When installing a patio, there are several surfacing options to consider. The best surfacing option for the job will depend on a range of factors including budget, climate and how the patio will be used. Patios used as a play area for young kids will need to have a smooth, uniform surface to prevent trips, while patios designed with adult entertaining in mind can benefit from the use of surfacing materials that have decorative qualities and improve the aesthetic of the space. When a patio is to be used mainly for growing plants in pots, drainage will be a key consideration when selecting surfacing materials. Here's an overview of three popular surfacing options worth considering when designing a patio:
Gravel is a cost-effective option for a patio, and it's also quick and simple to lay once the ground has been prepared. There's no risk of water pooling on the patio after heavy rain, as gravel enables water to drain quickly from the surface. It's also a good option for suppressing weeds, which may be of particular importance if the patio is adjacent to a flowerbed, as wind can quickly spread weed seeds onto the patio. However, gravel may not be the best choice for a patio if walking barefoot on it is likely, such as with patios adjoining swimming pools.
Concrete gives a smooth, flat patio surface that's ideal for placing garden furniture on or letting kids play on. It keeps weeds at bay and is easy to maintain, as it can be brushed and mopped or power washed. Concrete is also a long-lasting material that can remain intact for decades. However, it may not be the best choice in areas that experience freezing temperatures, as freezing and thawing cycles can cause cracks due to the concrete expanding and contracting with the changes in temperature. Cracks can be repaired, but repairs tend to be noticeable.
Clay bricks are ideal for creating an aesthetically stunning patio that will impress guests when hosting alfresco dinner parties and barbecues. Clay bricks are an expensive surfacing choice for a patio, but they can be arranged into decorative patterns, such as geometric shapes, or used to create circular patios. Mortar or sand is used to hold the bricks in place, with the former ensuring the bricks remain firmly in place and the latter providing flexibility to move bricks easily.
These are just a few examples of surfacing materials that can be used to create beautiful, functional patios that meet a variety of needs. If you need landscape supplies, contact a supplier to view the full range of surfacing materials.