Summer has arrived, and with each year passing, my affinity for it diminishes. The sweltering heat and the suffocating confinement indoors have become an inescapable part of life during these months. Until the vacation arrives, we find ourselves in a perpetual race from one air-conditioned space to another. Personally, I often find myself feeling like a laboratory mouse, constantly exposed to artificial air that doesn’t quite suit me. That’s precisely why I treasure those moments of sheer bliss when I embrace the refreshing morning breeze on my terrace. Nestled in a woven chair, savoring my morning coffee, I let my thoughts wander through the nearby park, replenishing my energy for yet another scorching day ahead.
I must admit that the absence of a terrace would leave me feeling rather frustrated. When we were searching for our apartment, knowing myself and anticipating the weather conditions, one non-negotiable criterion was that our future abode must include a terrace. And we were fortunate enough to find one—a delightful apartment with a terrace boasting a picturesque view of the park. In today’s urban landscape, it’s not a common sight, and that only reinforces the notion that we should never relinquish our dreams.
These days, as I indulge in my morning ritual and peruse through various magazines, I stumbled upon an interesting article about terrace decoration. It has sparked my imagination, evoking visions of a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere where I can envision myself flourishing. Amidst the array of extraordinary interior designs crafted from pallets, what truly captivated me were the diverse options available for terrace flooring.
Terrazzo, a well-known option, has truly captivated me with its remarkable evolution. A prior popular choice for hallways, lobbies, and staircases in buildings from the 1980s, terrazzo is now experiencing a splendid resurgence. Beyond its outstanding durability and effortless upkeep, this contemporary terrazzo has embraced design and boasts a beautiful glossy finish. Adding a touch of glamour wouldn’t go amiss for a fabulous start to the day.
An expected choice, you might say, and you’d be absolutely right. Ceramic tiles have an undeniable allure when it comes to terrace flooring. They bravely withstand the forces of nature—wind, rain, sun, and frost—while offering easy maintenance and slip resistance. Their captivating designs truly set them apart and make them a favored option. The latest tile models are masterfully crafted to mimic the authenticity of natural materials like stone, wood, and brick. You’d be hard-pressed to believe they’re not the real deal. What’s more, these newer tiles come in larger formats, perfect for covering expansive terraces.
While most commonly associated with sports fields and yards, artificial grass has also found its way to terrace flooring solutions. Its main advantage lies in its ability to recreate a natural ambiance flawlessly. Not to mention, it’s incredibly convenient, requiring minimal maintenance and no mowing, with only occasional watering needed during the summer months. However, a crucial factor for success is proper installation. It can be laid directly on the ground with a layer of gravel or even on a solid concrete surface, as is often the case with terraces. In both situations, adequate drainage is essential. A clever solution for yards involves strategically placing drainage holes to redirect water into the soil, and terraces necessitate a gentle slope to ensure smooth water runoff. Achieving the true potential of artificial grass requires careful and expert installation and integration, ensuring it thrives without resembling a lackluster imitation of natural grass, a result that nobody wants.
Wood, known for its ability to infuse warmth into any space, has finally found its place in outdoor environments, thanks to decking. With a special treatment of select wood species, decking has become the go-to choice for water-resistant outdoor flooring. It’s not a secret why it’s considered the crown jewel in outdoor design. The wood must possess exceptional resistance to withstand the challenges posed by insects, and water, which can be achieved through the thermal treatment of specific wood species known for their inherent strength. A wide range of decking options exists, catering to various price points and quality levels – from the remarkably sturdy Ipe wood to teak, bamboo, and cedar. These wood planks, typically ranging from 2 to 5 meters, are perfect for enhancing terraces, pool areas, facades, and more. It’s no wonder that wood enthusiasts, myself included, are drawn to the allure of decking. In addition to wooden decking, another commonly used flooring option is WPC decking – a combination of wood and plastic components.
So, which type of decking should you choose? It ultimately comes down to personal preference and your specific needs. If you appreciate the authenticity of wood, traditional wooden decking naturally becomes a preferred option. Its advantage lies in the fact that wood is an environmentally friendly material, bringing a unique charm to the spaces it adorns. However, it’s important to note that regular maintenance (including painting every year or two) is crucial to ensure protection, durability, functionality, and aesthetic appeal. The maintenance frequency depends on the type of wood used, whether the luxurious teak or the more modest cedar. The location of your decking plays a significant role. Is it bathed in sunlight? What are the prevailing weather conditions? It’s challenging to predict in today’s ever-changing climate. In summary, maintaining wooden decking is essential, but the rewards are well worth it.
Now, let’s talk about WPC decking. This alternative offers a uniform, elegant, and sophisticated appearance. Initially believed to be maintenance-free, it’s essential to clarify that WPC decking does require some care. As its wooden counterpart, WPC decking faces exposure to the elements, including rain, heat, and UV rays. Unlike wood, however, it may fade over time under UV rays, losing its original color. Opt for WPC decking with UV protection certification to ensure your investment doesn’t disappoint. Furthermore, WPC decking includes plastic components that can accumulate dust and other impurities over time, necessitating thorough mechanical cleaning. So, there’s a bit of work involved here as well.
Despite these considerations, decking remains an enticing and resilient material, perfect for indulging in those moments of relaxation and enjoyment. Terraces, in particular, seem to fulfill that purpose flawlessly. At least, that’s certainly the case for me.
Things to Consider
Once you’ve decided to revamp your terrace, it’s essential to carefully consider which type of flooring is most suitable for your needs. And here’s why.
We all yearn for a profound connection with nature daily. However, that ideal scenario thrives in favorable weather conditions. In areas where extreme weather prevails, resilient terrace flooring becomes a necessity. Choose flooring that withstands water, sunlight, heat, UV radiation, and even strong winds. Whether your terrace is sheltered, covered, basking in sunlight, by the seaside, or in the mountains, these factors significantly influence your flooring choice and overall terrace quality.
Beauty Meets Functionality
Terraces serve as havens for savoring a morning coffee, getting lost in a captivating book, engaging in a chess match with a neighbor, or indulging in heartfelt conversations with dear friends. They are retreats that offer peace, contentment, relaxation, and pure enjoyment. To create this ambiance, it’s crucial that these spaces not only please the eyes but also provide comfort, coziness, and aesthetic appeal. Depending on individual preferences, one can achieve a distinct allure using rustic stone, elegant tiles, warm wood, or even soft grass.
However, here’s the thing: the terraces must also be practical to fulfill their purpose and provide moments of beauty. Durability, comfort, ease of maintenance, and blending seamlessly with the surrounding environment are essential traits that terrace flooring must possess.
Knowledge and Quality Are Keys
Proper installation is paramount to maximize the potential of each flooring option. Consider the time and resources needed for professional installation right from the start. Adequate waterproofing, leveling the floor, precise spacing during tile installation, pouring concrete for terraces, or expertly installing decking are significant tasks that demand professionalism and attention. Although your neighbor’s handyperson or a relative might be willing to help, it’s advisable to ensure the safety and enjoyment of your terrace and social gatherings by inviting them over for a coffee and refreshing drink once the job is finished. Taking a wise approach leads to intelligent long-term solutions.
As for me, I can’t wait for the next season. Picture me enjoying my coffee in a whole new setting—embracing the natural side of my terrace. How about you?