What Are the Best Materials for a Patio?
With the good weather we’ve been having (on and off) recently, a lot of us have been spending more time in the garden, with many realising it’s the perfect time to give their outside space a bit of a spruce up. If this applies to you, and you’re looking to lay a new patio or replace your existing one, we’ve put together a few of the best patio materials you could use in your project.
The benefits of concrete are that it is easy to apply, inexpensive and very durable. For these reasons, concrete may also be a good option if you are planning to use the patio as a foundation for something else, such as building a deck on top of it.
The disadvantage of concrete is that basic concrete patios will look quite bare and may need to be stamped with a pattern or mixed with an aggregate or dyed in order to achieve the look you desire. Concrete is also prone to cracking if laid in environments that are prone to periods of extreme cold weather.
Concrete pavers share many of the benefits of poured concrete, without the worry of having to mix or colour
them to achieve a pleasing aesthetic. Pavers are manufactured concrete stones available in many natural colours and textures and are cut into attractive shapes that allow them to be interlocked when laid, eliminating the need for mortar.
The trade-off for these advantages is that pavers are more expensive than poured concrete. Like poured concrete, pavers can still become damaged or crack in very cold weather but individual pavers can be replaced, unlike poured concrete patios.
Bricks aren’t just for building walls; they can make excellent patio and driveway surfaces too. Brick is sturdy and durable and makes for a very neat, uniform-looking patio. It is also very versatile, looking equally at home in modern or more rustic designs and can be laid in a range of patterns to achieve distinct aesthetics.
A disadvantage of bricks is that they are porous, meaning they can take on water, which can freeze and cause cracks in very cold weather or become prone to moss growth. Fortunately, individual bricks can be replaced without having to redo the whole patio should this occur, making them a very viable patio material option.
While often used for indoor applications, tiles can also make for a very attractive patio. Unglazed patio tiles are available in porcelain, quarry or terracotta. Patio tiles need to be ceramic and unglazed to avoid creating a serious slip hazard. They should, however, be finished with an outdoor waterproof sealer or coating that will retain the colour and appearance of the tiles whilst protecting them from stains, moisture and wear.
Natural stone is by far one of the best patio materials. Natural stone is available in flagstones, which are cut into irregular shapes, or cut stone, which are cut into more traditional square and rectangular shapes.
Flagstones and cut stone can be made from various natural stones and in many colours, making them some of the most versatile patio materials whilst also being incredibly tough and durable. Flagstones and cut stone have softly roughened surfaces which gives them both a unique aesthetic and a reduced slip hazard when they are wet.
Some fantastic natural stone is available for patios, such as sandstone, limestone, granite, slate and travertine. When sourced locally, natural stone will reflect the natural colours and textures of your home and the surrounding area, making it a very organic match for most aesthetics.
Hopefully these patio material options have been helpful to you. Any of these products will make a fantastic outdoor space and, while budget and personal taste will account for a lot, we think that natural stone is one of the best patio materials on the market.
Here at AS Paving, we have a huge range of landscaping and paving products, and we are one of Devon’s largest stockists of natural stone. So, if you’re looking to lay a beautiful new patio, come and take a look at our full range of natural stone and slate products at our Crediton yard.