Deciding on the best material for home patio or walkway projects is a fun but challenging process. Homeowners have to balance appearance, style, ease of construction, durability and cost. Fortunately, there are some excellent materials that score high in all of these categories. Natural stone pavers and interlocking concrete pavers are two of the best options for patios and walkways. Let’s look at the characteristics of each and the differences between the two.
Interlocking Concrete Pavers
Concrete pavers are the first choice of many landscape designers for home pavement projects. They come in a variety of colours, sizes and shapes, making them suitable for a wide range of projects. Because of the shape of each paver or the pattern in which they are installed, concrete pavers form a strong, bound pavement. If installed correctly, there is very little movement of the pavers over time.
Interlocking concrete pavers also make a smooth, even surface. Because of their consistent shape and size, they are easy to install. Cost of materials and construction tends to be less than with natural stone pavers. Concrete pavers are attractive, with lots of colour and pattern options. Adding a sealer deepens the colours, enhancing the appearance. However, concrete pavers do not have the natural richness of tone that is found in natural stone.
Natural Stone Pavers
Flagstone pavers are made from natural stone, which is why we sometimes call them natural stone pavers. Granite, slate and limestone are some of the types of stone typically quarried for use as natural stone pavers. Availability often depends on the region where you live. Flagstone can be cut in square or rectangular shapes, but is also used in random, irregular shapes. Colours are usually shades of gray and brown, but blue, green and reddish tints can sometimes be found.
Irregular shaped stone is a natural choice for informal walkways and garden paths. Random flagstone shapes can also be used for patios, though mortar setting beds and grout are recommended, adding to the construction cost. Square cut flagstone of equal or differing sizes makes an elegant, beautiful patio material that can look contemporary or historic.
Natural stone pavers need little maintenance. Its natural durability means it will be around for decades with little evidence of wear and tear. It has a classic, timeless look. Concrete pavers need to be resealed every few years to maintain their appearance. Some colours may fade over time. Both types of pavements may need to have individual pavers reset from time to time as base materials settle or heave due to freezing and thawing.
Interlocking concrete pavers and natural stone are both attractive and durable choices for home landscaping projects. It is not unusual to be unsure about which material is best for your project. Though you cannot go wrong with either choice, many people, after seeing the natural beauty of stone pavers, select flagstone for their patio or walkway. If you use interlocking concrete pavers, you will also have a stylish, long-lasting material. The decision is yours!
If you want more help with the decision, call us and talk to one of our experts. We’ll help you weigh your options with no pressure to buy.