Patio Upgrade – Using Granite and Slate Decking Tiles

Published: 12th May 2009
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One of the hottest trends among homeowners is to extend a home's living space to the outdoors, using "modular" decking tiles. Many homeowners want a refuge from the hectic pace of daily life. Decks can provide a place to relax and enjoy the outdoor setting.



Today's decks aren't just your dull rectangular slabs of yesterday. People are designing decks to fit how they intend to use the space. More often, deck designs receive as much careful attention as the home's interior. Many homeowners are designing decks with increased levels of privacy, further blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces.



Designing and building an outdoor living space, that adds a mark of distinction to your home, takes some planning, creative thinking, and the proper materials.



Layout & Design



We recommend asking a few simple questions before you design an outdoor living space. You should ask what the deck will be used for. Consider where items like chairs and tables will go. Think about which views you would like to cover up or preserve. Answers to questions like these will save you time and money.



Layout can be easily determined by dividing the deck into different zones. Some zones, like dining areas, will require extra space. A zone's function should determine its location. For example, a cooking area should be close to the kitchen, and an area with a great view may be best for sitting.



If you are interested in privacy, consider a simple trellis which allows you to enjoy great views and quiet conversation in private. A trellis decorated with climbing flowers increases a deck's solitude and beauty.



Materials



Homeowners can choose from many synthetic materials when building a deck, but we believe the only real options are "modular" Ipe (Brazilian Walnut), Granite, Slate or Ceramic decking tiles. Decking tiles bring an exceptional all-natural look and character to outdoor living spaces, coupled with outstanding performance and ease of maintenance.



Ipe is also one of the world's most naturally beautiful woods and adds a mark distinction to a home, condominium or apartment.



The durability of Ipe is outstanding. One of the world's most durable woods, Ipe contains natural preservatives that resist moisture, decay and insect damage. Its appearance can be maintained with Penofin, an environmentally-friendly, oil-based product.



Although Ipe ages beautifully, applying an oil, as mentioned earlier, will maintain the wood's original appearance. Many people choose Ipe for its natural beauty. Applying a clear or semi-transparent finish protects the original look, though some people prefer the classic silver gray of well-aged Ipe.



Environmental Footprint



Using Ipe can also lessen a home's environmental footprint, or total impact on the environment. That's especially true when it's compared with synthetic or mineral building products like metal, cement or stucco that must be extracted from the ground and are not renewable.



Ipe is one of the most environmentally friendly building products you can use. It's recyclable, biodegradable and even reusable. It also has a sustainable lifecycle, unlike other products that must be mined or chemically manufactured.



Final Steps - Construction and Decoration



Keep in mind that your outdoor living space is a transition between your home and yard. Placing some furniture just outside the entrance will ease the transition from inside. Decorating the space with plants seen in the immediate area will help the transition to the yardscape.



For more information on granite and slate decking tiles, please visit www.OutdoorFloors.net, a leading distributor of outdoor flooring, decking materials, and pre-made modular patios.


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