wet but not completely soaked. Self-adhering backing can make them easy to secure and they come in squares which are mold and mildew- resistant and many are made from recycled materials. The advantages are often seen in the fact that they provide a much

greater feeling of homeliness than brick or concrete, although it will need a fair amount of maintenance. Plastic drainage tiles have been described as the ultimate outdoor fl ooring: mold and mildew-resistant, they’re designed to prevent slipping when wet. Vented surfaces let water drain under the tile, preventing puddles and the hard plastic of the tiles is UV stable, which means they will maintain their colour, even after exposure to sunlight. Flagstone is popular for patios, especially if it has been taken from a local quarry, something that gives it an authentic feel. Its irregular shapes and roughened surface provide good traction when wet, whether made of sandstone, limestone, bluestone or quartzite. Tiles - those left unglazed for non-slip safety – can be stain-resistant and tough, if made from Porcelain fi red at a high temperature. And Terracotta is good for a rustic look, if porous, and textured quarry tiles off er decent traction without being too uneven. Loose materials - once the preserve of small yards - are gaining in popularity as patio surfaces, especially in areas which are prone to drought where they were often seen as a viable alternative to lawns. Some of the most popular involve the likes of pea gravel, aggregate stone, rubber mulch or decomposed granite.

LOOKING BENEATH THE SURFACE Whatever the surface, whether it’s a patio that needs to be non-slip, a driveway that has to be weatherproof, every outdoor area requires just the right material, which is why an event such as DOMOTEX provides such an important stage for the gamut of international off erings, from materials to installation technology and all the relevant accessories. It’s all about creating the right conditions: think substructures that are the alpha and omega of easy installation and good durability of fl oor coverings. And products that provide a fresh, livable outdoor look. Innovative materials whose soft surfaces provide a pleasant feel and whose robust fi bres provide resistance to wind and weather. Carpets made of

stone granulate create a seamless, modern

appearance indoors and outdoors; they are particularly hard-wearing, slip-resistant and sound-absorbing. But essentially, it’s all about the

blend; a marriage between what lies either side of the door, be it bringing the outside in or the inside out. Long, seamless runs of timber that lead the eye out from under the ceiling and off into the garden can give an impression of space, even when that

is limited. But it



doesn’t have to be expensive and involve signifi cant work. A cheaper way can lie in something as simple as outdoor rugs. When matched, they can visually extend the space. Similarly, they can create zones and add focal points. Some even combine the best of both worlds. Indoor/outdoor rugs of the sort that are manufactured widely in India, come in standard and custom sizes. What’s more, they’re quick and easy to keep clean as they are made from polypropylene synthetic fi bres which can resist moisture, stains and fading. There’s no doubt that


rugs can deliver a range of design and practical benefi ts to a deck space. From the design perspective,

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