Thursday, November 1, 2018

Guide to Buying Outdoor Floors

How to Buy Outdoor Flooring

By Julia Nass

Greatmats rooftop flooring
Greatmats makes purchasing outdoor floors as enjoyable as sitting out on the back patio in the sunshine. Okay, maybe nothing holds a candle to back patio sunshine hangs, but at least Greatmats knows how to make that patio way more enjoyable. Purchasing outdoor floors from Greatmats is an effective and low-cost way to turn any outdoor area into one that is comfortable, inviting, long-lasting and safe.

If you are feeling like it is time to start planning for an outdoor floor, then it is time to get educated on your options and what to look out for. Read on to learn all you need to know on purchasing outdoor floors.

Know Your Environment

Patio decks, playgrounds, pool surrounds, rooftops and other outdoor spaces can be heavily impacted by the elements. In places where the sun is strong and temperatures high, flooring may fade, expand or morph. Rain, snow and humidity can cause problems of their own. Some flooring products are designed to withstand one specific element, while others are made to withstand all types of weather. Thus, it is important to be conscious of your climate when planning for outdoor flooring. The following will walk you through different factors to be conscious of as you begin the process of purchasing outdoor floors.
If you are buying outdoor floors that will be exposed to direct sunlight, choose a flooring product whose colors will not fade. Also, think about choosing a material that will not absorb as much light energy in order to prevent flooring from getting hot enough to burn skin. For example, stay away from concrete, asphalt and dark-colored plastics. Picking lighter colors will help the flooring stay cool in the sun. If you are planning for outdoor flooring that will be used on a playground, this is particularly important, as young children are much more susceptible to thermal burns.

Will the Floor Be Exposed to Moisture?

Greatmats pool deck flooring
Rain, humidity, melted snow and other forms of water are another factor that can greatly affect your outdoor floor. Whether it is a rooftop exposed to frequent rainfall or an poolside area, you must take moisture into consideration when planning for an outdoor floor. Prolonged periods of moisture can create a breeding ground for mold and mildew within a floor. Plus, there is traction safety to consider. Pools of water are an obvious slipping hazard, and even light moisture can make certain surfaces too slippery to safely walk on.

Luckily, there are plenty of outdoor floors made exactly for such spaces. If moisture is a factor for you, think about purchasing outdoor floors with a drain-through design so water doesn't pool up on the surface. Plus, good drainage means air can flow through so water doesn't pool underneath the surface either. Also consider buying outdoor floors that maintain good traction even when wet. 
If you are planning to buy flooring for your pool deck, consider purchasing flooring that will be slip resistant and provide drainage. Softer materials will also help to prevent injuries when falls do occur.
Greatmats outdoor flooring patio
Durability: Choose a floor that will not wear down quickly, especially if it is sure to be subject to heavy furniture or foot traffic. An outdoor floor should be designed to last for years and years. Choosing a product with a warranty can help guarantee durability and longevity.
Affordability: This is an obvious factor for most people. Some outdoor flooring options like natural stone, brick and hardwood can get extremely expensive. Look for a more affordable option like plastic deck tiles that can give the same aesthetic without the costly process. 
Installation: Also, consider if you will need to have a contractor install the flooring or if you can do it yourself. Some outdoor tiles can be easily installed without assistance, saving you money. You will also need to consider the location. If you are installing on an uneven surface, grass, or dirt, only certain flooring materials will work. When installing over a rooftop membrane, make sure that the floor is approved for installation over membranes so that it will not cause any damage.
Style & Materials: Many people start planning for outdoor flooring in order to transform a worn down space, like a concrete rooftop or rotting patio. Purchasing an outdoor floor makes it super easy to revitalize an unsightly area. Outdoor flooring comes in all shapes, styles and colors and can bring any kind of new, vibrant aesthetic. Whether it is a classy wood style floor for the back porch or a fun, vibrant color for poolside, buying outdoor floors makes it easy to stylize any outdoor space. 
The possibilities are endless with outdoor flooring. Some of the most common materials are brick, stone, porcelain, wood and concrete. But there are other options as well including rubber, plastic, wood plastic composite (WPC), carpet and even artificial turf. Plastic, rubber, carpet and artificial grass can create a softer surface for kids when they play or fall. 


Benefits of Alternative Outdoor Flooring Materials

Rubber Flooring

  • Flexible tiles absorb shock, making for a safer flooring surface. Some even offer fall height ratings.
  • Eco-friendly, rubber tiles are made from recycled rubber, so fewer vehicle tires end up in landfills.
  • Dense rubber is heavy, and is less prone to shifting than lighter flooring options.
  • Highly durable rubber is resistant to fluctuating temperatures, maintaining its original form no matter the weather.
Greatmats outdoor artificial grass

Artificial Grass

  • Get the look and feel of real grass without the hassle, mess, or maintenance.
  • Artificial grass allow water to drain right through, so there's no puddling and no mess. 
  • Super comfortable, artificial grass creates a luxurious surface.

Plastic Flooring

  • Suitable as a portable flooring over grass and over dirt, plastic flooring is versatile and easy to install.
  • Many plastic tiles offer anti-fatigue benefits, making for a soft and forgiving surface.
  • Choose from designer options to create an eye-catching yet safe surface.
  • Raised base tiles prevent the growth of mold and mildew, and are ideal for swimming pools and wet areas.
  • Some tiles carry an ASTM fall height rating, offering excellent safety for play or pool areas.

More Resources offers a vast number of resources to aid you, start to finish, in purchasing outdoor floors. First, start scrolling through videos, blogs, how to's, and customer profiles all located within the Greatmats Buyer's Guide. It is a flooring-specific library, curated with information to help you in purchasing your perfect floor.

If the Greatmats Buyer's Guide isn't quite deep enough for you, the wealth of knowledge of Greatmats Flooring Experts certainly will be. The friendly customer service folk are at the ready to chat out your vision for the floor, help you hone in on a few specific products, answer any remaining questions, and get your new floor to your door.

Research a specific product by getting a clear image of what exactly what it would look like in your space. You can actually do this with unlimited access to Greatmats' Pro Floor Designer. The floor designer allows you to enter the real dimensions of your space so you can get a lifelike visual of what the product would be like in it. You can even mess around with different colors and designs. With Greatmats Pro Floor Designer, you can feel like professional designer in just a few simple steps. 

For more on this topic please review our Outdoor Floors product page.