneven—not a particularly friendly surface for small children or the elderly.
Patio Stones
Patio stones are square or rectangular slabs of pressed concrete.  This material is a well-recognized patio surface, easily installed and relatively inexpensive.  Many people edge patio stone with a contrasting material such as brick, wood, or landscape rock.

Slate and Stone
AKA flagstone, which is a natural material cut often irregularly, which looks nice but makes it a little more difficult to install.  The stones must be set tightly beside one anther, yet the thickness and different cuts make this a challenge.  The technique is often called “crazy paving,” as the varying shapes are laid in random patterns.  Handsome and elegant, this material is more expensive than patio stone.

This is a wise choice if you will have toddlers or small children running around the patio.  Outdoor rubber flooring will cushion a tumble and provide a smooth playing surface for tricycles and toys. 
Poured Concrete
This is often less expensive than stone or brick, product cost and installation.  Poured concrete can be shaped to any patio pattern.  It can be finished to your choice of color and texture.  The concrete must be laid with “rebar,” or steel rods in a crisscross pattern.  It will set, and then it must be weather-treated.  Poured concrete is the most popular patio surface option.

Gravel is an inexpensive patio surface option that can be quite elegant, paired with rock, brick, and other materials.  The texture and color options are endless.  It is easy on the feet, and can make for an interesting surface option for a Southwest look or art deco motif.

There are a few more viable options for your new patio surface.  Cork is an eco-friendly material, and a soft smooth material on which to play.  It is not waterproof, however, and will likely need to be covered.  Vinyl and laminate flooring are possible outdoor options, but be sure you get the outdoor, waterproof variety. 

To find a patio contractor in Connecticut, contact us or browse our directory.

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