Take It Outside!

By Patti Malunat; interior designer and showroom manager for Colorado Ceramic Tile- Centennial
Posted

As the days grow longer and warmer, our thoughts naturally turn to spending more time outdoors in beautiful Colorado.

What better way to enjoy our climate than to expand your outdoor living space with a new or updated patio, deck or porch? You can add significantly to your home’s recreational area that will benefit the whole household.

Create a natural gathering place for family and friends to cook, play games, socialize, or just relax. Studies show that spending time outside decreases stress and increases feelings of appreciation and connectedness.

Most people are familiar with the traditional redwood deck and the newer wood-look plastic decking, but there are other options for outdoor applications that you may not have considered – namely, natural stone and tile.

When installed correctly, stone and tile are durable, attractive and low maintenance choices that will add value and enjoyment to your home for many years.

Eliminate the yearly chore of staining and sanding wood! Stone and tile can also be used for many things besides patio floors; for instance, countertops, planters, walls, fireplaces and water features. Outdoor kitchens are a desirable option that also saves energy when you barbecue instead of cooking inside on warm days.

Tile and stone are available in a myriad of shapes, colors and sizes these days – think outside the 12 x 12 square box! Patterns using multiple sizes are one way to jazz up your design.

Possibilities for materials include full-body porcelain, slate, granite, flagstone and quartzite stone. There are even some travertine pavers that are now rated for outdoor use. 

For exterior installations, be sure that your choice is freeze/thaw resistant – your tile professional can help you determine this.  If the patio is not covered, it’s also important to consider color (so the surface is not too hot on sunny days) and texture (so it is not slippery when wet).

Proper installation is the key for a good looking and long lasting project. Don’t skimp on the details such as sub-surface preparation, setting materials, and waterproofing. Hire a professional – or do your homework - to get the best results.

This spring is the perfect time to get started on a new outdoor living area. Your family can reap the benefits as early as this summer, and since Colorado averages 300 days of sunshine, the rewards will continue for months and years to come!