The choice of pavers for your new patio is one that could potentially last a lifetime. Therefore, it’s worth making sure the decision is one that will pay off in the long run. In this post we’ll take a look at how you can make the most of this lifetime investment and get the perfect patio paver for your needs.
Choosing the right material
The right material for your patio is one that will stand up to your expectations of longevity and be durable enough to maintain its condition under your particular demands. Other factors include safety - which might entail a non-slip surface, particularly if your patio is open to the rain or if it flows into a pool area - and of course aesthetics which is important in contributing to a space that you can enjoy year after year. Matching your patio paver material to existing or planned hardscaped features, such as an outdoor fireplace, is key.
Types of materials
Popular paving materials include sandstone, limestone, travertine, bluestone, flagstone, granite, slate, brick and concrete pavers. Sandstone, limestone and travertine offer a fine grain and elegant aesthetic with subtle white and light brown coloring. All three are non-slip, but can be prone to pitting and therefore require some maintenance. Bluestone and flagstone are hardy and offer natural, sometimes rustic aesthetic. These two popular sedimentary rocks provide lifelong service with flagstone offering a warm, rich appearance and bluestone providing a more formal blue/gray. Granite and slate are both extremely durable with slate being a uniform black/gray and granite providing a mottled color and texture. Slate and polished granite can be quite slippery so are not suitable for poolside patios, however rough hewn finishes are available for granite to counteract this.
A timeless option, brick pavers offer a quaint aesthetic and warm color. Actual brick is not a particularly durable paving material, however, which is why most brick pavers on the market today are actually made from concrete. In general, concrete pavers provide extreme durability and longevity and can serve as a convincing substitute to most other paving materials. Despite their economic and environmental advantages, however, many homeowners still prefer the authenticity of natural stone.
Selecting a paver size
The size of the paver that you select can have a direct impact on the way your patio is perceived. Large pavers tend to enhance the size of a space, whereas small pavers laid in a distinct grid-like fashion have the opposite effect, making a space seem smaller than it actually is. On the other hand, many laying patterns call for a combination of paver sizes and shapes. This is excellent for creating variation, preventing the surface from becoming monotonous and introducing a degree of randomness.
Selecting a shape
Generally speaking, the pavers used in the body of a patio space come as either squares, rectangles or irregular shapes. Other shapes, such as hexagons and octagons are also available, but not as common. The shape of a paver has a similar ability to affect how a patio is perceived. Rectangles can be used to enhance the length or breadth of a patio, while squares introduce order and stability. Random shapes such as those introduced by irregular slabs of flagstone are excellent for use in a rustic design theme, or simply to create a more natural aesthetic.