When choosing the most effective outdoor flooring material for your home, you’re going to want something that fulfils both your practical and aesthetic needs. Outdoor polished concrete may not be the first idea that comes to mind, and it may even seem like an odd choice if you’re not familiar with the benefits of using concrete.
Over the past few years, however, outdoor polished concrete has become more and more popular. While it’s extremely low maintenance and highly durable, it also contributes a contemporary, sleek and simple look that complements almost any landscaping design.
There are many surprising advantages to be gained from using polished concrete in your outdoor living space. In fact, in comparison to materials that are traditionally used for outdoor flooring, concrete could be a far superior solution for you. Let’s see how honed polished concrete fares against common flooring options you may be considering for your outdoor area.
Timber decking is often chosen to add value to a home or to create a specific look. From inspiring a rustic and homey feel, to adding a classic touch to a modern backyard, timber decking can take the aesthetic of an outdoor living space to the next level.
The only problem is, wooden decking requires a lot of ongoing maintenance through resanding and refinishing. Plus, there’s all sorts of issues that can come up throughout its lifetime, including wood expansion and contraction, termites and rot.
Outdoor polished concrete provides a stylish and modern look that can elevate any landscaping design. It’s far more subtle than timber decking, making it easier to tie in with other elements in your outdoor area. Given the strength of the material, concrete does not fall victim to various maintenance issues in the same way as timber. It only requires a professional grind and polish every 5 years or so.
As it is a natural material, timber must be harvested via tree lopping. While this can be legally performed in less harmful ways, there will always be some environmental impact from using timber. What’s more, it’s a fire hazard, which is a major concern for Perth homes considering our dry, hot summers and our propensity for bushfires.
On the other hand, concrete is very environmentally friendly, with energy efficient properties and no need for the use of hazardous chemicals. It’s also completely fire resistant.
Porcelain & Ceramic Tiles
Porcelain and ceramic tiles provide the organic textures and warm colours of natural stone pavers, while offering a far more durable solution. Much like concrete, these tiles are easy to clean and maintain in the long term.
It’s when it comes to the installation that tiles can start to become complex and costly. The ground must also be appropriately prepared with a layer of polymeric sand to ensure that weeds don’t grow up between the tiles.
Honed polished concrete is far more cost effective than you might think, and with a reputable installer, it’s very easy to pour into place. At the same time, you don’t have to do anything to prepare for weed growth as nothing is going to be able to get through solid concrete, not even ants or other insects.
It’s easy to see the appeal of artificial turf. There’s obviously no watering or mowing required, and it’s much better for people with allergies than natural lawn. If you’re thinking it would make a suitable floor covering for your patio or alfresco area, you first need to consider the downsides of artificial grass.
As it is a synthetic material, it’s essentially the same as placing a large, plastic rug on top of the ground. It needs to be regularly cleaned, as dust, dirt and various other fragments can become trapped between the fake blades of grass. The plastic can also heat up very quickly in the warmer weather, making it uncomfortable underfoot.
What you may not know is, outdoor polished concrete also offers hypoallergenic properties and has a high thermal mass that allows it to regulate its own temperature. Many assume that concrete is always cold, but it’s actually very effective at heating and cooling itself as needed.
Depending on the quality of the turf you select, you may need to replace it regularly, whereas concrete could last you a decade or more.
Brick & Natural Stone Paving
While not as long-lasting as the earlier mentioned porcelain and ceramic tiles, brick and natural stone paving is still a low maintenance and relatively durable option. Pavers can have similar issues to tiles, with the need to prepare the ground to prevent weeds and insects from coming to the surface. Much like artificial grass, pavers also heat up in the sun, and with wear and tear, pavers can become loose or uneven due to tree roots growing underneath.
Once again, outdoor polished concrete won’t experience any of these problems, offering a sturdy surface that won’t be uprooted or become uncomfortably hot!
Often used in school and park playgrounds, rubber outdoor flooring offers shock absorbent, non-slip surfaces that are good for breaking falls and reducing injuries. It’s relatively low maintenance, only requiring the occasional sweep, and there are options that are made from recycled materials.
The biggest problem with rubber is the odour that comes with it, and while this will eventually fade, it can be uncomfortable in the beginning. It may be a cheaper option than most, but it also isn’t as hard-wearing or long-lasting as concrete. Rubber flooring can also make a significant impact on your outdoor aesthetic and draw unwanted attention to itself, unlike concrete that is much better at blending in seamlessly.
There’s so much to be gained from using honed polished concrete in your outdoor living space. To arrange professional installation, contact Designer Floors WA today.