Whether it be used for entertaining during the summer, lounging with a good book in the morning, or as an outdoor living space, patios have become a staple of the American home, making their layout and décor almost as important as other rooms in the house. Because of the increase in popularity of patios, companies have begun manufacturing a variety of materials that can be used to build this space, ranging from brick, flagstone, tile, and concrete. Because of the high cost of purchasing and installing these textiles, decorative concrete and cement patios are becoming a more user friendly and cost effective alternative. Besides with the wide variety of ways in which you can mold, decorate, and even color concrete, you can create the look and feel of these other materials without breaking your budget! Plus, searching for the best concrete patio designs is not a difficult task. With the help of our DIY experts you can quickly find information about tools and materials for installation, pictures of concrete patio design ideas, and also layouts to help with your planning.
Determining the location and size of your concrete patio designs will be the first step of the planning process. Obviously the cost of a patio will increase with size, so make sure you choose dimensions that will provide you with enough space for your needs, without exceed your price range. The location of your patio will depend on a few factors including the size of your yard, how big you want the cement slab to be, if the space will be covered by roof or other structure, and if you want it to be connected to your home. Covered patio awnings tend to be located immediately next to, or even connected to, the house so that homeowners can have easy access to the kitchen and other rooms, although some can be built as separate entities elsewhere in the backyard. Concrete can also be used to build a seamless flow into a pathway that connects your driveway to this space. A concrete driveway can also be shaped, stained and textured to resemble other materials, just like simple patio design ideas, making it an ideal and multi-functional material for exterior home improvement.
Once you have determined the size and location of your new patio, you are reading to begin your designs. This is the stage of the process where you can get creative and experiment with different ideas before making a final decision. Most homeowners do not want to install a boring gray or tan slab of cement, which is why a new trend in backyard design ideas has been to stain or paint the concrete a different color, or even multiple hues. There are many ways to create colored concrete, however the three main ways include dying the material before poring it, painting it, or staining it after it is laid. The dyes that are used for concrete coloring can come in many vibrant shades like blue or red, and be applied while the material is being mixed or after it has been poured in the yard. Another option, painting concrete patios, is very similar to dying the material. Two differences are that concrete patio paint can only be applied after the textile has been poured and set, and typically contain a weather proof finish to ensure they can withstand the outdoors.
Another way to create a colored concrete patio is to stain the material. Patio staining is different from traditional wood deck painting in that it infuses into the concrete to create translucent tones, rather than settling on top to produce a solid and opaque finish. You can use this floor stain to create a variety of looks ranging from natural stone to polished granite, or even stained wood. Although cement stain colors come in a variety of colors, there are only two main types that can be used, including water-based acrylics and acid-based chemical stains. Just like painting, concrete acid stain works different than wood deck stain by infiltrating the surface of the material and reacting with minerals to create a permanent color that will not fade. When water-based acrylics are used on stained concrete flooring, they react in a similar fashion, however can be used to create a more opaque finish. Some of our most popular patio photos in 2015 show yards in which these stains were used, how they can be used to create polished concrete floors with different textures or patterns, and the myriad of colors in which these products are available.
Stamped concrete or patio pavers are other options that can be used to create decorative designs in this outdoor living space. The choice between stamped concrete vs pavers is more of a personal one, as both options will create similar looks. Similar to concrete molds for patios, stamps are used to create a variety of patterns in the cement before it dries. If you have a raised patio you can even purchase and install precast steps with stamped concrete patterns to match those that you installed on the patio. Concrete patio stones and pavers are different from stamps in that they are single, prefabricated units that are laid down and interlock together to form a decorative surface that can be used immediately rather than waiting for it to dry. Some pavers also come in kits to help you with your designs and the installation process. If you have a preexisting slab of cement in your backyard you also have the option of laying patio pavers over concrete to create a stronger, more durable deck, plus save time and money on tearing up and removing the old cement.
With an exposed aggregate concrete patio in your best backyard makeovers but it is a little outdated, worn from weather, or has a few cracks in concrete from over use, there are a few easy diy things you can to spruce this space up. Besides the cost of a concrete slab and hiring a professional contractor to tear up the preexisting patio can reach upwards of $1000, so why not try a few DIY tricks at home first. Exterior painting or staining the concrete is a simple and straightforward do it yourself option, however restoration is another popular choice. Resurfacing concrete can be accomplished by purchasing a specific resurfacer product that can be found in almost every home improvement store. First wash your existing patio before pouring concrete from the resurfacing mix, as it will allow the new cement to adhere better. Once the concrete patio is thoroughly washed you can start to mix, form, and pour concrete from the resurfacing kit onto surface of your patio. Spread the concrete evenly over the existing patio design plans to ensure proper coverage and fill any cracks or unwanted crevices.