One of the best ways to achieve a perfectly practical outdoor space is by continuing hard surfaces from inside through to outside.
We’re sure you’ve noticed in recent years that outdoor living has become a very big thing. Taking the inside out, alfresco dining, bi-fold doors and dreamy summer evenings to unwind in the garden after work. One of the best ways to achieve a practical outdoor space is by continuing hard surfaces from inside through to outside. Quite simply, allow your garden to become an extension of your home. Hard landscaping is ideal from a practical point of view and will last for years as well as tying in with its surroundings.
Natural stone tiles offer a wealth of choice and are undeniably beautiful. Often, the most economical options are generally sandstone and slate tile as these materials have great natural slip resistance, the majority being available in a natural textured finish, but even smooth or ‘honed’ sandstone tiles are suitable for exterior use. Various sizes are available which will allow you to lay in more traditional patterns, or for a more contemporary look we would suggest you opt for single sizes.
Other natural materials include limestone tiles, marble tiles and granite tiles, which are available in larger flagstones.
It’s also worth thinking about the shade you prefer. Bear in mind lighter shades look great when all sparkly, clean & new but not so smart if covered in green algae and moss! However if you’re prepared to put in a little extra work, they may well be the choice for you. Greys, buffs and blacks will generally be more forgiving. There’s always the option of using protective stone tile sealer or specialist cleaners (and we can fully advise on these for you) but we find the majority of people are happy to leave outdoor stone to weather naturally.
In terms of maintenance we can suggest a simple sweep-over, or on occasion you may even go outside with the vacuum; it’s whatever works for you! It’s worth noting that all materials outside tend to lighten overtime but in most cases this seems to help them settle in to the scheme of their surroundings.
A growing trend (especially when you consider using bi-fold doors), is to have a continuous, matching surface from inside to out. The choices really depend on how you plan to fix the material. If fixing onto a solid concrete base with adhesive as you would inside, thinner thickness slabs can be used. If perhaps you have a large area to cover and a mix of sand and cement is your base, thicker slabs are the best bet. We offer many of our natural stone tiles in both interior and exterior thicknesses allowing you to easily achieve this seamless scenario.