How to Make over a Drab Concrete Patio

Easy and Inexpensive Solutions for Restoring a Concrete Patio

By Mark J. Donovan

Patios, like decks, extend the living space of your home to the outside. Concrete patios are great for hosting backyard barbeques and for just relaxing and soaking in the afternoon sun while reading a book. A drab concrete patio, however, can be a bit uninviting or possibly even unsafe to use if it has deep cracks in it or broken tiles crumbling on top of it. If your patio is in disrepair there are a number of solutions at your disposal today to make over a drab concrete patio. Some are inexpensive while others can cost a substantial sum of money. No matter what solution you choose, however, refurbishing your concrete patio is well worth the investment as potential home buyers always love to see an inviting outdoor entertainment space.

The cost of making over a concrete patio depends upon the state of it. If it has a dull finish or a few hairline cracks, then you may be able to get away with an inexpensive makeover. If it simply has a dull finish then you can possibly stain the surface of the concrete to give it some color. You can even include stenciled patterns in the staining process to add some unique character to the patio. Alternatively you can apply a colored textured surface to it to provide both color and depth. Applying a textured surface coating also hides the hairline cracks and creates a non-slip surface, which is particularly ideal for concrete pool patio areas.

Another way to make over a drab concrete patio with only simple surface cracks is to apply a layer of tile or stone over it. Porcelain or stone tiles are available in a plethora of colors, styles, shapes, sizes and textures to give you a wide variety of patio resurfacing design ideas. Do not, however, apply porcelain or stone tiles over a deeply cracked concrete patio. Besides being an uneven surface area, a deeply cracked patio will ultimately crack further leading to both loosened and broken tiles. Also, if you do decide on applying tiles or stones over the existing patio make sure that the types of tile and stone you choose are not susceptible to high water absorption.

High moisture absorbing tiles and stones will eventually crack when temperatures drop below freezing. Also, you may need to seal the particular tiles or stone you select to help mitigate water absorption.

One other solution to making over a drab concrete patio is to use modular wood or ceramic tile squares. Though these products are somewhat expensive, they provide a great way to refurbish a patio surface both in design and durability. The squares, or modules, are typically 1’x1’ square and include a unique interlocking plastic backing for the wood decking material or tiles to rest on. Due to their design structure they effectively can float over the existing concrete patio making them more resilient to future minor shifting and cracking of the concrete patio. Also, because of the simple design structure with built in interlocking tabs they can easily be installed by the do it yourself homeowner.

There is no site preparation, mortar, or adhesives required to install them. In one afternoon you can completely make over your patio with these tile squares. Also, because of their unique design, they allow water to easily pass through and under them so there is no concern for mildew and freezing issues. You can also mix and match between the wood decking and tile modules to create all types of unique patio designs. In addition, they come in a variety of wood and tile materials that are particularly suited for outdoor use.

So instead of looking out regrettably at your old and worn out concrete patio this weekend, spend a few dollars and an afternoon breathing new life into it with one of these solutions. Not only will you be able to enjoy your patio again, you’ll also take some comfort in knowing that you made yet another step in improving the value of your home.

Brick and Paver Walkway Bid Sheet

For help on building a new Paver Walkway Patio, see’s Brick and Paver Walkway Bid Sheet. The Brick and Paver Walkway Bid Sheet will teach your how to hire the right landscape contractor, and help to ensure that your paver walkway or patio project is completed on time and budget.

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