By Kim Brazell, Marketing Director, Flooring Depot
Fall in Florida means milder temperatures and more outdoor living. Is your outdoor space ready to entertain this season or does it need work? If you want to renovate, build, clean up or create an outdoor space, you aren’t alone.
In a 2021 Houzz & Home study, the home renovation platform surveyed 70,000 respondents in the United States. The survey found that home renovations increased during 2020, which is really no surprise because of the pandemic, but the survey also found that outdoor projects saw a relatively large increase going up by six percentage points from the previous year. In addition, the study found that homeowners spent 25 percent more on porch and deck upgrades.
Outdoor spaces are now even more valuable to homeowners—not just economically, but after being sent home to work, and kids for school, outdoor home spaces are now significant spaces for entertainment, relaxation and recreation. Creating an outdoor living space essentially adds usable square feet to your home and does increase your home’s resale appeal. It means you are creating a unique entertaining and relaxing space that is tailor-made for you and your family. The sky really is the limit when it comes to envisioning your outdoor lifestyle.
Tips on Picking the Perfect Outdoor Tile
So how do you even begin if you’ve never done an outdoor space before? First, think about how you want to live in and use the space. Do you want to grill or chill or possibly both? Do you dream about lazy Saturday afternoons watching the game on a big screen on your covered patio?
Secondly, make sure your space is an adequate size for how you want to use it. If it already exists and you’re just updating, then a lot of those decisions are already made for you.
Thirdly, start with the floors. A Flooring Depot customer said it best in the showroom the other day when she said, “the floors of any space are so important because everything else is designed around them.” That statement is very true. The floors—color, pattern, durability—do drive everything else in the space.
Is your space exposed to the elements or is it covered? Make sure you are picking not only for beauty, but also durability. Tile manufacturers make a number of beautiful products for use outdoors. Our recommendation is to go with porcelain tile or porcelain pavers.
“Porcelain products are very durable and can withstand the elements in Florida,” says Kristen Carter, sales manager at Flooring Depot of Panama City. “Both porcelain tile and pavers come in a variety of sizes and colors and are low maintenance, stain resistant, durable, and slip, UV, freeze, and thaw resistant.”
Finally, one of, if not the most important, aspects of choosing an outdoor floor is the Dynamic Coefficient of Friction, or DCOF. The DCOF is a measurement of how much friction is present on level, wet floors when they are walked on. This rating helps to decide if a tile surface is likely to cause a fall or slip, says Carter.
“Basically, this is how slip resistant the product is. The higher the rating the better and safer the product is. Here in Florida, we have those afternoon showers pop up almost daily, so you want to ensure that your outdoor area is always safe to walk on. If the rating isn’t high enough, you aren’t going to use the space because you’re going to be afraid to fall or that your guests will.”
Porcelain tiles or pavers can be used on almost all surfaces—grass, sand, dirt, and concrete with the right prep. It’s a fairly quick and easy process to install them, and we have all the supplies to help you do it right.
“There’s a wide array to choose from,” says Carter. “Wonderful colors and textures that will help you create an outside space that fits your style, lifestyle and entertainment goals—giving you years of wonderful memories in the perfect space.”
Flooring Depot of Panama City has the largest showroom and inventory selection of flooring in Bay County. Stop by the showroom at 1310 W. 15th Street, Panama City, and let us help turn your home into your dream home.