The Top 8 Popular Materials Used for Backyard Patios
Whether you are renovating or installing a new backyard patio, there are several different types of materials you could use. You need to decide which materials will help you achieve the desired results. Some of the more popular materials include:
Concrete is the top choice of material for backyard patios. It is versatile and can be used for just about any size patio you desire. It is also a great choice if you are installing an in-ground or above-ground pool.
There are several different designs available with concrete due to its flexibility, such as:
- Traditional: This design is your standard concrete patio that is gray in color and smooth. You can have it poured as a single piece or in multiple sections for larger patios. This design also works well if you are using brick or stone for walkways and accents around the patio.
- Modern: This design utilizes various industrial materials like steel bars for added support and other modern elements for a high-quality patio.
- Rustic: This design features using earth tones and rustic architectural elements to give a ranch-like, country feel.
- Old World: This concrete patio design has that worn look, using various stone finishes and warm colors to give it a dated look and feel.
- Tropical: If you want a beach-themed patio design, this tropical design is for you. The design incorporates turquoise hues and sandy themes to give it a beach and ocean-side feel.
Concrete patios are some of the easiest to maintain. You simply wet them down, brush off any dirt and debris, and rinse them. Concrete is sealed after it is installed, and this sealant lasts several years before it has to be reapplied.
Bricks are another popular choice for patios. Bricks work well for ground-level designs. However, installing a brick patio does take a little more effort and detailed work to ensure each brick is properly spaced and level. You must also ensure the underlying ground has been compacted and prepared correctly to avoid individual bricks from sinking into the ground later.
Another key consideration with bricks is they will require more maintenance than concrete. The infill around the bricks often has to be refreshed annually to keep weeds from growing in between the bricks.
Gravel is a good choice when you want a nice outdoor space to relax and unwind. Gravel does offer some flexibility since you can use it in multiple spaces in your backyard to enhance landscaping.
You will need to make sure any grass is removed and there is a barrier placed onto the ground to prevent grass and weeds from growing. You also need to make sure there is a deep layer of gravel, as well as a barrier around the patio to prevent the gravel from overflowing into the yard when it rains.
If you want an elevated backyard patio, then wood could be the right choice. There are different types of wood to choose from, ranging from light- to dark-colored woods. You could even opt for bamboo, which is a very eco-friendly wood.
You will need to make sure that wood support posts are properly secured into the ground with concrete. You do not want the support posts touching any dirt, as moisture in the dirt could cause wood rot to occur much faster.
Another concern with wood is you will need to paint or seal the patio annually to get the maximum life out of the wood. Unlike concrete patios that can last a lifetime, wood patios will need to be replaced a few times.
Vinyl has become a popular alternative to wood. It is easy to maintain and comes in a variety of colors, including wood grains. Vinyl support posts are also available, so you don’t have to worry about your supports rotting—although you will need to pour concrete around each post and into the base of each post for a secure patio that can withstand windy conditions.
6. Tile Overlays
Another option that is great if you rent or lease your home and have a pre-existing concrete patio, is to use tile overlays to give your patio a new look and feel. Patio tiles lock together and sit on top of the concrete. When your lease is up and you move out, you can remove the tiles and take them with you.
Pavers come in a variety of sizes and shapes. You can find pavers made of slate, flagstone, concrete, clay, etc. Just like brick patios, pavers have to be individually laid, spaced, and leveled. The underlying ground also must be compacted and prepared correctly to avoid sinking pavers.
The infill around the pavers will need regular maintenance to avoid problems with moss and weeds. Additionally, you will need to make sure the pavers are thick enough to avoid cracking and breaking.
8. Granite/Concrete Mix
The use of granite mixed in with concrete is growing in popularity. Granite is broken up and ground into varying sizes before it is mixed in with the concrete. Adding granite to the concrete mix makes it possible to add some color to the patio while still achieving a sturdy, durable, and long-lasting backyard patio.
Choosing the Right Backyard Patio Material for You
To help you decide which patio material is best, there are several key considerations and questions you need to answer:
- What is your budget? Several of these patio materials can quickly add up in costs. Concrete is one of the lowest-costing materials you can choose that is easy on bare feet, but gravel tends to be the least expensive.
- How durable is the material? Durability has to do with how long the patio will last. If you want a long-lasting patio, then concrete would be the perfect choice.
- How much maintenance is needed? Another important question is the amount of maintenance you must do or hire someone to do. Maintenance is an additional cost you need to remember to include. Concrete has an incredibly low maintenance cost.
- What design or style of patio do you want? The overall design and style can influence what material or materials you end up selecting. Concrete is a versatile material with a variety of styles, designs, and themes.
- Do you want a backyard covered patio? If you also want a covered patio, you must consider how the cover will be installed. There are covers that are an extension of your home. You could opt for a pergola or another style of stand-alone cover as well.
- How labor-intensive is the installation? Some patio materials are very labor-intensive—like bricks and pavers. On the other hand, concrete is less labor-intensive—once the ground is prepared—since it is poured.
- Are there any benefits of one material over another? For example, concrete offers several benefits as it is available in different styles and designs, is inexpensive, is durable, lasts a long time, and is easy to maintain.
DIY or Hire a Contractor?
Once you decide on the type of backyard patio design, style, and material you want to use, your last consideration is whether you want to renovate or install the patio as a DIY project or hire a contractor. While certain aspects of the patio project could certainly be DIY, for others you will want to hire a contractor.
Most patio materials require a certain amount of prep work like removing the grass, compacting the ground, ensuring it slopes away from the home, and so on. Another benefit of hiring a contractor is that you’ll know the work will be completed based on current building codes.
You also won’t have to worry about having a home inspection and the patio certified later. Not to mention, your contactor also will help obtain any necessary building permits. Most importantly, you know your patio project will actually be completed and not be one of those DIY projects that gets started but never finished.
To learn more about our backyard patio designs and styles, backyard covered patios, patio concrete restoration services, and other residential concrete and construction services, please feel free to contact Cross Construction Services in Houston at 713-254-1703 today!