Do you have an old patio and now you’re wondering how to proceed with it? I’ve gathered three inexpensive ways to cover a concrete patio. I’ll try to cover the work involved so you will be more informed with each choice.
Old concrete patios can be extreme eyesores. Although concrete patios are functional if space doesn’t invite you it is unlikely you will want to spend time there. Replacing your old concrete patio doesn’t have to mean renting a jackhammer and dumpster. If it’s in good condition there are several attractive options for resurfacing.
It’s also a green option as landfills are already full of concrete. There is also the savings you will have when you don’t have to pay for getting rid of it. If it ain’t broken, why fix it.
Interlocking floor tiles
Interlocking floor tiles are a relatively new and very innovative solution. It’s like a puzzle that is put together on your patio. All the square pieces will snap together and you can easily browse different options online.
While composite wood is the most popular option for snap together deck tiles, the range of materials is extensive and growing. There are also porcelain deck tiles, granite deck tiles, and slate deck tiles, allowing you to achieve a unique and custom look with ease.
Wood tiles should be sealed immediately after installation to prevent weathering. Porcelain and stone tiles can become very slippery when wet. Depending on where they are installed, cleaning might also be more work than the next options I’m going to show.
That being said, snap together deck tiles are the easiest of these options. You can install them at your own pace and depending on the material, the cutting process won’t be hard either.
When budgeting your project be sure to keep in mind that while the material cost can be high for deck tiles, this is a project even the most un-handy of homeowners can complete. It only takes an afternoon, saving you hundreds or more on labor costs.
If your old concrete slab has only minor cracks in it then recovering with concrete is an option. While you may hate the look of the current slab, it doesn’t mean you should rule out more concrete.
Stamped concrete patios are beautiful and customizable with dyes and patterns. Stamped concrete can mimic the look of pavers, bricks, natural stone, and even wood, and a fraction of the cost of these materials.
Depending on the concrete patio, it might need to be fixed a little before stamped concrete is done. Also depending on the patio, forms might be easily installed on the sides of the old one. If you want stamped sides as well, new concrete will have to be there too so it can be stamped.
This is at the limits of what a DIY homeowner can do. You will need form materials, you need to be able to cut them and install them. You also need stamps for the patio. If the answer to all of these is YES, then you can do it. It could even be fun if you enjoy this kind of stuff and cheap as concrete isn’t that expensive.
Other concrete options available for resurfacing a patio with concrete include exposed aggregate. Although an economical option, this is likely the look you are trying to hide in the first place. Really depends on the taste and maybe with staining coating, it could be a viable option.
There’s also polished concrete. If polished concrete doesn’t sound appealing to you be sure to check out photos online before ruling it out. Polished concrete can become a true art piece when done by a licensed and experienced concrete contractor. Also, the available range of acid stains and dyes are stunning.
Staining is also in the range what a DIY homeowner can do. It just needs a little bit preparation.
Pavers are a high-end solution for concrete patios. There is also extensive surface preparation involved prior to the paver installation. The look of pavers, however, makes it well worth the money and effort for many homeowners.
There is a staggering number of paver options available. From traditional red clay brick and mortar to randomly shaped textured pavers that closely mimic the look of natural stone. A quick browse of hardware store websites can provide you with enough inspiration for 20 patios.
Pavers are an excellent choice if you wish to accent your patio with built-in benches, raised planters, or low walls. That’s because you can purchase coordinating paver blocks for your enhancement projects.
Pavers are also made for every design style. From old world antiqued pavers reminiscent of cobblestones to sleek geometric pavers laid in a hopscotch tile pattern for a graphic look.
Pavers are also durable. You can expect a long life out of your paver patio provided the surface was prepared for installation. Patio pavers are also easy to care for, requiring nothing more than a quick hosing down once in a while.
All this being said, the ground for installing pavers must be level. If your concrete patio isn’t it needs to be leveled before installing. After that, the pavers can be installed with something like a thinset that will adhere them to the patio. If your patio doesn’t have high edges, I wouldn’t recommend leaving them loose.
Lucky for us, thinset isn’t that hard to use. It’s used for ceramic tiles a lot and if someone wants, even this blog can give it a walkthrough. I personally like pavers a lot because of the variety in colors and size, but none of the other options are any worse. Installing thin pavers over concrete shouldn’t be much different from installing ceramic tiles really.
These are the three inexpensive ways to cover the concrete patio I came up with. I tried to keep them on a range people could consider doing themselves to save money. On the other hand, if the contractor has to be hired, it will stay on the budget.
Building a patio cover on existing concrete doesn’t have to be boring. You can liven it up as much as you want and all of the above options can be as good as new. It doesn’t even have to cost a fortune.
Interlocking floor are the easiest to install by far. It’s a good option for those who don’t want to work that much, but still want a good looking patio.
Stamped concrete is the hardest as it involves most working stages. You have to fix the old concrete, pour some more on top, stamp it, and coat it. All of these will bring the work and cost up. The end result might beat the others thought if executed perfectly.
Pavers are the middle road in my opinion. Quite easy to install as they come in ready shapes. Can be cut quite easily and you don’t have to do anything extra to them after install if you don’t want to. All they need to succeed is a level and good base.