What is the Best Outdoor Flooring for a Deck or Patio?
Outdoor flooring should be very durable, easy to maintain, and clean and offer year-round visual appeal. That’s why the most popular outdoor flooring options include concrete or natural stone patio pavers, wood or composite decking and outdoor carpet or artificial turf if you’re on a budget.
Last Updated: June 14, 2023, by: Jamie Sandford
Outdoor and patio flooring options need to stand up to the elements as well as provide an attractive, durable floor covering. While your outdoor flooring options are limited, there are several flooring types to consider. Contact local qualified flooring installers for a free quote before making a final decision.
This Home Flooring Pros guide offers suggestions for the best outdoor flooring options to consider.
- Outdoor Carpeting – Carpeting for decks and patios is water-resistant and quite durable. Years ago, just green “astroturf” was available, but today’s outdoor carpeting options are diverse, durable and attractive. You’ll find a nice selection of colors, weaves and styles when shopping for outdoor carpeting.
- Natural Stone Flooring – Granite and a few other stone types handle the elements quiet well. The key is the quality of the installation and type of grout chosen. Select a flooring contractor with experience installing natural stone flooring outdoors.
- Ceramic Tile Flooring – This water-resistant flooring can be used outdoors too. There are types of tile flooring formulated specifically for outdoor use. Many have a bit of grit and texture on the surface to reduce slipping. Choose frost resistant and unglazed tiles for durability and safety.
- Cedar Flooring – Much like decking, this flooring can be ideal for a patio or other outdoor location.
WHOLESALE COST COMPARISONS
To give you some idea of outdoor flooring prices here is a guide to the wholesale cost of different types of outdoor/patio flooring.
- Outdoor Carpet – Unsurprisingly this is your cheapest option. At Caldwell Carpet we’ve seen a range of options from as low as 50 cents up to $2.40 a square foot making this a great low budget option if you’re looking to smarten up your outside space.
- Natural Stone – At the other end of the scale is natural stone. Travertine, Limestone, Granite and Marble are amongst your upmarket options and stone pavers or tiles will set you back between $5 and $10 per square foot.
- Ceramic/Porcelain Tiles – Outdoor Ceramic tiles can be a good mid-price option if conditions are right. You’ll need a stronger, tougher tile then you would use indoors so expect to pay between $3 and $5 per square foot. Read more on the difference between porcelain and ceramic.
- Wood Decking – The ROI on wood decking can be as high as 77% and is another great mid-price option. A mid-range wood like cedar will set you back and average of $4 per square foot. Of course hardwoods like Ipe of Redwood will cost significantly more.
Don’t forget to factor in the price of installing outdoor flooring, the following is a guide to the basic installation costs. When getting an installation quote consider any other services you might need.
- Carpet – Easily the cheapest option and something you may well want to attempt to do yourself depending on the project. Look to spend between 50 cents and $2 per square foot.
- Stone – Stone installation is a labor intensive as it requires plenty of preparation, think drainage, the base level and plotting. The average installation price for stone is around $7 per square foot.
- Tile – DIYer’s may be tempted to attempt outdoor tile installation themselves but beware. The extra preparation requirements should only be attempted by the experienced amateur. Professional installation will cost $4 to $6 per square foot.
- Wood – Pre-made wood deck panels are quite easy to install and could make a great diy project. If you’re looking to lay hardwood flooring under a covered outdoor space then expect to factor in $4.50 to $7.00 per square foot for installation.
WEAR AND DURABILITY
By definition all patio and other outdoor flooring has to be hard wearing and durable to cope with the elements, although clearly some materials are more durable than others.
- Indoor/outdoor carpet is a good deal more durable than you may realize, made from synthetic fibres it is waterproof, mold resistant and very strong perfect as a patio deck flooring option. Even in high traffic areas it will last much longer than conventional indoor carpet.
- Outdoor wood flooring certainly wears well but will need greater maintenance and care than its indoor counterpart. The harder the wood the better the durability and requires cleaning to avoid the onset of mold. Be prepared to intermittently re-seal/re-varnish outdoor wood floors.
- Patio tile is easy to clean and very hard wearing, but you will probably need a harder, denser porcelain tile to withstand harsh weather conditions.
- Unsurprisingly natural stone tile is the best outdoor flooring material for durability and, while the most expensive to install, will give you many years of trouble free enjoyment if done well.
Further Reading: Durable Flooring Options
These are some of your best outdoor patio flooring options. Have you installed any of these, or have you found something else that works well? Take a moment to contact us or use our comment section below to share your outdoor flooring ideas. Your input will help other readers decide which of their patio and outdoor flooring options is the best choice for their purposes.
OTHER PLACES TO FIND OUTDOOR AND PATIO FLOORING IDEAS AND PROJECTS
- DIY Network – Get design ideas from fellow DIYers who have constructed beautiful outdoor rooms.
- Youtube – Great video on how install brick pavers for your patio.
- Fixr – A great resource for calculating material and installation costs for every home remodeling project.
LATEST PHOTOS OF OUTDOOR AND PATIO FLOORING FROM OUR PINTEREST BOARD
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About the Author: Jamie Sandford
Jamie Sandford is the Owner and Chief Editor of Home Flooring Pros (find out more). After 12 years’ experience in screen and stage set construction, followed by a further 15 years working in the home renovation/remodeling business, he now writes and curates online home improvement advice.
“Buying and installing home flooring should be a fairly straightforward process, but often it isn’t. After more than 15 years experience in home flooring and remodeling, I started Home Flooring Pros in 2013 to help homeowners navigate the often-over complicated process of choosing, buying and installing a home floor. The aim is to save you time and money by helping you to make better floor buying decisions.”