Of all the construction materials available to build patios, concrete is the most traditional yet versatile choice. It is smooth, clean, can be cast and formed into curvilinear or geometric shapes, and, with the addition of tints, can become anything other than the classic light gray.
Other benefits: it offers permanence, durability, and is fairly inexpensive―even more so if you do it yourself―provided you know what you're doing and are more than capable of accomplishing the task. For beginning do-it-yourselfers, it's not easy work, nor is it a one-person job. If you aren't sure you can build a concrete patio own your own, hire a contractor.
You can't go wrong with pouring a simple concrete slab, but if you want to add textures or a patterned patio design, certain techniques can be applied during the curing process. One of the easiest ways to add texture is to apply a stiff broom over the drying concrete, once in each direction, which will give the surface some "tooth" and keep it from becoming slippery when wet.
Let's take a look at some stunning outdoor patios made of concrete.
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Concrete pavers are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and textures, and can be placed on top of a bed of packed sand. If you dread the idea of weeds or volunteer plants growing between spaces, pavers can be butted together for a smooth, unbroken surface. If you opt for the more traditional method of leaving spaces between pavers (this means you'll buy fewer pavers), they can be filled with pea gravel, pebbles, or a tight, low-growing ground cover.
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That Seamless Tranistion
The mid-20th-century concept of designing a seamless transition from indoors to outdoors is one that has persisted and always looks modern. The design makes the most sense with one-story houses, allowing occupants to walk out of open sliding glass or French doors and into a yard with little effort and move back and forth with ease. Nothing beats concrete for a smooth, level transition, especially if the material and color indoors and out are the same or at least appear to be.
This open, expansive back patio designed by Brophy Interiors showcases a smooth, sleek concrete finish. The concrete isn't the only industrial element present, though—steel beams and glass doors come together to create a striking modern atmosphere.Continue to 3 of 15 below.
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While the idea of concrete blocks may bring something more rustic and rugged to mind, this patio designed by Mindy Gayer proves that isn't the only option. The outdoor space features a raised patio with surrounding concrete stairs that give easy access to other designated areas. Another set of concrete blocks creates the foundation for a gathering space that allows guests to sit and relax—even the circular table is made of concrete!Continue to 4 of 15 below.
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A concrete patio with a built-in spa? Count us in. This space designed by Melanie Rekola of Lady Landscape features not only a pool, but a sunken hot tub built from custom concrete. With the spa being built into the space rather than simply placed on top of it, you get a clear, uninhibited view of the rest of the backyard, while also retaining some much-needed privacy.Continue to 5 of 15 below.
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A Rug Is Always Welcome
Concrete certainly has its advantages of being durable and creating a sophisticated setup for a patio. However, it makes sense to add a bit more color or decoration to the standard gray material. JC Designs does so here by adding a large outdoor rug to her seating area. The smooth concrete doesn't create any unwanted bumps or issues, and the rug adds a nice burst of color without adding paint or other pricier options.Continue to 6 of 15 below.
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Newport Beach Patio
This outdoor dining and lounge space by Mindy Gayer gives a concrete patio a fresh look. The herringbone style pattern of concrete blocks adds some playful dimension to the dining area, which holds a perfect view of the outdoor pool and feature wall in the backyard.Continue to 7 of 15 below.
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In a different area of the same backyard, Mindy Gayer's design for the lounge portion creates a perfectly square arrangement of concrete pavers. The middle of the square, rather than being filled in, was left bare to allow the insertion of a concrete fire pit. The surrounding yard is perfectly manicured and sharp, allowing some lush life to still be very present amongst the more industrial elements.Continue to 9 of 15 below.
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Another large outdoor seating area from Brophy Interiors, this patio is covered in square concrete blocks and surrounded by a wooden bench border perfect for extra seating. The surrounding circular seating area is positioned to take in the stunning view of the lake and surrounding scenery.Continue to 10 of 15 below.
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The geometric shapes of this backyard are repeated in the concrete patio pavers, which also blend the indoors with the outdoors. The separated rectangular concrete spaces create individual locations for different activities while also creating a sense of unity throughout.Continue to 11 of 15 below.
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Concrete doesn't have to be the only material involved in a backyard arrangement. This one from Kirsten Diane is a perfect example, featuring a deck made out of wood, yet a lower patio made from concrete blocks. The two spaces seamlessly flow together, creating an ideal backyard escape.Continue to 12 of 15 below.
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Floating Pavers With Pea Gravel
Evenly placed concrete pavers are lined up perfectly for this "outdoor living room" by Lady Landscape. Concrete pavers can be purchased or cast-in-place and made in assorted shapes and sizes.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
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Concrete Fire Pit
A concrete patio is joined by a constructed concrete fire pit, surrounded by metal stools and cushioned outdoor bench seating. The indoor and outdoor spaces are separated by large glass panels, giving the impression of one united room.Continue to 14 of 15 below.
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Large Concrete Pavers
A concrete patio designed by Mindy Gayer is surrounded by plenty of seating options, as well as black flower boxes. The large fire pit and black wooden border wall add a level of sophistication to the modernized space.Continue to 15 of 15 below.
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Anything other than a plain, smooth concrete patio would look busy and compete with the other interesting elements of this patio. The lounge and dining spaces boasting a cool color palette make for a relaxing outdoor environment. Additionally, the concrete and grass edges seem to effortlessly blend into each other without any noticeable rift—a smooth, stunning transition.