Unlike plantings and outdoor furniture, patio pavers aren’t as easily replaced. The foundation of a patio calls for commitment, and selecting a material for its construction isn’t as simple as one might think. The desired aesthetic and budget hang in the balance. With that in mind, choosing a material for the construction of a patio tends to boil down to two options: concrete pavers and natural stone. Read on for some essential information that will help to inform this critical decision in Berkeley, NJ.
Know what you’re looking for
Before selecting a material for your patio project, have a clearly defined vision of the finished product, and how it will fit into your overall landscape. Consider, for example, whether you want a symmetrical layout or sweeping curves, and whether its color palette will match or contrast your home. Know whether you’re looking for materials that are better suited to traditional or contemporary designs. Once you have clear expectations of your patio pavers, it will be easier to find the material that best suits your criteria.
Natural stone pavers encompass a broad range of different stone varieties that are quarried or collected, and cut into pavers or left in their original, irregular form. These pavers can be made of slate, flagstone, limestone, and a variety of other kinds, each with their own unique properties that make them suited to certain applications, but not others.
The type of natural stone you select for your patio also depends on your desired look and feel, as irregular flagstone pavers, for example, can create incredibly detailed surfaces perfect for rustic patios. Natural stone pavers can be acquired in irregular shapes with rough edges, or uniform shapes with smooth surfaces, making them compatible with both traditional and contemporary hardscapes. Irregular pavers of uneven thickness can be difficult to install and level, but have an unparalleled natural appearance. Stone pavers have a tendency to shift over time, but should outlast the rest of the landscape, if installed properly.
Concrete pavers are molded from a mixture of aggregates, pigments, and other materials, and can then undergo a variety of finishes. The end product is generally strong enough to bear frequent vehicular traffic and support great loads. The dyes and pigments used allow concrete pavers to come in a broad range of colors, from white-wash to browns and reds. This enables you to create interesting color combinations and find a paver that suits your hardscape design. Pavers can also be finished with a variety of surface textures, both rugged and sleek. When selecting concrete pavers, you are faced with a multitude of style options that expand the possibilities of your patio design.
Concrete pavers are more flexible than poured concrete, and can rise in winter. This prevents them from cracking, so that they are unscathed as they settle back into place during spring. Should a concrete paver become damaged, however, it is easy to lift and replace, without harming any of the surrounding pavers.
Image courtesy of Unilock.