Choosing the best patio materials typically comes down to selecting the best type of materials for a particular project and budget and then choosing materials of the highest quality. Patio surface materials range from simple bricks to stamped concrete. Appropriate framing and supporting materials should be chosen for the specific type of patio surface.
Patio tiles are among the simplest sorts of patio materials on the market. They typically consist of large and durable plastic tiles, which can be affixed directly to a patch of level ground. They are impervious to water and can be removed easily in minutes but are not as durable as more traditional construction materials. Other patio tiles are designed to be mounted in an interlocking layer on top of a flat surface, such as a deck or older patio, and come in a wide variety of shapes and styles.
Concrete pavers are a very economical and durable material for patio construction. They are available in many different shapes and sizes, and endure wear and the elements better than fired bricks when used in patio construction. Pavers located near a swimming pool or other wet area should be textured to provide traction. Some landscape designers even use recycled concrete that has been salvaged from other projects and refinished as an eco-friendly and inexpensive design option.
Poured concrete is another of the most common patio materials. This type of concrete is typically installed professionally. It may be colored to blend in more evenly with other elements of backyard décor. Stamped concrete is also an option and features a regular pattern, often a faux-stone effect, that is stamped into the wet concrete.
Natural stone may also be used in patio construction. Stone is typically more expensive than other patio materials, but customers may prefer its appearance. Specific types of stone have different characteristics, and some are more durable than others. Most feature an uneven texture, and many are slippery when wet, which is a particular concern when a patio is adjacent to a pool.
Most patio materials require supporting materials. Pavers are generally laid down on a bed of sand over a gravel base, and are held in place with wooden or plastic framing and anchoring components. Concrete may need to be sealed. Natural stone may need treatment, and typically also requires a setting bed similar to those used with concrete pavers. In all cases, it is important to choose the correct supporting materials for a patio and to make sure that these materials are of high quality.