More and more homeowners are extending their indoor spaces to the outdoors, creating backyard "living rooms" and kitchens perfect for al fresco dining and entertaining. A key element of any outdoor room is its "floor," which should be functional and weatherproof, yet as luxurious and decorative as any indoor flooring. Concrete is the ideal material for this purpose, combining unmatched durability with the ability to be enhanced by color, texture, and pattern. Here are ideas for how to dress up your outdoor floor and make it the focal point of your backyard retreat.

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Cover it with an overlay

If you're building an outdoor room around an existing concrete patio or deck, you can cover it with a decorative overlay in any pattern and color desired. See Decorative Overlay System Doubles the Pleasure.

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Add a stenciled rug

This concrete patio was covered with an outdoor "rug," with stencils used to create the intricate designs. Learn more.

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Give it a faux tile look

You can "tile" your outdoor floor by stamping the concrete in a tile pattern and coloring the tiles to complement your outdoor d├ęcor.

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Create a pretty pattern

You can create any pattern imaginable for your outdoor floor, including swirls, circles and free-form designs, by decorative engraving. This technique works on both new and existing concrete, and the results are especially impressive when enhanced by staining. Learn more about concrete engraving.

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Apply a decorative medallion

Placing a medallion in the center of your outdoor floor is a simple way to add pizzazz. The medallion pattern can be created with stencils, engraving, or sawcuts, depending on the look you're after.