Flooring for Outdoor Living – Part I
The popularity of Outdoor Living Spaces has never been stronger than it is today. Homeowner’s are in love with their patios, decks, porches, screened porches, outdoor kitchens, outdoor home entertainment areas, and more. The flooring choices for these outdoor spaces have expanded too. Some people think that the only choices are brick pavers, concrete, or wood/composite decking, which are sold and installed by your area’s Landscape/Hardscape companies. That is no longer true. If you are looking for options or even more style for your flooring choices, Martin’s Flooring can help.
Martin’s offers two broad categories of great flooring choices for outdoor living: Indoor/Outdoor Carpets and Tile. Please note that there are multiple choices with many different style and color options available under each of these categories. The focus today will be primarily on Indoor/Outdoor carpet. In a later article, we will look at Tile for outdoor living areas.
Some people may think of miniature golf courses when outdoor carpets are mentioned, but Indoor/Outdoor carpets have been vastly improved over recent years, and are extremely durable. Carpet options that can transition from indoor to the outdoors and vice versa are not talked about as much as tile for use in outdoor areas, but these robust weather-resistant coverings can add colors and texture that may be missed using other materials. In fact, with so many style and color options available, outdoor carpets have been transitioning for more use indoors.
There are many benefits when using Indoor/Outdoor carpet. Here are a few.
Olefin fiber is a very popular component of this type carpet. The materials for indoor/ outdoor rugs are meant to last. Olefin fibers are long wearing, resistant to moisture and mildew and are highly stain resistant. Used both indoors and out, they come in grasses, berbers and level loops. Low odor makes them attractive as well as the ultraviolet stabilizers which provide color fade resistance.
- Installation options:
Olefin carpets come in 6 and 12 foot widths and can be loose laid or adhered to concrete, asphalt or wood decking with glue or double-faced tape. The main requirement is that the surface be clean, dry and smooth. This carpet requires no stretching.
- Stylish options now available
Old, fake plastic grass options are being seen less frequently. In their place, they are now offered in materials that are comfortable underfoot and seem to fit nicely for indoor use and have a variety of patterns. They can come in more subdued prints with a simple border, or more graphic and bold. With a variety of colors, they are easy to pair to any aesthetic you are seeking.
- Easy maintenance:
Sweep it often with a stiff broom to keep it clean. Remove any spots with a general cleaning detergent and rinse with water. Since indoor/outdoor carpets are meant for outdoor use, they can be hosed down and then dried. Be sure to follow the cleaning recommendations from the manufacturers. The pile type in these rugs also factor in to the easy maintenance and care. Spills can easily be dealt with. This makes it ideal if you have children or pets in your home and are concerned about the mess.
When it comes to where to install Indoor/Outdoor Carpet, please consider the following.
- For fully-exposed outdoor installations, the carpet must be made from UV stabilized polypropylene (olefin) fiber. (Polypropylene (olefin) is “hydrophobic”-it will not absorb moisture and is inherently stain resistant-the color is part of the chemical make-up of the fiber, not dyed or applied). It also must have an all-weather “marine” backing for moisture resistance.
- For protected outdoor installations (covered screen porches, etc.), UV stabilized polypropylene (olefin) is recommended. It can have either an all-weather marine or action (synthetic jute-like) backing.
- For indoor installations, most fibers are suitable, but for basement installations where moisture resistance may be important, choose a polypropylene (olefin). In situations where moisture has been a problem, choose one with a marine backing and use a full-spread adhesive installation.
Your Martin’s sales and product specialist would be happy to answer your questions and provide expert advice on what product type would be right for your setting. Call on a Martin’s professional for a free in-home consultation. With more than 30 years of experience in the business, Martin’s Flooring also can do all your measuring and installation work. For more information click here.