Sometimes the quintessential elevated deck isn't the best option for outdoor entertainment space. Ground-level buildings and homes that have plenty of level space are ideal candidates for outdoor wood flooring as an alternative. Occasionally referred to as patios, ground level decking or flooring is laid directly on top of the ground rather than elevated on some type of platform as decks are. Many assume patios are concrete slabs, but there is actually a wide range of patio design and plenty of flooring options to choose from.
Opting for outdoor wood flooring is cost-effective compared to a deck and often much faster for contractors to install. It is an easy fix for adding solid footing to a space that is otherwise dirt, concrete slab, or a lawn. Being ground-level, it also means any building or home where disability access is required won't need to complicate building design by having to incorporate ramps. Unless the space in question has a steep slope or the building is elevated, there is no need to consider building a deck when outdoor flooring is a far more preferred option.
That being said, special care and consideration must be paid when designing your space just as you would a deck.
Planning Out Your Outdoor Wood Flooring Space
The very first thing to consider when planning out your outdoor space is determining how big of a floored area you need. You will want to err on the side of generosity when planning out space as a little too big of a floored area is not nearly as much of an issue as a crowded space. That being said, going with an unnecessarily large floored area is a waste of money and may even look a bit overwhelming.
There are a few things to ask yourself when determining what size area you need, such as:
- What is the number of people that will regularly use the space?
- Do you ever hold parties or events that will require more floor space?
- What type of furniture and general furnishings will take up space on the floor?
It is important to have some idea of what this outdoor floored space will be used for as well as what furniture will be on it. For sake of foot traffic, allow for roughly 3′ of extra space around furniture to prevent congestion. Residential buildings and houses with pools should also include a minimum of a 3′ floor border around the pool as well.
Once you have a general idea of how big the floored area will need to be, it's time to call out a contractor to take measurements and see what size is realistically possible. If the space you wish for the flooring to be is just bare ground, naturally the project will be a bit more time-intensive and expensive. If the space is already concrete slab, the process of laying wood flooring overtop is actually fairly straightforward and easy.
Deciding On Outdoor Wood Flooring Materials
Once you've figured out the size of your space you can then move onto the most exciting process – selecting the perfect flooring material. Just like interior design, the flooring you choose for your outdoor space has a huge impact on the overall style as well as comfortability of your guests.
As mentioned, a concrete slab is the typical material of choice for patios, but that doesn't mean it's the best in terms of appearance. For durability sake you may want to pour concrete as a foundation for your floor, but covering it with a beautiful wood flooring is the superior option.
There is a wide range of wood floor materials designed for outdoor use, including traditional and composite wood choices, but not all are created equal. Real wood is almost always preferred over composite woods for a few reasons. Firstly, real wood's aesthetic appeal simply can't be beaten and very few composites can trick someone into thinking it's actual wood. Secondly, composites can fade after time and floor with a lot of plastic can get quite hot to bare feet.
Real wood is cooler to the touch, but traditional wood decking and flooring is considered high-maintenance. Thankfully there is a solution that combines the best of real wood beauty and composite ease of care – modified wood.
Modified wood is a real wood product but it far denser than typical wood. It requires no surface treatments and is durable enough for even the busiest of outdoor spaces. The density of it also lends impressive moisture-resistance, making it a better choice for ground-level floors. Modified wood, such as the type offered by Kebony, is simply stunning in appearance and incredibly smooth as well as being splinter-free. Additionally, Kebony modified wood flooring placed outdoors will gradually mature to a beautiful, chic silver-grey finish.
When it comes to outdoor flooring made of real wood, modified wood is right at the top of the list when you consider all factors, such as durability, longevity, low maintenance, sustainability, and affordability.
5 Inspirational Outdoor Wood Flooring Designs
When designing your own outdoor wood floor space it can be a bit overwhelming to decide exactly what you want. If you're feeling stuck, here are five beautiful examples to inspire you to create your own welcoming outdoor entertainment scene.
Perfect Mixed Media Outdoor Zone
(YETI Corporate Office, by TBG Partners, photo by Fine Focus Photography)
This space is a perfect example of how beautiful wood flooring can look combined with other materials like stone and alongside a lush green lawn. The use of wood flooring in just the furnished lounge area sets this space apart from the rest of the yard, giving in a stylish, welcoming feel to it. The use of Kebony ensures that despite being alongside a lawn, this wood flooring will hold up beautifully, despite exposure to moisture.
Wall To Wall Wood Flooring
(NH Hotel Terrace Berlin, by Jana Zschuppe NH Hotel Group)
The space between the building and the wall of this waterfront courtyard could have been boring concrete, but instead the use of Kebony wood flooring really ties everything together. Though fairly basic in design, it is certainly pleasing to the eye and this expansive floored area makes this spot highly versatile. Businesses that often host events will find that a large outdoor floored area like the one above makes entertaining large groups much easier.
Incorporating Nature Into Your Space
(Sustainable Kindergarden, photo by Mike Haran)
Instead of completely eliminating natural elements you can instead include within your floored space. In this example the designer included trees planted within the area, which adds natural shade and aesthetic appeal. Including some greenery into your floor space or patio is a highly recommended and really brings out the warmth of Kebony wood flooring.
Versatile Curved Flooring For Events And Gatherings
(Fiskars office, by Fiskars)
This office building went a unique route with curved Kebony wood flooring which extends out to seating areas as well as under a semi-permanent covered event space. The curved design of the flooring allows for pops of greenery and also helps create visual contrast between walkways and table space. Remember, there is no reason to only limit your floored space to only a square or rectangle.
Picturesque Wood Floored Outdoor Dining Space
(Secret Rooftop Garden, by Ark Net As, photo by Jacob Buchard)
This picture-perfect wood floored outdoor space is a great example of how well Kebony wood works for elevated open floors. This area includes a dining area, an overhead shade structure, and a separate lounge area. The natural characteristics of wood flooring make it perfect for those looking to replicate an “indoors out” feel to their entertainment spots.
Outdoor wood flooring is equally beautiful as it is useful. By opting for Kebony modified wood you will get the benefits of real wood with none of the trouble associated with caring for outdoor wood flooring. Rather than automatically going for a boring concrete patio, consider the advantages and style of choosing wood flooring for your outdoor space instead.