Hot tips to keep your lanai cool

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

Scrolling through social media, I cannot help but feel a temptation to return to a simpler time before Facebook and Instagram. Many of my friends have already made the transition, but I find myself holding on just a little bit longer. I am a member of several parenting groups and have enjoyed reading what other families are going through and seeing advice that these parents share.

Recently, a parent asked for tips on how to soothe her toddler boy’s feet. He was playing outside, barefoot, and suffered second-degree burns on his soles. It made me think about the many hours my family and I spend outside, barefoot, on hot days. Often, we have to avoid the cement area near our front door because it gets too hot. We trot around seeking shade, oblivious to the fact that our two young kids may not go to the same measures to protect their own feet. If your lanai is also heating up, you might want to consider some of these tips for cooling it down.

LIGHTEN UP

As a general rule of thumb, dark colors absorb heat, while light colors reflect it. “We often do outdoor areas in coral tile or other limestones, as these tend to be light in color,” said Layla Dedrick of Bella Pietra Design, who also advises keeping the sunglasses handy if you go this route. “The lighter in color something is, the brighter it will be in full sun. This means more glare and reflection,” she said.

GO NATURAL

If lighter colors are not your style, opt for materials you would find in the surroundings. “Not everyone wants light and bright. We sell a lot of lava and basalt pavers for walkways, lanai and pool decks,” Dedrick said. “These look great in Hawaii’s natural environment. Our islands are lava after all.”

ADD TEXTURE

Dedrick recommends going for textured finishes over smooth ones. The rough surfaces allow for air pockets that make the surface feel cooler to the touch. “Using the lava with holes helps to texturize the surface, making it a bit cooler,” she said.

SAY YES TO GRASS

When it comes to tiles, the cement in between can often heat up, causing hot spots throughout. Dedrick suggests using grass joints in between the tiles instead. Not only will these stay cooler, but they will help with water runoff as well.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.