When building a new terrace or patio or renovating an existing one, there are endless options to choose from to suit every budget, taste, lifestyle and climate. Whether you're dreaming of a chic, luxury terrace that blends with your indoor space or a relaxing retreat where you can unwind and reconnect with nature, there is a stone, material or wood that helps you to achieve it.
The surface of the terrace and floor has been experimented with in the last decade and we now have many more techniques and modernized materials to choose from. Whilst it needs to be durable for all year round, it also needs to harmonize with the interior of the house as the blending between the interior and the exterior is crucial in creating the right atmosphere for relaxing in and for welcoming outdoor entertaining. The choice you make in the floor will enable you to create that inviting party space and make the best out of your outside space.
Here we look at the current trends.
Over the past years we have seen trends in stamped concrete developing as less people opt for decking or traditional concrete but still require the durability of it. The beauty of this is that it can be unique and personalized with different colors, designs, patterns, stains and borders.
You can blend with the interior flooring of the house or stand out and create different zones with different patterns. Stamped concrete is a practical and highly desirable choice
These are fashionable again now the trend for decking has subsided. They are very versatile and extremely strong (much stronger than concrete). In earthquake or tremor zones such as San Francisco this is a very persuasive deciding factor. They can also be easily replaced if they do get damaged or you need to do work underneath them. to remove and replace should something go wrong underneath the patio. You can also choose a porous variation which means the rain will drain through them to the soil underneath.
Brick terraces have always been popular with old houses or new houses built with reclaimed bricks but we are also now seeing them being used to contrast against an ultra-modern build too. This can add a nice dynamic to the setting by introducing a different colour (normally a red hue) and material. You can angle the pattern (straight or herringbone for example), mix the colour of the bricks and always use new ones if you require a more streamlined look. They age well and can soften and add warmth to the area surrounding a modern house. This can be extremely attractive when the house is starkly modern.
This works best in a dry heat climate and is then very durable. This can look either chic or very natural and adds a lovely touch to gardens that are eco themed with grasses and natural swimming ponds. It also looks fantastic against wood so if you have a log cabin or wood clad house, it compliments it perfectly. Historically, areas in your garden that had ponds or swimming pools were surrounded with lighter stones to enhance reflection and clarity of water but with people now choosing darker linings to their swimming pools, slate has become very popular as a terrace surface choice.
This is gaining popularity in the sector where the outside space is used as a continuation of the inside space and there is a requirement to match the flooring from indoors to outdoors as it can be used both inside, outside and on the walls if required. This can be mosaic or plain or even wood effect to give the appearance of oak floorboards. It is extremely strong and can make a huge statement in the case of mosaic patterns. This is also really effective when the space includes such things as a fireplace as it can be used to created depth and atmosphere making the space welcoming for entertaining and relaxation.
This is very similar to the ceramic tile but it is a smarter choice for several reasons. The main difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles is that a porcelain tile is denser and less porous than a ceramic tile. As with ceramic any effect can be created with it from wood to marble. As it absorbs less water than ceramic it is more durable. However due to these factors, it is also a more expensive material bit worth considering if you are thinking long term.
We have touched on a few of the more prominent trends as seen in new builds and renovation projects recently but obviously there are many other choices such as sandstone, classic wood, granite and more. The important factors to consider when choosing a new surface for your terrace or patio are how you will use that area, the lifestyle of the users, the climate of the location and how it will weather as some surfaces can change dramatically within a few years.
*Most terrace surfaces can be used with the the Hydrofloors movable floors from the Twinscape Group but we do recommend that is something known to be waterproof or that can be easily treated to be. It should also be resistant to submerging in chlorinated swimming pool water and we recommend that a flexible adhesive is used as the expansion rate between the tile and the floor underneath can be different.
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