The patio is a classic feature of the American home, tracing its origins all the way back to early Spanish-American architecture. And in the latter half of the 20th century, they practically became an expected feature. Adding a patio can make your outdoor spaces more enjoyable, add a personalized touch, and help boost your home’s value. But what should you build with? Here are a few of the more common types of patio materials that you can choose from.
Concrete became the standard material for American patios during the suburban housing boom after World War II. As such, it could be considered the default option, and it does have a lot of perks to recommend it.
Principle among them is its versatility. During pouring, concrete can be molded into almost any surface shape. It can be smoothed, stamped, brushed, colored, decorated, or patterned to suit your tastes.
One caveat, however, is that it requires extra care in cold climates. Salt intrusion, the freeze-thaw cycle, and snow plowing can all damage your concrete patio. So if you live in an area with regular snowfall, you should be prepared to deal with the extra work that comes with maintaining your concrete.
Another classic choice is clay brick. It’s sturdy enough to be the building material of choice for thousands of years, which also contributes to its classic look.
A lot of patio construction involves brick mixed with other materials. Even if you don’t want it to be the primary material, it comes in handy when designing a patio to make charming walls and edging.
Flagstone is another popular choice, not just for a home patio but also for entryways, walkways, and nearly any other place where pavement is needed.
They’re particularly good for poolside patios or in rainy areas, as the stones’ rough surfaces provide extra traction when wet. And depending on where you live, you can get them in a variety of colors and compositions, so you can expect to have options.
As the residential patio originated in Spanish-American architecture, tile could be considered the most classic choice. The three main materials that they come in are porcelain, terracotta, and quarried stone.
Porcelain tiles are fired at extreme temperatures, making them tougher and more stain-resistant than average. Terracotta has a charming, rusting look but is porous, so that it may need extra sealing treatments in certain climates. And quarried stone has a rough texture that gives it good non-slip properties.
Between those three, most homeowners can find an option that suits their taste.
Finding the Right Patio Materials for Your Home
There’s little reason not to have a patio. Not only will it give you charming space for entertaining guests, but with the added home value, they often pay for themselves.
All that remains is to select the right patio materials for the effect that you want to achieve. With proper care, any of these materials can last a generation or more. The decision comes down to a matter of personal taste.
On the note of taste, to further customize your future patio space to your preference, be sure to keep up with all our latest outdoor design guides and tips.