Wood Vs. Concrete Patio: Which is Best?

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Outdoor spaces are essential in today's housing market. So it is important to carefully plan the layout of your outdoor space to maximize its potential for use. As a homeowner, you might want to know which material is best for your patio, should you use wood or concrete? Making the right choice can be difficult, but don't worry as we have done proper research from reliable sources to assist you.

Both wood and concrete are excellent choices for a patio, but a few factors can determine which is best for you. Your home design and personal taste are key factors! Wooden patios are best suited for some homes' structural design; concrete is best for others. You also have to consider your area's climate and your budget. Generally, constructing a concrete patio would be more cost-effective than a wooden one.

If you are designing a home for the first time or renovating an old one, you need to understand what designing a patio entails. We would thoroughly compare and contrast wooden vs. concrete patio as you read further. So hang on till the end.

Carpenter installing a wood floor outdoor terrace in new house construction site - Wood Vs. Concrete Patio: Which is Best

What is a Patio?

Patio With Wooden Seats, Coffee Table And Sunshade In The Garden with Sunset View Background.

A patio is a paved outdoor space usually adjacent to the main house. It can be constructed at the front or back of the building and serve as an extension of the living space. Furniture like chairs, tables, and shelves can also be added for decoration.

Sitting on a patio is a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. It can be a place to have a family meal with friends or enjoy some peace and quiet.

A patio can be used as an extension of your home. It can also be used as an outdoor living space for children to play or for pets to roam. If you are into gardening, your patio might also serve as a good place for you to grow some container plants and vegetables.

Difference Between Patio and Deck

Luxury modern villa with large table and chairs

The terms patio and deck are usually used interchangeably, but there are a few differences. The main difference between a patio and a deck is that decks are usually raised platforms without roofs. Decks are built above ground level, while most patios are built as a direct extension from the access door.

Another disparity between decks and patios is that decks are mostly built with wood while patios are mainly constructed with concrete, bricks, stone, or other pavers. But these materials can be used interchangeably for either surface.

Comparing Wood Vs. Concrete Patio

Is wood or concrete cheaper?

There are many options for choosing the material for your patio. You could choose from brick, wood, or concrete. Each material has its benefits and drawbacks. One common point of comparison is the cost which is usually determined by the price of materials needed for your project.

Wood Costs

Wood patios can be expensive, but the cost is often worth it for the beauty that they add to your home. There are a few different types of wood that can be used for decks - hardwoods like cedar and pine, pressure-treated lumber, and composite materials.

Pressure-treated lumber is wood treated with chemicals to increase longevity using a high-pressure injection. It is often used in outdoor projects like decks and fences because it is durable and weather resistant. Hardwoods used to build wooden patios cost approximately $25 to $29 per square foot.

Concrete Costs

The price of building a concrete patio on the other hand depends on your style and taste. For example, if you are looking for an economical option but don't want to sacrifice quality or aesthetics, regular concrete is your best choice. The cost of stamped concrete is about $7 per square foot, but high-end installation with fancy finishes might cost up to $19 per square foot.

Can you put decking on a slope?

It is essential to consider the landscape and terrain when installing a patio. Flat terrain is the best for installing a patio. Constructing a patio on hilly ground takes more time and costs more, regardless of your choice of material (wood or concrete).

When considering your landscape, you should also take into account the size of your yard, whether or not it has trees. Check if there are any other structures that will get in the way of installing your patio. Also, consider the available space if you have any other hardscape constructions that will need to be factored into the design

Installation of Wood Vs. Concrete Patio

Carpenter installing a wood floor outdoor terrace in new house construction site

Installing Wood Patio

Installing a wooden patio is more complex than a concrete patio. Wooden patios need professional installation and can be damaged or cause accidents if constructed wrongly.

A wooden patio is typically made from wood boards nailed to the joists that span between posts or beams. The boards are then typically covered with a layer of planks or materials such as plywood or hardboard.

The wooden surface will need to be secured with screws and nails at each joist location and every few feet along any side edge where it meets. Other types of materials can be used, but they all have similar installation requirements.

Installing Concrete Patio

For the installation of concrete patios, the preparation of the concrete is crucial for it to dry and harden properly. You will have to measure appropriately to plan the correct amount of materials and prepare the correct amount of concrete mix to water ratio. Mixing suitable concrete is very important because it can help make sure that your patio stays solid and durable for years to come.

Pouring concrete is a reasonably easy process, as you would only need to prepare the concrete and level the surface before pouring it on. Nevertheless, this process requires skill, and you might need to contract the service of professionals.

Maintenance of Wood Vs. Concrete Patio

Pressure Washer Cleaning a Weathered Deck

A good patio should be easy to maintain. The materials used for construction should not be too difficult to keep clean. The design of the patio should also entail the placement of furniture, plants, and other elements used in the patio.

What kind of maintenance does a wood deck need?

Wooden patios are smooth and shiny, especially if they are finished. However, the wood will show signs of wear and tear over time without proper maintenance. It might also start to look dull and lose its luster. Mold will form after being exposed to moisture for too long (usually more than one year).

So, to keep enjoying your deck for many years to come, you should take care of it by power washing once a year, staining or sealing it, and cleaning it regularly.

How to maintain a concrete patio?

Concrete patios are easy to maintain. It has a smooth surface, so you can easily sweep with a broom or brush. It can also be mopped, and power washed as long as you replace the sealant. Spills can be cleaned easily and won't stain the concrete as long as it isn't left to settle on one spot for long.

You have to inspect your concrete patio for cracks and splits regularly. Cracks that are not detected on time would expand and might need to be replaced completely.

Longevity of Wood Vs. Concrete Patio

damaged and cracked hardwood flooring outdoors. old wooden floor slats.

Concrete patios might last longer than wooden patios, as they don't need to be replaced every few years as some patios do. Concrete patios last for approximately 35 to 50 years, especially in dry areas with fewer rainfalls. Concrete patios in places with snow are usually weakened with the circle of freezing and unfreezing.

Wood patios, on the other hand, last an average of 20 years or 50 years if the wood is treated.

Aesthetic Appeal of Wood Vs. Concrete Patio

Painting and wood maintenance oil-wax

Wood decking has a lot of aesthetic appeal. It can be painted in different colors and laid into different patterns, including chevron or herringbone designs. It is important to use the correct type of wood when building a deck because it can make a big difference in how the deck will look.

Many types of wood can be used for decks, but some of the most popular are cedar, cypress, redwood, and pressure-treated pine. A downside to using wood is that you are mostly limited to just square-shaped designs.

On the other hand, concrete can be molded into any kind of shape imaginable. There are also different color options to choose from. But unlike wooden patios, concrete colors are permanent and cannot be changed every few years.

To Wrap Up

Patios are an excellent way for homeowners to enjoy the outdoors. Whether for socializing, dining or relaxing, wood and concrete are two popular materials used in patio construction. Each has its pros and cons, but they are both durable materials to build a patio that would last for decades. To learn more about patios, check out these two insightful articles.

Best Patio Pavers For Cold Climates

How to Fill The Gaps Between Patio and House