What are pavers?
Pavers are slabs and blocks made from a wide variety of materials such as brick (clay), concrete, flagstone, marble, travertine, porcelain, rubber and even plastic to create driveways, patios, pool decks, etc. They can be a very good concrete alternative for such projects. In fact, other than some stamped concrete, pavers look much better than regular concrete slabs. Finally, when it comes to laying pavers, you can opt for interlocking or slabs.
What are pavers used for?
They are used for many parts of a home, especially outdoors. The most common uses are as follows:
- Pool decks
- Fire pits
Table of Contents
A. Types by Material
What materials are pavers made from?
The main distinguishing feature of pavers among the many options is the material with which it’s made. Pavers are made from a variety of materials. They include:
1. Brick pavers (clay)
What are brick pavers?
Brick pavers have been used as surfacing materials for some centuries now. Brick pavers are made from molded clay that is baked in a kiln and is set into a mortar or sand base on the driveway.
- They come in a range of colors and shapes, and they can be laid in a range of patterns to realize distinct visual effects.
- They are made from natural materials which can be reused, cleaned or salvaged hence clay brick pavers are an eco-friendly alternative.
- They are somewhat fragile hence can crack or chip easily or over time.
- They require a good base and frequent maintenance to sustain regular driveway usage over time.
What are concrete pavers?
Concrete pavers are pavers in many shapes and sizes made with concrete. Here’s an example of thick rectangle pavers for a driveway.
The use of concrete pavers is one of the most popular flooring options for driveways and roadways. Concrete pavers come in a wide range of colors, sizes, textures and even thickness, you can even customize it the way you need it. This medium offers a more natural look and leaves an effortless minimalist finish.
The installation of concrete pavers is fairly straightforward and hassle-free given the fact that it is uniform and can easily be cut.
- As stated above, concrete pavers are easy to install.
- It comes in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.
- It uses low-cost raw materials making it cheaper than bricks.
- More durable than poured concrete since it has undergone some processes.
- Since its color can be customized, artificial pigments can fade over time.
- It can crack in extreme change of temperatures.
- Needs high-maintenance in terms of sealing to prolong life.
- Have a short longevity due to its low-cost raw materials.
3. Bluestone Pavers
What are bluestone pavers?
Bluestone is a variety of sandstone that is often used to create elegant and sustainable driveways.
- Bluestone is quite durable and can be shaped into any basic shape.
- It has a magnificent color. The color often starts as a royal blue, but constant exposure to sunlight makes the color to fade until we are left with a light grey.
- It can be integrated with the various paving materials.
- Counterfeits are being sold as authentic bluestone.
- It can be a bit costly to acquire an authentic bluestone as they are rare.
Bluestone pavers vary in their cost due to their varying thickness and the existence of different types of pavers. Irregular pavers are a bit less costly while thermal pavers are a bit more expensive.
We have a gorgeous gray flagstone patio. It’s striking; guests often comment about it. Here’s an example.
What are flagstone pavers?
Flagstone is a sedimentary rock that is used as pavers most often for patios. The pavers are uniquely shaped and fit together like a puzzle. It’s a thinner paver compared to brick and concrete and so it’s not all that good for a driveway.
Flagstone comes in a variety of colors but most commonly gray hues and reds.
- Flagstone has a non-slip texture and surface making it an ideal flooring option.
- It is also durable and will last longer than concrete pavers.
- It is versatile to use in landscaping since it offers many variations in colors, sizes, and shapes.
- Flagstones’ varying shapes allow homeowners to create nearly any pattern they want to achieve.
- Its shapes and colors can collaborate well with other stones in case you want some extra customizations.
- And since it is naturally-formed, it has a unique and beautiful finish in it.
- Since flagstones are natural, it is difficult to achieve the exact same planned output, if you have one.
- Flagstones have a significantly higher cost than any other pavers since it is mined and transported from the actual source.
Yes, you can get marble pavers suitable for outdoor areas such as patios and walkways.
What are marble pavers?
Marble is formed when limestone is exposed to extremely high heat and pressure. This process randomly disarranges crystal particles, thus explaining its unique pattern.
Marble pavers have been used for both residential and commercial purposes, may it be for patios, driveways, walkways and even grass-yard lanes. These pavers make gorgeous outdoor landscapes while exhibiting a graceful and elegant aura.
- Marble pavers have a smooth and regal polish making it look more sophisticated as compared to other pavers made of stones and granites.
- Its natural tones and patterns create a unique finish to your driveway, pool deck, flooring, etc.
- These classic pavers are highly-durable and will last long.
- If you will ever have plans of selling your home, these pavers will add value to it.
- Conducts heat very well, expect your area to be scorching hot especially the during afternoons.
- Since it is relatively softer than others, it can be easily scratched.
- Might have stains and discolorations when exposed to some acidic chemicals like sauces, beverages or even cleaning products.
What are travertine pavers?
Travertine pavers, like marbles, are all-natural and eco-friendly pavers that can be used in different ways. These are sedimentary rocks formed and developed under pressure and changing temperature. With its natural appeal, travertine pavers have been a popular option for outdoor landscaping and flooring. It looks good even on patios, countertops, pool areas and even on indoor floorings.
Travertine pavers can be found almost anywhere around the globe so its availability will never be a problem.
- Since travertine pavers are very durable, it can add value to your home.
- Very natural and environmental-friendly.
- Much cheaper than marbles.
- Available in different colors and tones.
- No fading of colors or discoloration.
- Insulates heat so it doesn’t heat up during hot seasons.
- Highly-sensitive to acids, cleaning it with vinegar or other acidic formulas might leave an unwanted stain.
- Much heavier compared to other pavers.
What are porcelain pavers?
Porcelain is a clay-based material, treated with extremely high temperatures. This method fabricates a hard and durable output with a non-porous finish. Porcelain pavers can be used both indoors and outdoors but since it has a less-absorbent surface compared to other permeable materials, people practically use for wet areas such as pool decks.
With the help of modern technology, manufacturers can now produce thicker porcelain pavers with a close resemblance to natural materials like wood, stones, etc.
- Porcelain pavers cost less compared to those made of natural raw materials such as slate, granite, marbles etc.
- Its subtle beauty and elegance are visually appealing to the eye.
- Needs less maintenance since it is unlikely to break and have fault lines, plus it is very easy to clean,
- Absorbs less moisture thus, prevents molds and bacteria from building up.
- Comes in different colors and patterns to match your taste.
- If you live in a highly-elevated area that can experience harsh frost, porcelain pavers might not be able to hold up well in the long run
What are cobblestone pavers?
Cobblestone pavers are commonly made of granite although sometimes, it can be made out of basalt, limestone or sandstone. This type of pavers has been used for several centuries, giving justice to how tough and durable it is.
Cobblestone pavers indeed have the best of both worlds: Long-lasting durability and an attractive aesthetic.
- Needs little maintenance, just give them a good wash once or twice a year.
- Durable and long-lasting, can remain stable for how many decades when installed properly.
- Has a wide array of styles and colors to choose from.
- Quite expensive, costs twice or thrice the price of other pavers.
- Installation might require more labor. Time-consuming, but doesn’t need special skills and machinery.
Source: Home Depot
What are rubber pavers?
Today’s innovation has lead to the creation of practical and useful materials out of old ones. Rubber pavers are usually made of recycled materials. It is eco-friendly yet it is also durable and tear-resistant, plus it’s affordable.
For easier installation, avoid getting pavers wet ot else it will expand. Thermal expansion might also be possible when too much solar heat is absorbed before installation.
- Rubber pavers have safety features, they are more shock-absorbent than stone pavers. They are also slip-resistant so having them on wet areas is not that much of a problem.
- Primarily made of recycled materials such as tires, these pavers are environmental-friendly.
- Less susceptible to chipping and cracking.
- They do come in different colors but the finish is not that attractive as compared to stone or porcelain pavers.
- Since it’s new to the market, the actual lifespan of rubber pavers has not yet been fully identified unlike others cobblestone pavers which could last for decades and even centuries.
Source: Home Depot
What are plastic pavers?
Plastic pavers can either be newly-manufactured or recycled from plastic wastes, although it will be more beneficial if it’s the latter one. This innovative process is done by melting the plastic with water and mixing this liquid output with soil. The mixture is then stirred and poured into paver-shaped containers until it dries.
A group of environmentalists has come up with this idea to help solve the problem involving the production of too much plastic materials around the globe.
- Recycled plastic pavers help reduce the growing number of plastic wastes in the community.
- Comes in different shapes and styles that will suit your necessity.
- Might be costly since recycling, processing and shaping machines are expensive.
- Not that durable compared to pavers made of stones, gravel, and asphalt.
B. Paver Shapes Chart
C. Paver Features
How are pavers laid?
There are two main paver designs with respect to how they are laid together. The first is interlocking which is when the design is such that they interlock in some fashion. The second are slabs where they are laid flat with best effort to create a flat surface.
D. Paver Color Chart
What colors do pavers come in?
Pavers come in a large variety of colors including:
That’s a wrap on pavers.