During the warm weather months the patio often becomes the focal point of the home’s social life. As such you want to ensure your patio is always as stylish as it is functional and with patios, style begins with the surface itself. In this post we’re going to take a look at a variety of patio styles currently in vogue. We’ll discuss the various materials in play as well as how those materials are utilized to achieve the visual effects the designer is after.
Patio Materials and Styles
Just as the style of your home is both driven by and informed by the materials used in its construction so too the style of your patio is driven and informed by the materials used to create the physical surface of the patio itself. Below we’re going to look at patio materials typically used by a Toronto landscaping contractor and the various styles they’re most commonly used to create.
Concrete pavers resemble brick yet are available in a much wider array of shapes, sizes and colours. Concrete pavers can be used to create both formal and informal style patios. Pavers of a single colour, when deployed in simple organic patterns, can create a loose, informal atmosphere for your patio. If you want a patio style that’s more stately and formal choose pavers of different colours and sizes and arrange them in more rigid, geometric patterns. Interlocking pavers are typically one of the more cost effective patio surface solutions as installation costs are moderate yet they’ll last for centuries if properly cared for.
Brick is a time honoured material that’s durable, functional and affordable. The “time honoured” aspect of this material is a giveaway that it’s most often used by the Toronto landscaping contractor to create a rustic look and feel for the patio area. If you have a brownstone in North York or a Colonial Era home on the outskirts of Toronto that you want to create a patio for you’ll likely want to use brick to do so.
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The use of stained concrete to create patios is a fairly new phenomenon and one capable of adapting to and/or creating a wide range of patio styles. An almost unlimited number of colour and surface effects are possible when using stained concrete. But this material really shines when it’s used to bring some of the more expansive, minimalist contemporary patio styles to life. The cost of this type of surface will vary depending on the effect you wish to achieve.
Stamped concrete is another relatively recent design innovation that has captured the imagination of Toronto homeowners and for very good reason. It’s extremely versatile and can be used to create everything from a rustic look to a boldly contemporary patio surface. There are 2 types of stamped concrete: an open mold stamp is used solely to create shapes while closed mold stamps are used to add texture to the concrete surface. Virtually any style of contemporary patio can be created using stamped concrete and the process is typically far more affordable than natural stone.
Flagstone is an extremely versatile patio material that can be made to serve a variety of stylistic masters. You can achieve everything from a loose, rustic look (using rough-hewn, mortarless flagstone) to a beautifully crafted seamless surface that will look perfectly appropriate snuggled up to your one-of-a-kind contemporary masterpiece of a house. Can be expensive though.
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Mortared Cut Stone
Mortared cut stone provides a timeless atmosphere to your backyard that works beautifully with older, more traditional homes. It is often considered to be a somewhat more formal material than flagstone, or at least a material that lends itself to more formal design applications. Mortared cut stone is a popular choice for high use patios so if you entertain a lot it might be a good choice for you. Installation can range from moderately expensive to very expensive.
Exterior tiles can be fabricated from terra cotta, porcelain, concrete, synthetic stone and more. With their geometric shapes and myriad organic-style patterns they create evocative surfaces that are also clean, sleek, comfortable underfoot and low maintenance. They’re most commonly used when a designer is working in a contemporary style and they range in price anywhere from moderately affordable to very expensive.
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Precast steppers come in a variety of shapes and sizes although they’re typically large and laid down at a distance from one another. The overall effect of a precast stepper patio is one of integration with its surroundings. Grass or gravel are often used to fill the space between slabs. This type of patio requires an experienced Toronto landscaping contractor to pull off successfully and it can be higher maintenance than many other types of patio surface. Costs however are typically among the lowest of any patio material.
Other popular patio materials include mulch and pea gravel. Both of these are free-form materials laid down en masse and shifted about until an even surface is achieved. A mulch patio can be finished by edging it with brick or wooden 4x4s and can be very comfortable underfoot; although it can make levelling your chair something of a challenge. Pea gravel allows for a slightly more substantial surface than mulch and exhibits excellent drainage characteristics, although it will still shift when you walk on it and levelling out your chair can still be an issue. Both mulch and pea gravel are used to create a rustic look and both are extremely affordable patio materials.
Call the Leading Toronto Landscaping Contractor to Find out More
Your Toronto landscaping contractor can discuss the various material options available to you and provide you with plenty of examples of how the different materials inform various patio styles. M.E.Contracting is the most trusted Toronto landscaping contractor with decades of combined experience designing and building breathtaking patios for clients in every corner of the GTA.
Call us today @(416) 238-6700 to find out more about patio styles and materials.