People normally construct porches, or covered outdoor areas, with floors made of wood, tile or some other type of stone. You can find, however, many more possibilities for porch flooring. If you are looking to break the mold, try building your porch surface with recycled rubber, woven resin fibers or even sand.
Rubber flooring is practical, economical and ecologically smart. If you are looking for a low-maintenance surface, rubber flooring is normally waterproof, and stain and crumb resistant. If you have children, you can check out thicker, softer rubber surfaces that offer a cushion for those constantly-falling little bodies. Many companies offer 100 percent recycled rubber in dozens of textures, thicknesses, styles and colors, so rubber surfaces need not be stale and lacking in personality. Prices run between several dollars and several hundred dollars per square foot, depending on your requirements. For a simple outdoor area rubber should fit all your needs.
Woven Resin or Wicker Mats
For a lighter, Mediterranean feel, you might consider woven matting for your porch surface. Wicker mats (wicker is actually a weaving process, not a material) are traditionally made from a tropical vine called rattan. This surface offers versatility as well as an interesting texture against your bare feet. Woven mats come in many styles and shapes and sizes, and if, suddenly, you have the urge to roll up your porch and take it with you on a camping trip, you can. Woven mat surfaces go well with trellises and other open-air roofs, and also with low-lying pillow furniture.
You need not live in a tropical climate to enjoy the tactile feel of sand between your toes as you step out the door. Sand is inexpensive and simple to maintain, and if you take a few precautions you should find pleasure in the soft, moldable surface. Sand offers a relaxing atmosphere, similar to a Zen garden. If you so desire, you can rake different patterns in your porch every day. You can lie back on a lawn chair or drop a beach towel right on the floor. To avoid moisture problems you should look into a grating system around the porch and between the porch and the house entrance. Another good idea is to install a drainage system under the sand, which can be as simple as a few feet of layered stones. Also, think about raising the surface of the porch a few inches with a retaining wall in order to avoid seepage or runoff from the surrounding land.
- "Patios, Porches and Verandas"; Canizares, Ana; 2006
- "Furniture Today"; Wicker; October 2006
- Photo Credit front porch image by Steve Lovegrove from Fotolia.com rubber place mat image by poGosha from Fotolia.com wicker texture image by Vasina Nazarenko from Fotolia.com sand image by herb-art from Fotolia.com
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