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Outdoor Flooring Options

When it comes to getting flooring options for outside your home, like a porch, you have more options than you might think.

In this post, I'll go over a few choices that most people consider when wanting to put a new floor down in an exterior setting.

Remember that outside can still mean an enclosed room that doesn't have climate-controlled heating and air, like a mud room or screened in porch. Even if a room is sheltered from some of the elements, an exterior-rated floor is crucial for it to work.

The biggest enemy of a floor being placed outside is constant temperature change. This can mean sweltering summers as well as freezing winters. With that in mind, only choose an exterior rated floor in that situation. 

Just like any interior flooring or wall installation, special care must be taken first before putting your new flooring down. Be sure the surface where it will go is clean, level, and secure before continuing. 

Even seemingly tough materials like hardwood floors and vinyl will not last for a long time outside, due to the fluctuating temperature changes. Always read the manufacturer's installation and warranty information before installing any flooring, in or outside your home. 

So, what options are out there for you, well let's discuss them....

Porcelain & Natural Stone Tiles

One of the most popular and widely-used flooring materials for outside a home is natural stone or porcelain tiles. Both are rated for exterior installations due to them being frost proof. 

Some natural stone tiles, like this Multi-Classic Slate shown above, may be irregular on the surface. The same can be said for some travertine tiles too, so repairing or using smoother tiles should be considered over high traffic areas. 

Ceramic tiles will NOT work for exterior applications, due to it not being frost-proof. Even in warm climates, like south Florida for example, it would still be a poor choice versus porcelain or natural stone tiles.

With any tile installation, be sure to seal them afterwards to ensure no water or stains will penetrate them. Since they would be going outside, this is very important that they are periodically sealed for added protection. Failure to do this can lead to severe damage and loosening of the tiles over time.

Outdoor-Rated Carpet

Another option is using exterior grade carpet. Although it may not last as long as its tile counterparts, its a much easier and softer flooring to install.

This type of carpet can be installed either by gluing the entire underside (without padding, none is needed) to the subfloor using a rated notched trowel, or using double-sided outdoor-rated carpet tape. 

If your local Home Depot carries it, indoor/outdoor rated carpet is sold in 6 foot or 12 foot widths, so measure the size needed accordingly.  As with any flooring option, be sure any transition options are available so the floors can seamlessly match with other floors.

Other Flooring Options

Maybe you just don't want to cover an entire patio, but you'd like something that can hold up to the weather. Depending on where you'd want to place it, you can still get plenty of options for a new floor.

You can opt for exterior vinyl patio tiles, like Envirotile, to install over even a level soil surface. The same can be said for pavers or fieldstone to give it a great look where there isn't a subfloor, just ground. All of these options require you prepare the ground with paver sand base to ensure the stones/tiles won't shift around.

Lastly, you can always use outdoor-rated mats and area rugs over concrete to give a quick update to an area.

In either case, with proper planning and knowing what you prefer, you can get the right outdoor flooring that can look great and last for a long time!


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Posted 2015-08-29T17:47:21+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL Joseph_HD_ATL