Between paving stones, tiles, natural or reconstituted stone, wood ... it's so easy to get lost! Our advice to choose the best terrace covering adapted to your needs.
For flooring for the terrace, stone and wood have their fans, but today composites are in the spotlight. They not only imitate raw materials, but are also offered at a lower cost and offer record longevity. Do you dare contrasts - a trend today - or will you give the color and appearance of the facings to the front of your house? Before answering, think about how you will use this terrace. Will you have to cross it in any season or will you only be busy on sunny days?
In the first case, you will need to choose a non-slip material, a grooved wood or a textured surface stone, for example. If you want to walk barefoot, plan a wood without splinters (then point to a composite) or a polished stone. In summer, if the terrace is continuously exposed to the sun, choose a dark coating to avoid glare.
What coating for what needs?
Pavers. A properly laid paved floor can last for hundreds of years without moving! Excellent value for money, the paver respects the environment and does not require any maintenance. It is found in granite, porphyry, sandstone, basalt or concrete. Only flaw: it is relatively slippery in rainy weather.
Natural stone This is the most traditional paving, but most quarries in France are no longer used and the natural stones found in trade come mostly from Brazil or China, and their transport has an impact. on the environment. There are, however, some productions of local origin or not so far away, such as the blue stone of Hainaut (Belgium), the Breton shale or the slate of Angers.
To know: bush-hammered, brushed or striated finishes are preferable to polished or sanded, more slippery finishes. Finally, slate is the fashionable coating. It is available in different shades and comes in the form of large slabs polished or raw. It fits perfectly with the wood.
The reconstituted stone. This is one of the least expensive materials. Composed of crushed natural substances, it can take, through a mortar (mixture of cement and sodden sand with water), the appearance of marble, granite, shale or terracotta. It is even possible to obtain a wood effect. Another advantage is that the reconstituted stone is non-slip and insensitive to frost. Like natural stone, it patines over time.
Wood. French and European, it comes from sustainably managed and managed forests: ash, acacia, acacia, oak, Landes pine, northern pine ... To enhance its natural qualities, it benefits from ecological treatments such as oleothermy (impregnation with depth of a mixture of vegetable oils and natural adjuvants heated at low temperature) or Reaction (heat treatment). It is therefore as resistant as tropical woods.
Exotic wood, such as Brazilian ipe, cumaru, teak, massaranduba and others, attracts a wide audience. Although durable, the blades age and, unless they are expensive enough, become gray over time.
Composite wood. It is manufactured for 50% sawmill waste and 50% high density polyethylene. Big advantage, its smooth surface does not present any risk of splinters or cracks, an appreciable quality for a summer terrace. Finally, 100% recyclable, it is rot-proof and naturally resists water, aggression of frost, sun and therefore time passing.
The tiling. With anti-slip, enamelled or reconstituted stone tiles, porcelain stoneware imitates all materials: coconut mats, wood, metal ... And new clipping systems transform implementation into child's play! It is also one of the easiest materials to maintain. Choosing non-slip models and having the qualities necessary for outdoor use is essential.
Recycled rubber mulch. It is used for playgrounds as well as for walkways and terraces when you have young children. Advantage, it is applied directly, without foundation layer.
Under the terrace, the floor
If, formerly, the coating was systematically deposited on a concrete slab, today, sustainable development requires, we let the rainwater infiltrate under the terrace so that the soil remains alive. In addition, it can reduce the drying of the atmosphere in summer.
In rainy areas, a drainage gutter should be installed to direct the water to the edge of the terrace. Once the drainage is in place, if the ground is very loose, slabs, bricks or pavers are placed on a bed of sand stabilized by an underlay of pebbles and chippings. Elsewhere, the soil is simply disbursed from the thickness of the coating.
For wooden decks, the installation of a geotextile felt will prevent the grass from growing and the wood from being in contact with the ground. Laying is then done on joists or on studs, wood or PVC.