Bringing the Indoors Out: flooring materials for outdoor living – 6 week summer series

Jun 22, 2015

Designing the perfect outdoor space starts with selecting the right materials that will endure the elements and stand up over time. You have to consider the horizontal and the vertical surfaces equally because of wind, rain and sun. I will cover flooring selection, counters, appliances, cabinets & lighting, firepit/place, furniture in this 6 week series. This week we discuss flooring materials for outdoor living.

Flooring – Flooring both undercover or outdoor, takes the majority of the abuse with nature’s elements and foot traffic. There are 3 common choices – stone, concrete or porcelain. When selecting, consider hardness, slip resistance and color. Dark colors absorb heat and can be hot on your feet and radiate the heat back up at you. Flooring can be slippery when it is wet. We don’t want an ice skating rink around the pool so, take caution when selecting your material especially around a pool.

  1. Stone –  has infinite colors and pattern to chose from whether it is in tile format or flagstone.  Important things to consider when using stone is the softness of the stone. Stones can be very hard or very soft.
  2. Concrete is extremely versatile and has numerous looks whether it’s stained, etched or in paver form. Concrete can be designed for a contemporary or traditional esthetic. For contemporary a great look is concrete pads with grass or low growing plants between the pads. For traditional you can stain it in dozens of colors and stamp.
  3. Porcelain is a durable option with hundreds of colors and styles. Porcelain lends itself to a structured look for both contemporary and traditional.
traditional black and white tile pattern flooring materials for outdoor living

outdoor tile – image by pfgranada

concrete outdoor in a traditional setting flooring materials for outdoor living

concrete – image from Hartstone

outdoor flagstone - pool entertaining

flagstone pool area – image from wilma

rustic outdoor natural stone

natural tile – image from wow home design

outdoor kitchen with pavers

pavers – image from CBS


contemporary outdoor concrete tile

contemporary tile – image from molapro