Looking to turn your patio into your small outdoor slice of Heaven? Then flooring is one of the many things you need to plan. Since redoing your outdoor space can be costly and it’s something that I really want you to enjoy, allow me to show you 10 cheap outdoor flooring ideas.
Table of Contents
- What to Consider When Installing Outdoor Flooring?
- 10 Cheap Outdoor Flooring Ideas
- How Can You Save Money on an Outdoor Floor?
- Final Thoughts
What to Consider When Installing Outdoor Flooring?
The Ground Surface
When installing just about any type of outdoor flooring, you have to consider the ground you’re working with. If you have to get trees out of the way, dig trenches or add sand/gravel, or level the terrain in any way, that’s always going to cost you more.
It also takes a lot more work on your behalf. Take that into consideration before choosing a location for your outdoor flooring.
The Weather Conditions
Before picking a certain type of outdoor flooring, consider the weather conditions that those materials will be exposed to.
Is the material resistant to frost? Will it expand or suffered damage if exposed to direct sunlight? Is it waterproof? Can it get slippery when wet and pose a falling threat? It’s not just about the durability of the material to the weather conditions, but it’s also a matter of personal safety.
Temporary vs Permanent Outdoor Flooring
Some outdoor flooring solutions are temporary and easy to discard, while others pose a more permanent solution. These temporary solutions include interlocking tiles, artificial grass, rental staging, carpeted plywood, and more. Permanent solutions mean you won’t have to stress about installing new outdoor flooring for a very long time.
10 Cheap Outdoor Flooring Ideas
Here are some simple patio floor design ideas to get you started. This simple pea gravel floor will take less time and energy to install than stone pavers or outdoor tiles.
Just lay down a layer of pea gravel around the perimeter of the work area to prepare it. Pea gravel will stay in place better if you install plastic or metal edging first. I recommend using a ground geo grid that you fill up with your gravel, it will hold it in place for a long time keeping your outdoor flooring in place. The last thing you want is to be doing is continuously picking up and raking your gravel back in place.
You also have the option to use a resin material that will lock your gravel in place. This process is completed using a product called Easihold and can be sprayed over your gravel patio area to hold it together.
Looking for a trendy and easy way to step up your outdoor flooring game? Then you might want to consider interlocking deck tiles.
Even if you already have a concrete patio, you can use this design to make it feel homier. To give your concrete floor a new appearance, you can install tiles over it. These tiles are usually very easy to install, without the need for any complicated tools and materials.
Many interlocking deck tiles have a modular design, so they can be moved to a new location if necessary. If one of the interlocking patio tiles is broken, you can simply replace that tile and continue using the rest of the patio. As a result, you won’t have to spend a lot of money replacing huge areas of your flooring.
If you need a short-term decking solution, these tiles are ideal because they can be easily removed and replaced if necessary. The subsoil can also be extensively cleaned by removing the typically 1 or 4 square foot tiles.
3. Concrete Slab Patio
Concrete patio flooring should be your first choice if you’re looking for sturdiness, adaptability, and strength on a patio floor. On top of the fact that it’s long-lasting, it can also enhance the aesthetic appeal of your patio. As a bonus, concrete floors are among the most affordable flooring options on the market.
The cost of a concrete slab is typically very low. If you want to make it stand out, you can stencil it, paint it, or use a decorative chip to give it a high-end look.
This type of flooring also has the benefit of being low-maintenance. To keep it clean, all you need to do is sweep and hose it down every now and then.
If you already have an old concrete patio check out our related post: 19 Cheap Ways to Cover a Concrete Patio
Why not opt for an outdoor carpet as an alternative flooring idea? An outdoor carpet’s self-adhesive backing makes for an easy solution in outdoor spots that are shielded by rain
You can opt for carpets that are good-looking, plush, and keep your feet warm. It’s a lot cozier than a brick or concrete patio floor when you’re outside your house. Your carpet can be transformed into a work of art by adding your own personal touch through color mixing and embellishments.
I love that it’s very affordable, making it both practical and cost-effective. To ensure its long life and good condition, all you need to do is perform routine maintenance on it. Cleaning and vacuuming on an as-needed basis will suffice.
5. Brick Pavers
Bricks have unique quality in that they come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. An outdoor floor made from brick pavers can look new for many years if it is installed and cared for correctly.
The exterior of bricks, on the other hand, is hard and naturally porous. As a result, if they aren’t properly sealed during installation, water can accumulate. You can get mold a mildew growing because of it.
6. Concrete Pavers
Any outside area in your home can benefit from the use of concrete pavers, which are both flexible and robust. A simple method to improve the appearance of your home’s exterior is to lay concrete pavers on the walks leading to and from it.
In terms of maintenance, all concrete pavers really need is daily sweeping and the occasional rinse with a garden hose. Weeds can grow in between cracks, but it’s very straightforward to remove them from the roots. It’s also important to note that concrete pavers require little to no upkeep.
Concrete pavers are available in a variety of forms and sizes, allowing you to create a unique look for your home’s exterior. A variety of natural stone-like concrete pavers and clay brick pavers are available.
Light-colored concrete pavers can be used as a border around your pool if you so desire. For a garden path to your backyard, you can choose concrete pavers with a stone-like appearance.
Read my full guide on how to install concrete pavers. I answer all the questions you may have and show you what it cost me!
7. Natural Lawn
Is there really anything better than stepping on natural grass with your bare feet during a warm summer day? If you want to bring as much greenery to your outdoor space as possible, consider a natural lawn as an option.
Temperature-sensitive locations benefit greatly from the cooling capabilities of natural grass during the hottest months of the year.
For a final touch, a natural turfgrass lawn can be enjoyed by the entire family and creates a beautiful landscape for the home.
Natural turfgrass also aids in the purification of incoming rainfall. Air pollution causes acid rain, which damages the environment, yet a natural lawn acts as a filtration system for groundwater.
As rainwater seeps into the soil, soil microbes begin to degrade contaminants. The process of moving via the roots and ending up in rivers and lakes serves to purify the groundwater.
8. Rubber Tiles
As a gym flooring option, rubber flooring is long-lasting, slip-resistant, and shock-absorbing. Because of this, you’ll be able to run, play, and fall on your floor without fear of damaging it. Great if you have kids playing outside!
There are too many possibilities to consider, and it can be a little overwhelming. As a result, we’ve divided it into three distinct types of rubber outdoor flooring: tiles, rolls, and pavers.
Playground tiles are a super popular outdoor flooring option you can lay over almost any material, just properly prep the ground when laying on dirt.
Rubber rollout flooring is just a huge rubber mat, this is what you often see at the gym on the floor. For outdoors these can take up a nice amount of space and you can be worry free about furniture, toys, and heavy objects causing any damages.
Rubber pavers are super cool and are becoming more popular year after year. You can find interlocking options or tiles that you place together like regular pavers. The designs are made to look like real stone and certainly do not disappoint.
Do you want a lawn but despise the time and money it takes to maintain it? Installing artificial grass as an alternative to concrete as an outdoor flooring option is a viable option. It’s super easy and cheap to set up, and it gives the appearance of a well-kept lawn without the hassle of maintaining one.
In terms of cost and quality, synthetic grass or turf is an excellent option. As the owner, you don’t have to mow the lawn or set up sprinklers or irrigation systems, so it requires little to no effort on your part.
It’s hard to tell the difference between synthetic turf and real grass. It’s a great place to let your kids and pets run around and have a good time. Have a picnic or lay on the patio and not worry about bugs or insects crawling over you because it is a soft and cozy type of patio flooring.
Foam tiles are not the best option for your outdoor space, however in the right location they can be a very affordable option for us who are on a budget. If you have a balcony area or a somewhat dry location outdoors, adding some foam tiles can upgrade the look of the area.
Foam is soft and can be a great spot to do some morning yoga, a place for the kids to play, or perfect for a meditation session.
You can get different foam qualities, the cheaper options will be thinner and lighter in weight, while more expensive options will be thicker and more resistant to the outdoor elements.
If you want you an treat foam tiles like patio furniture, store them during rain, winter, and storms and your foam tiles will last a long time!
How Can You Save Money on an Outdoor Floor?
Looking for more ways to save money on outdoor flooring? Let’s take a look at some more tips!
- Build around the trees. That way, you save money with removal and get to benefit from shade.
- Buy materials off-season. When demand is low, prices are also lower.
- Make use of existing materials. If you have any old pallets, pavers, gravel, etc., you can use those to make new flooring.
- Don’t build everything at once. Scoot for sales, look for cheap materials wherever you can, and only expand when the budget allows it.
- Hunt for free materials. That includes joining Facebook groups, constantly scouting the Marketplace, Craigslist, or social media in general.
- Install the flooring yourself or ask a friend to help you out. Labor costs can be really high.
For those who prefer the rustic appeal and natural tones of wood or brick pavers, this may be the ideal outdoor flooring option. Or maybe you want something that’s safe for the kids, like foam tiles. Whatever the case, you have to prioritize your needs and budget before choosing one of the above options.
Check out our related outdoor flooring article:
- 9 Different Ways to Cover Up Your Old Deck
- 7 Temporary Outdoor Flooring Ideas to Lay Over Grass
- 9 Cheap Ways To Cover Dirt In Backyard
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.