Gone are the days of the simple slab of cement forming the floor for your outdoor entertainment area. Sure, that chunk of cement does the job, but when you're trying to create an oasis, it just won't do. Here are some much more exciting options for a hard floor surface: 1. Wood Alternative Decking - There are many options for homeowners who are not interested in a real wood product. Wood alternative decking is easy to maintain and comes in a variety of colors. You can even choose to mix and match offerings to create a custom design. 2. Man-Made Stone Pavers - This product can look like bricks, stone, or even antique cobblestone. The material, color and style that you decide on all depend on your taste, design preference, and budget. Go ahead and switch the styles up and combine them to create a more natural landscape and a more custom look. 3. Cool Touch Decking - If you live in a hot climate, you may want to look for companies that specialize in products that stay cool to the touch, even in full sun. This material can be used around a pool, as it is non-slip, as well as anywhere in your yard. Choose from a wide range of colors or creative finishes and enjoy your backyard oasis even in the heat of the day. 4. Private Park - A big expanse of green grass and a good fence are the perfect setting for both kids and adults to relax. Just take your ideas from local neighborhood parks and create play areas, picnic areas, and even a winding trail. Design a tricycle riding path for a real kid-friendly backyard. You can use cement or build a hard-packed path for the little ones and their cycling fun. The benefit of having a private cycling path that's in your backyard is priceless when you have toddlers who want to take their wheels out for a spin. A simple swing set or jungle gym and your private park is ready to enjoy. 5. Creative Cement - This utilitarian product works just fine, but can look pretty tired as a patio floor surface. With special staining and stamping, however, you can elevate simple cement to whole new level of design. Cement stains are sturdy and don't chip or flake like the old fashioned notion of painting cement. The stamping process simply gives the smooth cement surface a chance to pretend it's something else; like brick, stone, or even wood. Once you see how beautiful cement can be, you'll want to have all sorts of landscape elements built out of cement and given a facelift with stain and stamps. 6. Artificial Turf - Football fields and golf courses no longer corner the market on the use of artificial turf. Homeowners are finding this product very fun and functional, as well as much improved since the 60s. In fact, the new versions are incredibly life-like. Use artificial turf to design a little mini-golf course or even a tiny water park. Kids will love the idea of having their very own amusement park in the backyard and parents will love having everything so easy to maintain. 7. Rocks Big Or Small - Landscape rocks can be anything from the delicate lavender-colored crushed limestone to giant boulders. Rocks can be used as edging or placed strategically throughout the yard. Large rocks make excellent backdrops for gardens or seating areas. Think of large rocks as walls or furniture, and consider the small rocks as floor surfaces or gardens, then let your imagination run wild. You can normally find a style of rock that will fit into any design, such as traditional, Gothic, and modern Zen gardens. 8. Wood Chips Or Shavings - You most likely remember seeing wood chips used under play areas to protect children if they fell. They arenâ€™t always the most attractive product, mostly because they don't get changed often enough and tend to get gray and blacken. However, in certain circumstances where you have a rustic landscape element such as a winding path with wild flowers, an edging of wood chips or shavings could add a nice separation. There is nothing wrong with cement. It's sturdy and serviceable. But if you want your backyard to say more than that, even words like fun and fantastic, you'll want to rethink the "slab." Using one or more of these surfacing ideas will definitely banish the blahs in your backyard.
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