A cozy outdoor living area

The Best Types of Flooring to Keep Your Patio Cool This Summer

It’s slowly but surely starting to warm up this year after a long winter with crazy storms in some parts of the US and of course, a not-so-normal 2020 spent indoors. Everyone is itching to get out into the sunshine, and what better way to scratch that itch than with a comfortable patio setting?

What we tend to forget as we pine for that glorious sunshine, is how the heat can be utterly unbearable in the summer. Spending time in the backyard quickly turns into a sweaty, sunburned extravaganza- unless your patio is equipped to keep things cool.

If you already have a patio, there are plenty of garden products that can be added to backyards for this purpose, such as misters and fans. Of course, shade is paramount and there are also plenty of effective products, from umbrellas to pergolas.

If you haven’t built a patio or deck in your yard, but are considering it, then there are certain flooring options you can choose to naturally keep the area cool (and protect your feet from burns).

These materials have a higher solar reflectance index (SRI), which means they reflect radiation more than they absorb it, especially materials that are lighter in color.

In this post, we’ve listed the top flooring materials that will help keep your patio cooler during the hottest months.

1. Paver Stones

Pavers are functional, versatile and offer an elegant look that spruces up any backyard. Another perk is that pavers boast a higher SRI- depending on the type of paver, that is.

Travertine, sandstone, or marble are the best choices if you’re looking to stay cool. Also, remember that lighter colors reflect heat the best. 

2. Pebble tile

Stick to stones and you can’t go wrong. Stone is non-porous, cool to the touch, and highly durable. Opt for an easy-to-install option like pebble tiles, and you’ve got a funky floor or wall tile that looks stunning indoors or outdoors.

Pebble tiles consist of several smooth garden or river pebbles bunched together on a square of mesh. Grout is applied to fill in the gaps between the stones and you’re left with a smooth, natural-looking floor that is not only cool to the touch but gives your feet a blissful massage.

Pro Tip: You can mix materials to make an outdoor living area that really stands out. Add white landscaping stones or gravel to enhance the cool factor (literally and aesthetically!)

Composite wooddeck, white garden pebbles, and pavers

3. Composite decking

Here’s an alternative to stone tiles if you’re looking for something a bit more rustic. Composite decking consists of planks that are made of wood, plastic, and various other materials.

This type of material is low maintenance and long-lasting– especially outdoors against the elements. This special combo material is also a superstar against the heat, staying cool to the touch. Just remember to choose light colors to get the most out of the SRI factor.

4. Painted bricks

Got brick walls? No problem, you can splash on a coat of light-colored paint to increase the SRI. You can do the same thing to concrete floors and walls. Some paints have heat-resistant properties if you want to amp up the cool factor.

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