What is the best material for patios? In this article, we advise you on the pros and cons of different materials and recommend one of our most popular stones, Minster Flagstone.
When you’re building a patio, it’s important to get the appearance and feel just rights. Obviously, you need to consider cost and availability, but essentially you want a patio that complements your home and surroundings.
In this article, we’ll advise you on the pros and cons of different options and materials suitable for patio surfaces and introduce you to one of our most popular stones, Minster Flagstone.
What is the best material for patios?
1. Poured concrete
Using poured concrete as the patio surface might seem like an obvious solution. It’s easy to apply, which can make it a suitable choice if you’re looking for a fast patio solution. It’s also relatively inexpensive.
If you go down this route, remember that a basic concrete patio can appear quite bare. You will likely want to liven it up with a stamped pattern or possibly coloured with dye. Another option is to add aggregate or even glass to improve the appearance.
Another disadvantage of poured concrete is that small spaces can appear beneath the concrete when it is first poured. Invisible to the eye, these can lead to cracking over time.
It’s still the cheapest hard standing you’ll find, and can be produced in any shape or size you require.
How does a patio impact garden drainage?
2. Paving slabs
If you like the cost of concrete but prefer something a little easier on the eye, commercially produced paving slabs are the way to go.
Available in numerous shapes and sizes, manufactured paving slabs are proving increasingly popular.
Nowadays patio paving slabs can be bought in a whole range of shades and textures, and a variety of shapes – round, square or random. This gives greater versatility to the concrete product than in the past, and they remain among the more affordable solutions for patio construction.
3. Laying bricks
Brick is another option for a patio surface. It lends itself to all manner of pattern and colour combinations and produces a distinctive finish. With a little weathering over time, it can really look the part.
Brick has a few distinct disadvantages. It’s porous, which means it retains water. In the winter, this water can freeze and cause cracking. You need to check it annually and provide replacement bricks where needed.
It can also be prone to moss growth, which can make for a slippery surface. However, it remains a popular and practical choice for patios in all parts of the country.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to lay your patio.
4. Natural stone
Considered by many of our customers the best material for patios, natural stone paving gives your patio a look that complements its surroundings. It’s a more expensive option, as the stone needs to be cut and transported, but you can easily reduce these costs, if you know what to ask for: the secret is to use reclaimed local flagstones.
The real advantages of natural stone are felt when you’re working with a period home or where blending into the natural environment is your key consideration.
Natural stonework, by its very nature, reflects the natural colours and textures that abound. If such stones are sourced in the local area, they’re sure to be in keeping, complementing your home and showing a real attention to detail that most garden patios lack.
Why we recommend locally sourced stone.
5. Minster flagstone
Minster Flagstone gives a truly authentic Cotswold feel.
The name comes from the nearby village of Old Minster, where the local stone gives a very distinctive look. All our flagstones are made from locally reclaimed stone, so they combine a charming antique appearance with the natural colours and textures of the local geology.
As reclaimed stone, these flagstones are packed with character, heritage, and great value.
The flagstones are available in four colours, ‘Limestone’, ‘Old Minster’, ‘Slate Grey’, and ‘Old Cotswold’, each providing a natural appearance common in surrounding villages. Combining a variety of sizes and colourings can provide a natural Cotswold look to your patio.
We’re a family-owned company operating in the local Oxford area for more than 30 years, including Banbury, Witney, Newbury, Bicester, Didcot. We hope you enjoyed our article on the different types of patios and which is best for your garden. We can answer your questions using our unrivalled knowledge of the local stone types and their properties and suitability for your purposes.