If you’re looking at revamping your garden or outdoor space, the main choice you’ll probably need to make is that between patio flooring or wooden decking. Practically they serve a very similar purpose, but visually they’re very different and there are certainly positives and negatives to each.
Before deciding, it’s important to do your research on the different options available and how each one may help (or hinder) your home life. It’s important not just to consider the visual side of things, but also the maintenance involved, the pricing, and even the durability too. You’ll want to ensure you’ve picked the flooring that best fits into your design vision, that it is fit for purpose but also that fits into your lifestyle. If you have any economical factors to consider taking the time to research these is also important as they are both very different materials.
Here we’ll talk about choosing your outdoor flooring, and which choice might be best for you.
First, let’s discuss patio flooring…
Patio paving has been around for years, used by the Romans to build roads, originally from stone and clay but in 1973 the first concrete paving slab was formed into a brick like shape. The interlocking pavers are particularly popular for their dual purpose of providing hard standing surfaces to walk on but also allowing water to drain between them, meaning they were permeable and able to work with water recycling systems to harvest the water for reuse. To avoid weed growth in patios try and opt for a seamless finish without any mortar joints in between.
Stone patio pavers come in a variety of colours depending on their stone type or origin. Patios are normally installed directly onto the ground to extend living area directly out of your home where you would enjoy a drink with friends or to create a separate area purpose built for a hot tub or fire pit area.
Positives for patio flooring –
- Usually less expensive than decking
- Longer-lasting than decking
- More durable than decking
- Requires less maintenance than decking
- More privacy in some cases – if your decking is raised you may lose privacy in your garden
Negatives for patio flooring –
- Garden will need to be levelled – which can be difficult in sloped terrains
- Patio flooring can be prone to moving, that could cause cracking
- Not ideal in ice (can be a slipping risk when water freezes over it)
- It can be difficult to clean off any stains or marks
- The project of installing the patio may take longer (if ground requires moving/levelling)
We can take from the points above, that patio flooring is a good option for people on a budget, people with level gardens, and people who require something to stand the test of time.
Now let’s move onto decking…
Decking timber is traditionally made from types of hardwood from a red cedar wood to dark brown mahogany, reclaimed woods and even recycled and artificial woods are often made with a poly binders and plastic also known as a lumber composite or wood/plastic. There have been concerns over the vast amount of trees needed in recent years in order to keep up with the demand of decking sales, so perhaps Decking is used in many ways for landscaping a garden, creating decks for summer houses, and extending those living areas from the home for summer BBQ’s, it is also important to keep in mind that most decking is raised it could be more susceptible to making new homes for rodents.
Positives for decking –
- Often more visually appealing
- Can be more desirable to buyers
- Decks are easy to install on most types of terrain (including un-even or un-level ground)
- Good for making a viewpoint (a raised deck can provide an outlook if built high enough)
- Decking can be painted or stained (giving you personalisable options)
Negatives for decking –
- Requires regular maintenance (such as power washing and sealing)
- More susceptible to the weather and natural wear and damage
- Could become discoloured if not treated regularly
- More expensive than patio flooring
- There may be weight restrictions, depending on what you want to put on the decking
From the points above, it’s clear that decking is a choice made for those who have a specific aesthetic in mind. But…
Overall, patio flooring seems to be the most desirable option of the two and definitely the more popular choice. If you think you might end up selling your home in the future (even the distant future!), paved patio flooring is likely to be more desirable to a buyer given its durability and low-maintenance upkeep. It also means you’ll need to do less work on it in the long-run. If you’d like to get in touch with us about patio flooring, feel free to drop us an email; we may not supply all of the above paving options but we do have years of knowledge on groundworks, base types and alternative paving options to patio slabs, block paving and decking. Our technical team are friendly and always happy to discuss any project you are considering.