A patio (//, from Spanish: patio [ˈpatjo]; "courtyard", "forecourt", "yard") is an outdoor space generally used for dining or recreation that adjoins a residence and is typically paved. In Australia the term is expanded to include roofed structures similar to a pergola, which provides protection from sun and rain.
Patios are most commonly paved with concrete or stone slabs (also known as paving flags). Patios can also be created using bricks, block paving, tiles, cobbles, or gravel. Other kinds of patio materials these days include alumawood, aluminum, acrylic, and glass.
Patio options include concrete, stamped concrete, and aggregate concrete. Stamped concrete costs more, is known to be slippery, requires being resealed, and dyes typically fade in time. Aggregate concrete uses stones exposed giving its own style.
Other common patio features include additional of reinforcement for hot tubs and additional steps from the home.
Patio is also a general term used for outdoor seating at restaurants, especially in Canadian English. While common in Europe before 1900, eating outdoors at restaurants in North America was exotic until the 1940s. The Hotel St. Moritz in New York in the 1950s advertised itself as having the first true continental cafe with outdoor seating. The Toronto Star welcomed that city's first patio in the 1960s. In the United States, blessed with a warmer and sunnier climate than Northern Europe, outdoor dining grew rapidly in the 1960s and today is a popular dining experience in the warmer parts of the mainland.