Real Stone : Stone has the most natural outlook, most durable but also the most expensive type of patio materials. It require good skills to install because each stone greatly varies in shape and size. Additionally, mortar compound is used to adjoin these stones and settle as they dry. It is designed to wear well in high-traffic, need little maintenance and could last for decades.
Intended use of the patio : Decide how you want to use the patio. Is the patio mainly for alfresco dining or sunbathing or relaxing with a book or all three? The intended use will dictate the size and location of the patio. A patio mainly for dining is best placed where there is some shade so that diners can keep cool on warmer days and seek the sun when the weather is cooler. A patio intended mainly for sunbathing needs to be in a spot where it's sunny all day. If you want young children to safely use the patio, it needs to be somewhere you can see them from the house.
All the above mentioned are excellent patio materials to be use for your patio. In addition, you can even use a combination of different types of patio materials to make your patio comfortable. Also, you have to consider the drainage properties of each material. For instance, individual stones, bricks, or pavers will let water through more than a whole slab of concrete.
Although you will most likely pay more for colored or stamped concrete compared to plain concrete, the amazing transformation will be well worth the investment. A good and creative contractor can render endless array of decorative effects, from rustic earth-toned sidewalks and patios that harmonize with the surrounding landscape or garden to vibrant multicolored concrete floors that double as works of art.