Concrete is one of the most popular patio materials and the cheapest material you can use to build a hard-surface patio. Concrete is made of aggregates and paste—concrete aggregates can be crushed stone, sand, gravel, or even shells; the paste is made up of water and cement.
Because concrete begins as a paste and then hardens, it’s a great material for building a custom-shaped patio. Stamped concrete—created by pressing flexible polyurethane stamps into freshly poured concrete—can be dyed almost any color, mimic the texture of stone or brick, or even include fun designs, like animal footprints or geometric patterns.
Concrete Paver Patios
Pavers are manufactured concrete stones that come in a number of shapes and colors. Unlike poured or stamped concrete, pavers can be replaced individually—if one cracks, there’s no need to replace the entire patio.
Brick patios are a classic look. Although brick doesn’t vary much in color and cannot be dyed, it can be arranged in many different patterns to create a unique look. Because it’s porous, brick offers good drainage as water can easily flow through the spongy clay.
Stone patios are undeniably beautiful. Flagstone, slate, bluestone, and limestone are popular materials for stone patio surfaces. Stone patios can shift with the ground, so they won’t erode over time and aren’t likely to crack. But if a stone does break, it can often be replaced without tearing up the whole surface.
Though elegant and classic, stone is an expensive patio choice. Each stone needs to be quarried and specifically fitted together by shape. Also keep in mind that this patio material can also can become very hot in the sun or slippery after rain.