8 Outdoor Flooring Options

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When warm weather beckons you outside, these flooring choices for exterior spaces will make for a beautiful and enduring setting.

Enhance your outdoor living space by installing a beautiful new floor using natural stone, man-made tile, or even carpet! Read the following recommendations from us here at D&S Flooring for some inspiration and drop us a line if you want some professional direction and/or installation in creating an even more welcoming exterior space for your home or business.

While some of these exterior flooring options can be installed directly on the ground, at D&S we specialize in installing on concrete and wooden subfloors. Here are our 8 recommendations:

Natural Stone

1. GRANITE

Part of the natural stone family, granite is the hardest and least porous of all the natural stones. Granite is an igneous rock which means it was formed from lava. Tell that to your guests next time they compliment you on your floor! Granite is rough cut from quarries into blocks or slabs of specific length, width, and thickness and then finished for its final presentation. Because granite is hard enough to resist abrasion, strong enough to bear significant weight, inert enough to resist weathering, and accepts a brilliant polish, its use dates as far back as ancient Egypt and is a prevalent building material today with many applications. It also holds up well in cold temperatures and adverse weather conditions, definitely suitable for the northeastern part of the United States where we are. Granite is available in beautiful color variations from white to black.

Finishing options for granite include polishing, honing, flaming, as well as a leather/brushed application. A polished finish is high-gloss and reflective. Once polished, an added benefit is that granite is more resistant to stains. A honed finish is similar to a polished finish but presents a matte appearance. This finish is achieved simply by stopping at an earlier stage in the polishing process. A honed finish is recommended for flooring because of its ability to better hide foot traffic and the evidence of wear as well as reduce the risk of slipping. A flamed finish is achieved when extremely high temperatures (often supplied by a blowtorch) are introduced to the surface of the granite, causing the individual grains to burst and change color. The result is a rougher and more natural look. A leathered finish is similar to honed in that is presents a matte look without the reflective element of a polished finish. Unlike a honed finish, however, a leathered finish leaves pits and fissures on the surface giving a slightly bumpy texture. The latter two finishes mentioned are recommended for outdoor flooring as a rougher surface makes your granite flooring more slip-resistant. Additionally, a penetrating sealer is recommended to prevent water damage, caused by freezing and thawing.

We sell granite products for outdoor flooring installation from the following companies: American Olean, Chesapeake Flooring, Daltile, and Interceramic USA.

For even more about finishes, check out this page.

2. MARBLE

Marble is the second hardest natural stone and slightly more porous than granite. Marble is a metamorphic rock which means it was once a caterpillar. Just kidding. Marble is a limestone that underwent high pressure and heat, and because of its formation process, marble is durable and resilient. It’s still porous, so it needs to be sealed to prevent degradation. Marble is available in many color variations from white to black with beautiful veining.

Finishing options for marble, which are similar to granite, include rough and polished finishes as well. In the polished category are polished, honed, or a combination of the two. In the rough category are ‘tumbled’ and leather/brushed edge finishes. These finishes present a more rustic or worn look. As far as the tumbled finish, the process consists of placing the marble tiles into a rubber drum that also includes things like rocks, sand, and water. The stone surfaces are bumpy when completed. Again for outdoor flooring, the tumbled or leather/brushed finish would be recommended to decrease the risk of slipping.

We sell marble products for outdoor flooring installation from the following companies: American Olean, Chesapeake Flooring, Daltile, Interceramic USA, Marazzi USA, and Shaw Floors.

3. SLATE

Slate is another viable outdoor flooring, famous for its durability and waterproof characteristics. We’re very familiar with slate being used as a roofing material. Like marble, slate is also formed through the metamorphic process but has a structure which enables it to be ‘cut’ or split along its foliation lines into smooth flat sheets. Its strong color variations create a lot of texture and visual interest.  No two tiles are ever alike which is great for creativity though presents a challenge matching if a replacement is needed in the future. As such, it’s a great choice when you want contrast in your outdoor patio. Colors ranges are gray, green, orange, brown and tan.

Finishing options for slate include natural cleft (manually split at the quarry), tumbled, polished, and honed.

We sell slate products for outdoor flooring installation from the following companies: American Olean, Daltile, and Shaw Floors.

4. TRAVERTINE

Travertine is a limestone produced from the the interaction with chemicals over time. It’s a very porous material and must be sealed to prevent staining and water penetration. Travertine is available in rich colors from white to deep brown.

Finishing options for travertine include tumbled and polished finishes.

We sell travertine products for outdoor flooring installation from the following companies: American Olean, Chesapeake Flooring, Daltile, Florida Tile, Interceramic USA and Shaw Floors.

5. LIMESTONE

Limestone is a beautiful stone with a rich, light-colored appearance. It’s a sedimentary rock formed mostly in warm shallow waters from the remains of skeletal organisms such as coral. Being readily available and easily cut into block, it’s a popular building material.

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In case you were wondering what the Giza Pyramids in Egypt were made out of, now you know they were built using limestone. Needless to say, limestone holds up very well against the elements over time making it an excellent option for outdoor flooring. If the great pyramid ruins still stand today, you can confidently install some limestone flooring over your backyard patio with confidence. Limestone is very porous, however, with visible pits in the stone, so it must be sealed for stain protection as well as freezing and thawing in cold weather climates. Limestone is available in colors from white to brown.

Finishing options for limestone include tumbled and polished.

We sell limestone products for outdoor flooring installation from the following companies: American Olean, Chesapeake Flooring, Conestoga Tile, and Marazzi USA.

 

Man-Made Tile

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6. PORCELAIN

Porcelain is a ceramic material created from clay heated in a kiln to between 2,200 and 2,600 °F. During the process, materials in the clay vitrify, which means they turn into a liquid/glass, making them impermeable to water even before glazing (melting a thin glass layer onto the tile). As an impregnable surface, porcelain tiles are excellent options for outdoor use. Further strengthening this feature through the process of glazing increases porcelain’s resistance to water and breakdown caused by freezing and thawing. Additionally, porcelain boasts a high break strength or PEI rating which means it is stiletto-heel resistant.

As a man-made tile, porcelain comes in many styles from stone to wood to patterned looks thanks to innovative modern digital printing techniques.

We recommend installing porcelain tiles with a textured finish outdoors to reduce the risk of slipping.

See below for our list of porcelain tile manufacturers/distributors.

7. Quarry Tile

While most ceramic tile is not suitable for outdoors due to its permeability, lack of resistance to frost, and lower breaking strength, ceramic ‘quarry tile’ is a viable outdoor option where freezing temperatures and severe weather conditions are a factor. Quarry tile is fired at temperatures over 2,000 °F making its surface mostly impregnable. The main difference between porcelain and quarry tile is quarry tiles have an unglazed surface.  Quarry tiles come in red, brown, gray, or tan colors and can have a smooth or rough finish.

See below for a list of quarry tile manufacturers/distributors.

PORCELAIN + QUARRY TILE DISTRIBUTORS

  • American Olean - Porcelain, Quarry Tile

  • Chesapeake Flooring - Porcelain

  • Conestoga Tile - Porcelain, Quarry Tile

  • Crossville - Porcelain

  • Daltile - Porcelain, Quarry Tile

  • Florida Tile - Porcelain, Quarry Tile

  • Garden State Tile - Porcelain

  • Interceramic USA - Porcelain

  • Marazzi USA - Porcelain

  • Marca Corona - Porcelain

Man-Made… Carpet!

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8. CARPET

Don’t forget about outdoor carpet! Shaw Floors, one of our major flooring suppliers, carries a line of needlebond and tufted indoor/outdoor carpet perfect for adding a soft touch to your outdoor experience. Made out of 100% UV polypropylene, these products are crafted to resist weathering and mold when kept clean and dry. Carpet offers sound absorption and aesthetic value in high profile areas of pools, patios, porches, sunrooms, playrooms, basements, walkways, and even miniature golfing fairways.

Carpet options for installation outdoors include artificial turf, tufted berber, and needlebond (needle punched) carpet. These come in wide variety of colors and color blends perfect for hiding dirt.

7 Outdoor Flooring Maintenance Tips

how to clean, maintain, and protect your natural stone flooring

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NATURAL STONE

A cool fact about natural stone from the DalTile Website:

Natural stone has its own unique qualities that not only distinguish it from man-made materials, but also should be considered in selecting it for a particular project. Stone is not manufactured; it is a product of nature. Blocks are removed from the quarry, slabs are cut from these blocks, and the slabs are further fabricated into the final stone to be installed. Each block is different; each slab is different. Skillful blending or matching of the dimension stone blocks, veneer panels, tops, etc., results in a beautiful blending of nature’s variety and man’s design. “Uniformity of material,” when applied to natural stone, is a term of relative value that needs to be understood when making a selection.
— DalTile

 

Follow these tips to keep your slate, marble, travertine, onyx, and limestone in the best shape.

  1. Know Your Stone. Travertine stone for example, has voids in it due to the way it forms in nature. Certain white marbles if exposed to direct sunlight will yellow over time, and natural stone in general has a different cleaning regimen than man-made ceramic. Therefore, know your product so you can keep it looking and functioning at its best.
  2. Seal and Regularly Reseal Your Stone. Natural stone is more porous by nature compared to man-made ceramic tile. Properly sealing the stone with a high quality sealer is crucial to stain prevention. You’ll know it’s time to reseal your stone when water fails to bead on the surface but instead disappears into the stone and leaves a dark spot.
  3. Vacuum or Dust Mop Regularly. Dirt and grit can scratch the surface of natural stone. So remove it via vacuuming or dust mopping before applying the cleaning solution with a mop.
  4. Don’t Use Acids or Bleach to Clean. Introducing even mild acids to the natural stone can dull, etch, or otherwise damage your stone, so avoid using cleaners with vinegar, lemon juice, or bleach. Use a neutral pH cleaner designed for stone. (See recommendations below)
  5. Clean Up Water and Spills Right Away. Dry up any standing water from your stone flooring. Make sure your sprinkler isn’t also watering your floor as it waters your lawn. Always get after stain-causing spills as soon as you can. The longer a stain has to set in the stone, the more difficult to even impossible it will be to get out.
    1. Installation Note: Allow your newly installed tile to sit for 7 days before aggressive use or steam cleaning.
  6. Stain Removal is Possible. Using what’s called a ‘poultice’, an absorptive clay cleaning powder,  apply it for stain removal. There are different types of poultices depending on the type of stain. These can have a dulling effect on your stone.  You might need to polish your stone after using a poultice to restore your stone's natural shine.
  7. Buy Enough of the Product on the Front End. If part of your floor gets damaged and needs to be replaced, make sure you have enough of the stone to replace and match the original floor in the first place. Because you’re using a product created by natural processes, even the same type of stone harvested from the same quarry can look very different.

For more tips, consult your flooring salesman as you’re selecting flooring options as well as manufacturer product information.

 

Some Recommended Sealing Products:

  • Pre-Grout Sealer: DuPont Stone Tech Professional Bullet Proof (follow manufacturer instructions for application process)DuPont Stone Tech Professional Heavy Duty Sealer (follow manufacturer instructions for application process)

  • Aqua Mix Ultra-Solv (follow manufacturer instructions for application process)

  • Post-Grout Sealer: DuPont Stone Tech Professional Impregnator Pro (follow manufacturer instructions for application process)

  • Post-Grout Sealer: Aqua Mix Sealers Choice Gold (follow manufacturer instructions for application process)

Some Recommended Cleaning Products

  • DuPont™ StoneTech® Professional Stone & Tile Cleaner

7 Indoor Flooring Maintenance Tips

clean, maintain, and protect your hardwood, tile, resilient vinyl, and carpet flooring

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HARDWOOD

Whether engineered or solid, these insights will help you keep your hardwood floor in good shape.

  1. Sweep, dust and vacuum your floors. If using a vacuum, attach the proper hard floor adapter to avoid scratching the finish of your wood.
  2. Use the right cloth. Microfiber is best. It kind of goes without saying, but especially avoid steel wool, scouring powders, or abrasive cleaners. Also avoid using a buffing machine. You know, the ones designed to remove floor finishes...
  3. Use the right cleaner. Choosing the proper cleaning solution depends on the finish of your hardwood (surface finish or penetrating finish), not so much the wood itself. Using oil-based, wax, polish or strong ammoniated products can dull your floor’s finish, and that would not be cool. We carry Shaw Floor's hard surface cleaner in our showroom. (You may have noticed Josh demonstrating it.)
  4. Wipe up spilled water immediately. Dry any standing water as soon as possible. Even surface finished hardwood can suffer water damage.
  5. Don’t mop (in the traditional sense where you're soaking your floors with lots of water). Mopping your hardwood floor introduces way more water than you’d ever want to spill onto your floor by accident. This excess water could seep into the wood fibers and cause swelling and warping, and that would be sad 😢
  6. Use entry mats and floor protectors. Implementing the use of entry mats in high traffic areas and floor protectors underneath heavy furniture can increase the lifespan of your floor. Ask us for some felt floor protectors, and we'll hook you up.
  7. Rearrange Your Furniture Periodically. Let your flooring share the load as evenly as possible by redirecting high traffic each time you move your furniture around.
    1. BONUS. So here’s another cool tip: If you drop gum or candle wax onto your floor, you can remove it by first hardening it by rubbing it with an ice cube and then scraping it off with a plastic card.

TILE

Keeping your ceramic, porcelain, or natural stone tile at it's best.

  1. Sweep or vacuum first. Before using any cleaning solutions on your tile, remove dirt and debris with a soft-bristled broom or vacuum with a hard surface attachment to avoid putting scratches in your glazed tile.
  2. Glazed tile cleaning. Mmmm… glazed. After sweeping or vacuuming, clean your tile with an all-purpose (non-oil-based) household cleaner. Mixing some water with a mild detergent also works. If you’re feeling creative, you could introduce an acidic ingredient like fresh lemon juice to your cleaning solution, effective for removing soap scum and alkaline type stains. Don't add an acidic solution to your cleaner if you're cleaning marble or other natural stone flooring. The pH balance in your cleaning solution needs to be neutral or it will break down your material. Read more about caring for your natural stone flooring in this article.
  3. Unglazed tile cleaning. Unglazed ceramic or porcelain (man-made) tile lacks the melted glass coating of its glazed counterpart. It’s a lot less slippery when wet but more porous which means you need to be more gentle when cleaning it. Hot water and white vinegar mixture is recommended. The vinegar mixture is great especially if you have kids and pets since it’s chemical-free and safe if ingested.
  4. Cotton, microfiber, or chamois-style cloths. Avoid using sponges or sponge mops as they tend to push dirt and grime into cracks and grout joints.
  5. Grout Joint Cleaning Tip. Mix baking soda and water together, forming a paste, and rub it onto your dirty grout joints. After letting it sit overnight, scrub the grout with a stiff nylon brush. Repeating this step to get your desired results may be necessary.
  6. Reseal your floors. If you want your tile installation to keep looking good and remain mostly impervious to stains, seal them after installation then reseal them every year to 2 years. If water doesn’t bead on the grout lines, it’s probably time for the resealing regimen.
  7. Protection. Tile is strong, but it still suffers wear and tear. the use of mats in high traffic areas and floor protectors underneath furniture is recommended.

RESILIENT VINYL

Follow these tips to keep your resilient vinyl flooring (Sheet/LVP/LVT) in tip top shape.

  1. Immediately following installation. Keep foot traffic to a minimum. And for glue down vinyl, avoid putting furniture on the floor until after the first 24 hours.
  2. Clean Daily. (Or at least make that your aim) Clear your floor of potentially damaging dirt and grit by dust mopping or sweeping every day. Having good entry mats can cut down on the amount of dirt and oil tracked inside from the great outdoors.
  3. Clean spills immediately. Vinyl is waterproof but leaving a spill standing on your floor for a long period of time increases the chance of staining. 
  4. Protection. Hopefully you get this by now. Protective mats (without rubber or latex backing) at high traffic areas and pivot joints (like in front of your kitchen sink) can increase the longevity of your floors and prevent visible wear spots. Floor protectors (plastic or felt) that are non-pigmented and at least an inch wide are recommended.
  5. Avoid direct sunlight. This is a tip for all flooring and furniture, really. Lower the blinds during bright times of the day to minimize direct sunlight on your floors. Over time, it can cause discoloration. Excessive temperatures can also cause expansion of the vinyl material. While some companies are coming out with dimensionally stable options, it's still a good tip!
  6. Do not use vinegar or soap or detergents. Soaps and detergents can leave a dulling effect on your floor's finish. Use an approved resilient vinyl cleaning solution like Shaw Flooring’s R2X Hard Surface cleaner or Mannington Flooring’s Rinse-Free Cleaner.
  7. Do not use a vacuum with a rotating beater bar. It could scratch your beautiful floor, and again, that would be so sad.

CARPET

Whether cut pile, loop, or the cut and loop carpet combo, follow these maintenance and cleaning care tips for your maximum carpet satisfaction.

  1. Install the Right Pad. During installation, get it right from the beginning with the proper carpet padding, especially on stairs. Check the carpet's warranty recommendations and explore your carpet pad options.
  2. Don't Track Dirt Inside. This is so obvious it's almost funny. But seriously, make your life easier and make your carpet's life longer by having good walk-off mats to keep the dirt, grit, soil, and asphalt outside and off your carpet.
  3. Vacuum Regularly. This is stated by one of our main supplier's as the most important maintenance tip. In light of this and the myriad of vacuum cleaner options on the market, we've included a link below to help you make an educated vacuum cleaner decision! We recommend that you then use that educatedly purchased vacuum cleaner to clean your carpets thoroughly, especially in high traffic areas.
  4. Treat the Affected Area Immediately. The sooner you can get at it, the better. The longer spilled foods or liquid stands on your carpet, the more likely they are to leave a stain.
  5. Clean Your Carpets Regularly. Using a hot water extraction method, clean your carpets every 12 to 18 months. It's recommended to hire a professional cleaning service and one that follows the Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval. A poorly cleaned rug can actually increase the rate at which your carpet breaks down. So make sure you don't cut corners here.
  6. Minor Repairs. Use scissors to cut back snags or loose piles. If the there are small burn spots on the carpet, you can use a pair of curved nail scissors to cut back the burnt tips.
  7. Spot Cleaning. When spot cleaning, completely remove the detergent or solution used to avoid any residual sticky residue that just attracts more dirt. Derry, our owner, would highly recommend using Shaw Flooring's R2X Stain & Soil Remover, which doesn't need to be rinsed out. Bonus!

Here are some links to super helpful resources by two of our main carpet suppliers:

Shaw Flooring's Website of All Things Cleaning and Maintenance

Vacuum Recommendations: Mohawk's + Shaw's

UPRIGHT MODELS

Mary, Winner of the $1,000 Grand Prize // Open House 2018

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GRAND PRIZE DRAWING

For 2 years now, we've had the privilege of giving away $1,000 in flooring materials to a lucky winner at our open house event. This year, a local resident named Mary won the prize, and their family excitedly upgraded their kitchen and mudroom flooring!

PROPOSAL PROCESS

Josh Tangert, contract sales associate, walked Mary through the process of choosing the flooring material. He was also out at their home to take measurements in order to finalize the proposal. 

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Mary and her son in the D&S showroom in Ephrata with Josh, selecting her flooring.

INSTALLATION

Josh Plank, lead technician, managed the preparation, installation, and finishing of Mary's family's flooring from beginning to end. From moving furniture and appliances to special cuts, shoe molding, Josh created a beautiful finished product. 

Here are some photos of the finished product. Mary chose an Armstrong brand vinyl click-together floating floor.

A note about floating, click-together floors: One of the benefits of floating floors is less preparation time and in most cases, less material. With vinyl sheet flooring, a 1/4" underlayment is often needed before the new flooring can be installed. Many of the click-together vinyl products come with a backing already attached.

Flooring Material
Armstrong Vivero Best Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP)
Style/Color: Homespun Harmony Galvanized Gray
Plank Size: 9" x 48"

Warranty: Lifetime Limited Residential

 
 

Mary's kids enjoying their new floor.

Hey Josh! We are LOVING our new floors. We really enjoyed working with you from beginning to the end of the process. We love the importance of family that everyone we met seemed to share with us. Everyone we worked with seems to love and value their family so much, and we do too! (We waited long and worked hard to have a forever family and we adore them!) We would definitely recommend D&S Flooring for any and all flooring needs. You guys are welcoming, warm, knowledgeable, and easy to work with! I’m attaching a couple of photos of the kids enjoying the new floor. The girls were so excited to get home and see the progress each day and were thrilled to bits yesterday with the finished product!! Thank you so much. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience with you all!!
— Mary Olenhouse, June 7, 2018

OPEN HOUSE 2019

We look forward to doing this again next year! When we are 'blessed' by God, we believe it's to be a blessing to our community and feel privileged to serve people this way.

Thanks for reading!

Future Home of D&S Flooring

 637 East 28th Division Highway, Lititz, PA 17543

637 East 28th Division Highway, Lititz, PA 17543

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
— Matthew 5:14-16

In January of 2018, D&S Flooring owner Derry signed an agreement to buy the property along 322 up on the hill in Lititz. By the end of this year, D&S Flooring will be permanent neighbors to Esbenshades Garden Center.  Construction is underway.

Keep reading to learn about all the updates!

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EXTERIOR BEFORE

The former company occupying the space was H&E-Litho Offset Printing.

INTERIOR BEFORE

Derry took the staff on a tour of the new facility in February of 2018.

NEW ROOF

The old shingles were removed and replaced with a brand new metal roof. Extensive work was done above to stop the leaking. Notice the lack of a tarp draining system :) 

INTERIOR FRAMING

Our future showroom space is getting framed up, complete with a front desk/welcome area and a pair of offices for our sales team.

NEW STAGING AREA

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I see a door! We're going to use the west side of the warehouse for staging, where our installers will load and unload project materials.

IT BEGINS...

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The moving in has begun...

 

 

Thanks for checking in on the update. Feel free to leave comments or questions. We're super grateful to God for His leadership and provision and some amazing customers who make this possible.