Patio flooring ideas: they're easily overlooked, but they definitely shouldn't be. The ground cover of your seating space can have a huge impact on the overall aesthetic of the zone. Not to mention, it affects how practical it is, too.
The thing is, there are so many options available, so it can be tricky to narrow down your choices. Of course, there are the standard materials that are more functional than stylish – concrete pavers, for example – but why not get a bit more creative and make your patio floor a design feature in itself?
From paving with pockets of planting to mosaic details, we've rounded up some of our favorite floors to add to your list of patio ideas.
11 gorgeous styles to try for your patio flooring ideas
Not only do these designs look fantastic, but they'll also provide a sturdy base for your pick of the best garden furniture – the final finishing touch for any outdoor makeover.
1. Combine patterned tiles with planted edging
Paving needn't be plain. These days, there are tons of patterned styles you can introduce to your space to pep up your scheme.
These monochrome, geometric tiles are perfect for an on-trend, urban garden, while a mix of ornate, colorful designs can be beautifully suited for Mediterranean-inspired plots.
But that's not the only flooring feature that's caught our attention in this scene: we're also big fans of the strip of succulents that borders the seating space. Alongside the surrounding built-in planters, it's a creative patio gardening idea that works for both small and larger areas.
2. Update your floor quickly with an outdoor rug
If you're looking for a quick way to update your patio flooring, then our list of best outdoor rugs is sure to come in handy.
They've become a trending feature in the world of garden accessories, as more and more people use their backyards as extensions of their living spaces. It's to no surprise – affordable, low-maintenance, and lots of styles to choose from: what's not to love?
These blue designs are perfect for pepping up a small patio, and we love how they match the cushions in the hanging chair, too. Whether you're working with an existing, lackluster patio that could do with an update, or simply want to give a new design even more character and comfort underfoot, this is a great approach.
3. Dazzle with decking
When considering patio flooring, you can't forget about decking ideas. Whether composite or timber, they all offer that rustic charm that works so well in all sorts of plots.
With wooden designs, you can add extra character with various stains or colored paints, while with composite, there are all sorts of finishes and hues available. But it's also possible to integrate pattern, too.
'We are seeing increasingly more intricate designs with timber decking,' says Leigh Barnes of Jacksons Fencing. 'Parquet flooring has become more popular in the home, and it is now a trend that's moving outside.
'Decking boards can be cut to size on site, and this allows freedom with unique designs.'
4. Pick patio flooring that enhances your color scheme
Samuel Moore, Director at Consilium Hortus, says his favorite patio paving material is porcelain. It's the 'main flooring solution we use and put forward to clients; this is generally for the contemporary finishes available and how we can seamlessly link the interior and exterior of the property,' he says (you can use them both indoors and out).
'Porcelain is also low maintenance, given the fact it is non-porous,' he adds, and there is less chance of the product weathering like natural stone.
In this modern seating area, large format tiles look stunning against gray cladded walls, providing a cool contrast. We love how they tie in with the contemporary furniture, too.
5. Get creative with decorative patterns
If you've already perused our feature on garden decor with stones, you'll know there are plenty of gorgeous ways to incorporate them into landscaping schemes. And this goes for patio flooring, too.
Making mosaics with pebbles is a lovely way to give a space an artsy, eclectic feel, whether that's as a border or for a focal point as seen here.
Note the shape of this patio, too. They don't have to be square, so don't be afraid to explore other options – curved lines might work better for your space.
6. Sink a fire pit into your patio floor
Fire pits are another must-have garden feature these days. They are ideal for elevating your outdoor entertaining – keeping guests cozy well into the evening – and look super stylish, too.
Instead of buying one, you could consider building a sunken design into your patio floor as a permanent feature. This one shown above is the perfect addition to a circular seating area, offering a stylish focal point.
There are lots more fire pit patio ideas to inspire you in our dedicated guide.
7. Or, opt for a statement water feature
Another way to instantly up the ambiance of your garden is with a water feature. Everything about them, from the soft sounds to the shimmering reflections, is soothing, so they're definitely worth considering for your patio.
And, just like with fire pits, they can be installed straight into the ground for a sleek and modern appearance. Take this design, for instance, which makes a subtle statement with its red brick border.
Small rills cutting through paving also make a lovely design addition, and can be helpful in defining different zones.
8. Use a mix of flooring materials for visual interest
There are lots of different patio materials to choose from, all with different benefits and drawbacks. For your space, you don't necessarily have to settle on just one.
Sometimes, a mix is more visually interesting – such as gravel set alongside decking or paving. This is particularly effective if you have different levels in your garden, as it will help to give each one a distinct character.
Choose contrasting or similar tones – whatever works best for your personal style. Adding plenty of vibrant, soft planting around the scene will ensure the hardscaping feels balanced.
9. Or, try a variety of tones
Rather than using a mix of different materials, you could simply opt for the same type of paving, but in a range of complementary hues. Here, three shades of gray create a modern aesthetic that looks just as good for a garden path as it would for a patio. If you're going for decking, consider using a second tone for accenting the edges.
Keeping the design random adds a laid-back feel, as does the textural planting that softens the perimeter.
10. Match indoor and outdoor flooring for a seamless flow
Above, Samuel Moore mentioned linking indoors with outdoors by matching the paving, and here's a perfect example.
It works particularly well in homes with generous back doors which slide right back for an open and airy feel. The result is sleek and stylish, and ideal for social spaces.
Use a complementary color palette and similar textural finishes for your furniture, too, for a really cohesive scheme.
11. Add color and texture with pockets of patio planting
This has to be one of our very favorite patio flooring ideas – adding pockets of fresh planting amongst pavers. It adds vibrancy and texture, and can look super modern or whimsical and pretty, depending on the plants and style of paving you choose.
You could even opt for scented ground cover plants, such as creeping thyme, to up the sensory appeal. What's more, bringing more greenery into your plot in this way can encourage more pollinators and other insects to visit – so it's a good approach if you're on the lookout for wildlife garden ideas.
The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion. But, she loves all things digital too. She joined the team at Gardeningetc after working as a freelance content creator for a web agency, whilst studying for her M.Sc. in Marketing. Now she feels lucky enough to combine both digital and botanical worlds, every day.
Why bees are set to be the stars of the Chelsea Flower Show
Gardens There’s such a buzz about the Chelsea Flower Show’s RHS Bee Garden, designed by famous gardener and TV presenter Joe Swift – here's why
By Jayne Dowle • Published
Best container plants: 14 top picks for pretty summertime pots
Plants We've rounded up the best container plants for creating a show-stopping display on your patio, deck, or windowsill
By Anne Swithinbank • Published