9 materials for beautiful terrace floors

July 22, 2020 5 min read

 Wood, tiles or concrete? How the terrace floor should look is often not an easy question to answer. Rather, it has to be weighed up between appearance, durability and costs. We present different surfaces that could soon decorate your terrace.

1. Terrace floor made of wood
Wood is one of the most popular coverings for the terrace floor. Wood has several positive properties: the natural material grows back, lives with it and changes over time. It ages beautifully and creates a pleasant atmosphere. There are various options for materials and constructions for wooden patios.



Decking made of wood
Usually, wood is laid on decks in the form of planks. So that rain and moisture can drain off and the wood can dry out, again and again, a substructure is required for decking. If this is done well, wood can grow old even in wind and weather.

Substructure for the planking
The substructure can be made of

  • old sidewalk slabs
  • a foundation or Stilts

Important: the wood of the substructure should be the same as that of the planks for the surface.

Wooden click tiles
In addition to floorboards, there are also wooden click tiles for the terrace. Compared to planks, they can be installed very easily and quickly (and are also suitable for small city balconies). You do not need a wooden substructure for this, just a level surface.
Which wood is suitable for terrace floors?
Local woods that are suitable for the terrace:
  • larch
  • Douglas fir (originally from North America, but now also grows here)
  • Oak
  • Robinia
  • Sweet chestnut
Larch is usually cheaper than the other domestic woods listed but has a shorter lifespan. Many larch kinds of wood are imported to Germany from Siberia and have an excessive ecological footprint after their long journey. If you value sustainability and environmental protection, you should pay attention to the FSC seal, which among other things certifies sustainable forestry, when purchasing your decking. This absolutely applies to non-native woods such as teak, Ipe and the previously mentioned Cumarú, which are often used as patio coverings due to their fungus and mould-resistant properties.
Sealing wooden floorboards on the terrace
Larch and Douglas fir wood should be treated against blue stain and rot before installation, as they are susceptible to fungal attack. Otherwise, the best thing to do is to oil the wood after laying your real wood planks for the terrace. There are special terrace oils that are hard-wearing and cannot be rubbed off by using the terraces. These oils penetrate deep into the wood and form a protective film with pigments and natural resins.

Decking boards made of teak or coumarú do not need to be treated with a wood preservative and will take on a silver-grey patina over time if left untreated (see picture). If you do not like this, you should treat the wood with special oil to maintain the golden brown colour.
2. Technically modified wood as terrace flooring.
Unfortunately, wood from our surroundings is often not as robust and moisture-resistant as tropical wood. In order to avoid their questionable use, methods have recently been developed that make domestic wood last longer.
  • Thermally modified woods: heat-treated wood that lasts longer. Ash and pine, in particular, like to be thermally treated and then turn into thermal ash and thermal pine.
  • Chemically modified woods: These woods, e.g. B. Accoya wood, are soaked in acetic acid (acetylation) or furfur alcohol (furfurylation), are resistant to pests and fungi and hardly absorb any water.
  • Water-repellent woods: By soaking the wood in paraffin or other water-repellent materials, the lifespan of these woods is increased outdoors.
3. Terrace floors made from WPC
Decking boards made from "Wood Plastic Composite", or WPC for short, become more robust because they look like wood and yet are more robust thanks to their plastic components are happy to be used outdoors. The mixture of natural raw material and plastic is easier to care for and weatherproof than wood. As a rule, decking boards made of WPC consist of 60 percent wood chips and sawdust and 40 percent plastics with the corresponding additives. They are laid on a substructure like wooden planks. In the meantime, there are also click systems for terrace floors. This makes laying easier.

Terrace floors made of tiles and slabs 
Terrace floors made of tiles or slabs form a very uniform surface that is easy to clean. The appearance is noble, there are no colour changes. In addition to ceramic products, there are also products made of slate, cement or concrete.
Cement tiles for the terrace
Floor Cement tiles are well suited as a terrace covering. It is only important that they are frost-proof. The surface must be ready for covering and even. It is best to have such work carried out by a tile expert who not only carries out the normal joints but also the expansion joints properly. Because cement tiles expand more when warm and contract more when cold than other types of tiles.

Terrace floors made of porcelain stoneware

Tiles due to their low porosity absorb almost no water and are therefore frost-proof. Porcelain stoneware with its large-format plates creates an elegant and calm overall picture. Another advantage of this choice of material: Ceramic flooring for the terrace is particularly non-slip.

5. Terrace floor made of paving 
Whether paving stone or clinker - paved 
terraces are robust, colourfast and durable. Good paving cannot be affected by heat, cold, strong light or chemicals. You do not need a complex substructure to lay paving, just a solid surface. It is then paved on a bed of split or gravel.

6. Natural stone as a terrace
Covering Natural stone is a corner more expensive than other coverings, but also particularly beautiful. Not every natural stone is suitable as a terrace floor. Some are too soft for this task, others are not frost-proof or too slippery when it rains. Suitable natural stone is laid on a split bed. This subsurface increases its weather resistance, as rain and moisture can drain off and seep away easily.


  • granite
  • basalt
  • porous limestone
  • Shell limestone
  • Travertine
  • slate

Not suitable if not specially impregnated:

  • marble
  • certain sandstones
  • fine-pored limestone

When maintaining natural stone floors outdoors, we advise you to use a pH-neutral cleaning agent. Inexpensive soft soap, also called green soap, is more suitable than many of the cleaning agents that are commercially available.

Slabs for the terrace In addition to sawn slabs, irregularly broken slabs made of natural stone are also suitable as a terrace floor. They provide a rustic look. Laying them is time-consuming due to the necessary puzzle work. Otherwise, the same rules apply as for other slabs made of natural stone.


7. Concrete
Patio floors Concrete patios are almost indestructible if they are properly executed. For such a seamless floor, the soil is excavated and the subsurface is compacted. The liquid concrete is poured onto a layer of gravel or basalt. Even if the decomposition process is slow and only becomes visible after years: Since concrete is porous, it should be sealed outdoors. There are special sealants for this purpose.

8. Gravel as a terrace
floor Pilled gravel is a very inexpensive way to fix the terrace and brings a hint of Mediterranean flair to the garden. Gravel fillings are often combined with treadplates. On the one hand, you have smooth surfaces on which garden furniture can be placed and gravel surfaces. The effort is low to feel the effect immediately. To prevent the gravel from slipping, a honeycomb structure should be laid under the bed. Attention: Although gravel costs little and looks nice at first, it is more difficult to maintain and clean from leaves and other things than smooth surfaces.

9. Terrace floors made of combined materials A material is
Not always the real thing. If there are differences in height or different functional areas, it can be very effective to mix different surfaces with one another.