Flooring: it’s not just for indoors! 

But with so many types of flooring out there, you may be wondering which outdoor flooring options are the best for your needs. 

The truth is, no one type of flooring is perfect for everyone. So we’ve put together this list of outdoor flooring options to suit every need. 

We’ll talk about timeless hardwood and hardwood floor alternatives; we’ll talk about beautiful tiles, we’ll talk about durable man-made composites—and even some often-overlooked options. 

With this list, you’ll have no trouble finding the best outdoor flooring options around.

#1. Hardwood: Timeless and Traditional

It’s no secret that wood flooring can be expensive

But if you’re willing to invest, several top-of-the-line exotic hardwood species can also make great outdoor flooring options, like ipe, teak, and mahogany.

Just remember: wood-based outdoor flooring options must be treated!

Some hardwoods have natural oils and dense grains that make them resistant to rot, decay, and insects, which is a big plus when you’re dealing with the elements. But even the most durable wood flooring will only hold up if it’s been properly treated. 

Treating wood helps it to resist rot and warping, and can prolong the lifespan of your outdoor flooring over time.

#2. Composite Decking: A Long-Lasting Hardwood Floor Alternative

Composite decking is a man-made material composed of thermoplastic resins, wood flour (super-fine sawdust), and wood fiber. Is composite decking better than floors that are made of real wood? That depends on what you’re looking for. 

If anything, composite decking is similar to vinyl flooring. It’s hard and nonporous, meaning it resists rot and the elements. It may also be less expensive than traditional wood. On the other hand, its nonporous surface doesn’t allow paint or stain to adhere well, so choose your design wisely. 

As long as you choose a color and style you like, however, this outdoor flooring option will continue to look fresh and pristine for years to come.

Shop By Brand

Take a look at the floor selections offered by our most trusted brands and find the one that excels at meeting your needs.

#3. Outdoor Carpeting: A Great Outdoor Flooring Option for Barefoot Lounging

There’s nothing quite like swaying in a porch swing or kicking back in a rocker on a nice day. If you want to take your porch to the next level in comfort, consider adding carpet! 

You may be thinking “How in the world is carpet going to last outside?” 

Outdoor carpet is not the same as indoor carpet! Unlike the plush, high-pile carpet you might find inside the home, outdoor carpeting is often a durable low-pile carpet type, similar to what you’d find in an office or school building. 

Just be warned: despite its durability, this outdoor flooring option may need to be replaced sooner than some of the others on this list—and it’s best in drier climates. 

#4. Ceramic Tile: Versatile and Low-Maintenance 

In terms of budget, ceramic tile can be more affordable and cost less to install than wood or natural stone. 

But it’s important to note that ceramic tile has some limitations. 

Very low temperatures can cause ceramic tile to crack, so talk to a local flooring retailer to see if a tile is a good fit for your location. Also, don’t forget to ask them about the slip resistance, (aka the coefficient of friction) for whatever types of flooring you’re considering. 

Ceramic tile can be slippery when wet, so it’s not ideal for pool areas or places where kids run and play. 

#5. Natural Stone: Full of Natural Beauty

There’s something about a stone patio that just feels so right

While natural stone doesn’t come cheap, it’s super durable and long-lasting, and the finished product is absolutely gorgeous. You can opt for straight-cut stone for a more uniform look or play up stone’s natural variation with irregular shapes. 

You can save money while promoting sustainability by choosing a stone flooring type that comes from the local landscape. In addition to saving on transportation costs and emissions, the local stone is an outdoor flooring option that creates a naturally cohesive look.

#6. Brick & Concrete Pavers: Quick and Easy Outdoor Flooring Options

These inexpensive materials can make an elegant and long-lasting walkway or garden path in a snap. You can find a single brick paver for less than 60 cents, and prices generally range from $1 to $5 per square foot. 

You can even recycle bricks and stone from other projects! With a little determination, you can create a DIY walkway using a few simple tools over the weekend. 

Once your pavers are laid and the gaps are filled with sand (polymeric sand is the most durable), maintaining your paver walkway is a breeze. Simply sweep fallen leaves and other debris to prevent slipping and staining, and use a hose to wash away grit and grime as needed.

#7. Rubber Tile: Durable and Affordable

Sure, rubber might not be the first material that comes to mind when you’re thinking about outdoor flooring, but don’t write it off just yet. 

Why? Rubber tile offers durability, slip resistance, and shock absorption. Some types of rubber pavers mimic the look of stone, brick, or asphalt, and can start as low as $2 per square foot.

Back in the day, we fell off the swingset onto spikey gravel and splintery wooden mulch. 

These days, kids are enjoying softer, gentler surfaces on the playground—and we think that’s a good thing! Rubber tile is one of the best outdoor flooring options for kids. Look for rubber tile that’s highly rated for shock absorption for jungle gyms and other areas where kids run and play. 

#8. Artificial Grass: Lawns Without the Lawnmower

They say the grass is always greener on the other side, but what if you had the greenest grass in town, without all the hard work that goes into it? 

When you think about it, everyone likes the natural look, but many want a low-cost, low-maintenance alternative that makes their lives easier. 

Seasonal allergies can be truly debilitating, as many of us know. Peak grass pollen season naturally coincides with the time of year when you want to be outdoors the most: late spring to early summer. 

Some allergy sufferers (and others who struggle to mow the lawn) are compelled to hire landscapers, which can cost an arm and a leg. 

Adding artificial grass is a one-time expense that could save you money and a few hundred ACHOOs down the line. No mowing, seeding, fertilizing, or sprinklers are required!

#9. Concrete: Classic and Customizable

Concrete is one of the most common types of flooring in any outdoor space—and for good reason. It’s inexpensive, easy to maintain, and it lasts forever. 

Basic poured concrete can cost roughly $4–6 per square foot. 

Just because it’s commonly used, though, doesn’t mean you should get rid of it. While some may say ‘boring”, we say “blank canvas”! Concrete doesn’t just have to look like… well, concrete. It can be painted, stained, and made to look like natural stone, tile, or even wood. 

Seriously! Concrete flooring that looks like wood is a thing, and it’s gorgeous.

It can be burnished or stamped… you could even apply a metallic-finished non-slip epoxy resin if that’s your scene. Concrete is the chameleon of the flooring world. 

Choosing Between Outdoor Flooring Options

Now that you have all the info on these outdoor flooring options, you’re ready to make a decision. But how do you choose which product is the one for you? 

Honestly? The easiest way to find the best outdoor flooring for your location and lifestyle is to chat with a local flooring expert. They have the experience and professional knowledge to recommend the right types of flooring for you. Use our search tool to find a flooring store in your area!

About The Author

Kelly Pitts

June 29, 2024

Kelly is a freelance lifestyle and wellness writer. Her guilty pleasures are coffee and celebrity gossip. When she’s not hard at work creating content, you can find her traveling the world, being a crazy fish mom, and cooking vegan food.