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Outdoor flooring

Choosing the right flooring for the outdoor enables you to make the outdoor more enjoyable, to pave pathways, access roads and to cover terraces and porches. The choice of the outdoor flooring should take into consideration the use destination, the characteristics of the ground and the climate of the context. Outdoor floors are specifically treated in a way to withstand the action of atmospheric agents and temperature leaps. However, this is not the only criteria to keep in mind, since technical specifications can vary depending on the use destination and the climate zone. The tiles used to cover balconies, terraces and porches must be enduring to weathering, molds, stains, mechanical stresses and at the same time be anti-slip and low water absorbing. The flooring destined to driveway areas are characterized by high resistance to loads and usage and their surface is porous and roughs so to favor water drainage and at the same time avert dangerous slips. Slabs meant for walkways, on their hand, are less resistant to loads than walkways meant for vehicles, but will have to adapt as much as possible to the morphology of the ground.

Designing the outdoor floor: choosing the materials

Once the technical characteristics of the outdoor floor have been figured out, the project designer will have to focus on the materials, finishes and installation techniques. Among other materials, in recent years porcelain stoneware has gained increasing popularity, thanks to its great endurance, quality of the finishes, formats variety and versatility. With porcelain stoneware it is possible to create floors in continuity with the indoors and fa├žades, for an outcome of astonishing aesthetic impact. The great variety of effects, encompassing natural textures and design patterns, enables project developers to design creative solutions without all those constraints connected to the use of other materials. More delicate but of great fascination, ceramic floors are perfect to cover balconies, terraces and porches, while paving in stone confers a natural outlook, both to the touch and the sight, and are ideal to cover portions of the garden, courtyards, walkways and pathways. Natural stone can come in slabs, small cubes, pebbles or tiles, ideal to put together mosaics or geometrical pattern for a powerful aesthetic outcome. Eventually, a trendy solution is represented by decking, a special type of flooring for the outdoor that implies the use of wood species that are naturally resistant to molds and bacteria. This way it will be possible to create an outdoor parquet that endures the agents causing wood to deteriorate. Often wood undergoes a thermal treatment with high temperatures, so to become resistant to the action of water and weathering. Extremely durable, outdoor decking is used to create walkways, catwalks, docks and poolside flooring.

Laying techniques for outdoor flooring

The choice of outdoor flooring includes a last but extremely important aspect to look at, that is to say the laying technique. Depending on the use destination and the characteristics of the ground, the project designer can opt for glue-based or dry floor laying. Laying on mortar or glue is recommended when paving balconies, terraces, porches and for all those areas that require a high level of impermeability. In this case, next to slabs, it is possible to opt for outdoor continuous flooring, allowing to create homogeneous surfaces thanks to the absence of joints. Great to fit any use destination, from terraces to driveways, they are made of various materials, from concrete to natural stone, from resin to ceramics. Dry laying, which does not imply the use of adhesive materials, is normally faster and less expensive, especially if the chosen solution does not require the creation of a screed, as in the case of laying on gravel, sand or grass. Outdoor raised floors are a flexible, quick and practical solution, ideal for building renovation projects or new constructions. The slabs are laid on special self-leveling load-bearing supports, and the cavity that is created can house the fittings, as well as to increase the thermal insulation and protect the waterproof sheathing in terraces. Raised floors are mainly made of porcelain stoneware, synthetic grass and glass. Especially ideal for covering driveways, pathways and courtyards, floors made with self-locking blocks are extremely resistant to loads and weathering. Self-locking paving slabs can be made of cement-based materials, natural stone or ceramic materials such as terracotta and brick. The dry laying par excellence for exteriors is undoubtedly the gravel, ideal for covering driveways and paths, courtyards and gardens. Very much in vogue until a few years ago, gravel is relatively inexpensive, easy to lay and brings in a touch of retro elegance to exteriors. For a faultless result, it is recommended to use specific grills that contribute to stabilize the soil and compact the gravel. Once classified as a second choice, last generation synthetic grass surfaces are made of high-hand quality materials, are durable, resistant and mimic a natural lawn. They are ideal to cover playing grounds, the swimming pool area, terraces, balconies and the terraces of public places. Eventually, to make an eco-friendly choice, you can opt for grass meshes, a valid alternative that guarantees numerous benefits. In addition to improving the soil stability, the grass surface also averts water stagnation, reduces the sun radiation and hot and requires limited maintenance compared to a traditional grass. Grass meshes can be made of cement, for parking areas, sidewalks, pathways, driveways or in plastic for lawns, roof gardens and vertical green walls.

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