Naturally, when most people think of flooring, they think of interiors: what sort of tile would work in their bathroom, or what kind of carpet matches their decor. But flooring isn’t only found indoors. Decks, pathways, and outdoor seating areas can all make use of flooring materials. Here’s a few tips about outdoor flooring.
1. Consider the Sun
In the Okanagan, barbecues and pool parties are a way of life. Our dry, hot summers are perfect for outdoor fun, but that unrelenting sun poses a challenge when it comes to outdoor flooring. If your deck or patio gets direct sun, you need to consider the material you use for its flooring. Dark coloured materials are likely to grow extremely hot – painful for your bare feet, and pretty inconvenient! UV radiation from the sun may also bleach some materials, such as wood. Consider the longevity of the materials you use, and avoid dark colours to ensure comfort and safety in your outdoor areas.
2. How Much Upkeep Are You Willing to Do?
Pretty much all flooring requires some level of maintenance, but some flooring requires more than others. One popular outdoor flooring material is wooden planking. Wood is cheap, easy to install, and attractive. However, many kinds of wood flooring require biannual refinishing to protect the wood and seal out moisture and mildew. Wood flooring can also wear out more quickly than some other types of flooring, requiring replacement after a number of years. Tile, on the other hand, can be expensive up-front, but many varieties of stone tile require little upkeep, and weather extremely well. The right flooring for your outdoor space depends on how much commitment to maintenance you’re willing to do.
3. Poolside Problems: Slip Resistant Flooring
If you’re lucky enough to have a pool, hot tub, or even a dock on the lake, you need to consider how your flooring choices will handle the water. This can be a concern in terms of the flooring’s longevity – water may damage the finish on some kinds of flooring, or cause issues with porous materials. It’s also worth thinking about slip resistance. Many kinds of tile and treated wood can become very slippery when wet, posing a major safety concern for you and your friends and family. Ask a flooring expert about which materials offer high slip resistance, or consider adding anti-slip panels near areas that are likely to get wet.
4. DIY or Call in the Experts?
Some handymen prefer to do their own renovations, and that’s great. In many situations, a skilled layperson can install their own deck flooring, whether it’s ceramic tile, wood, stone, or any other material. However, this can often require a great investment of time, and comes with no warranty or guarantee of quality. Weigh the cost of installation against the value of your time and your skill level with flooring installation. It can be tempting to save money, but if it results in having to fix, or worse, completely redo your outdoor flooring project, you’re going to wish you’d just gotten a pro the first time around.
Interested in outdoor flooring? Come in to Small’s today and discuss your options with our flooring professionals. We’ll help you find the perfect match for your outdoor project!