A custom made patio is the perfect way to bring your home up to date, and just in time for summer. You’ll be able to host parties whether they’re planned or impromptu. But as with any element in home design, there are a multitude of options. When it comes to picking the right type of pavers for your patio there are a few things you’ll want to consider. Aesthetic, durability, cost, and your climate all play a part in your decision making. Before you get started let’s check a few facts first,
These Are Not The Bricks You’re Looking For
Pavers are their own genre of patio material. They are not brick or flagstone or even straight poured concrete. They are manufactured to look like just about anything, but pavers are in fact different. Pavers can be made from brick, stone, or concrete but they are still their own thing.
A Tale Of Two Types
When it comes to concrete pavers (the most popular for their cost, durability, and installation) there are two basic types of pavers: Interlocking and Architectural Slab. Depending on the type of project you have before you will sway your opinion one way or the other.
Interlocking: These pavers are very thick and made for heavy traffic. So if you’re looking to upgrade your driveway, interlocking pavers are where you want to go. They’re built to withstand the weight and regular wear and tear. The concrete they’re made from is very stiff and firm and they’re cut in such a way that they can be put together with uniform joints that strengthen their overall function.
Architectural Slab: Pretty much the opposite of their interlocking counterpart. They don’t have edges. They’re molded from a softer, wet concrete (and often come out looking like stone or brick) and they’re thin and easily eroded by freeze-thaw cycles. So if you just want a nice new footpath from driveway to door, you can easily install these yourself.
All things come with a price, and it isn’t just in dollars. There are certain peculiarities of pavers to know about that will also influence your choosing. Remember how we mentioned your climate being part of the decision making? Well, if you have a lot of water runoff from storms and wet seasons, you’re going to need a permeable paver that can absorb the water and help filter out sediment and prevent the water supply from spoiling.
Pavers will also fade in color over time. There’s not really much to be done about these things, it’s just something to be prepared for in the future. Pavers are also very susceptible to stains, especially oil. If you’re cooking a lot on your patio, this could become a major issue. Oil stains will need to be removed with a degreaser and high-pressure power washer. You can apply a sealant to your pavers to help protect against the elements, but you will need to reseal your patio every few years. Outside of these outliers, they’re otherwise easy to care for needing only the regular sweeping and weeding to be kept looking pristine.
As mentioned before, it isn’t just concrete pavers that you have to pick between.
Brick: These fired-clay pavers come to cost around the same as a concrete paver. They don’t have as many color options, but your color is less likely to fade over time. Be careful if you live is a wetter climate. Slippery films of moss can develop quickly with brick pavers.
Stone: The most expensive of pavers. But they are much more resilient standing up to stains, weather, and general wear and tear. They also provide a classic look suitable for any home, modern or classic.
Most any paver can be installed yourself, but for a truly professional look and finish, it’s worth the extra few bucks to hire the pros. All you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the results.