Hardscaping is an important part of any residential landscape to create visual balance and functional surfaces. Because of their durability, easy maintenance, and cost efficiency, pavers have become the popular choice for achieving a stunning outdoor surface. Pavers come in a variety of material options, including concrete, natural stone, and brick, and each is available in different colors, shapes, and patterns. Whether you are looking to create a walkway, patio, or pool deck, see which type of paver fits your budget and best complements the style of your home.
Concrete pavers can be installed with or without mortar. Pavers installed without mortar—called interlocking or permeable pavers—are placed in sand; then the joints between each paver are filled with sand, locking them in place. These pavers are unaffected by shifts in the ground because the sand allows for movement without cracking. This technique creates a permeable surface for rainwater to drain; however, these pavers can get clogged with sediment over time and require regular sweeping and vacuuming to ensure proper drainage performance.
Non-permeable concrete paversare installed in mortar and need only occasional sweeping and rinsing with a hose.
Concrete pavers range from $5 – $15 per square foot for do-it-yourselfers, and $15 – $25 per square foot if you hire a pro. Price ranges for interlocking concrete pavers are usually higher, costing $20 – $35 per square foot when installed professionally.
Brick pavers convey a statement of timeless elegance and Old-World charm to any home. Their hard surface and durability make them suitable for heavily used areas such as driveways, patios, and pathways. They’re also a great choice around pools because their porous texture provides a non-slip surface. Additionally, bricks will not fade or erode if exposed to large amounts of water or chlorine.
Maintaining brick pavers is relatively simple, as clay ages well and looks better over time. Because pigments are not added, bricks are not affected by ultraviolet light and will preserve their color. Though not required, sealing the pavers will protect their texture and surface, as well as prevent staining and scratching. In addition, dirt can be easily washed away with mild detergent and water.
Brick pavers run about $5 – $15 per square foot. For professional installation, estimates are typically $15 – $20 per square foot.
If you’re looking for a truly authentic hardscaping material, consider natural stone. Natural stone pavers are cut from many different types of stones, including sandstone, limestone, granite, bluestone, marble, slate, and travertine. These stones are hard-wearing, long-lasting, and weather resistant, which makes them perfect for any outdoor application. In particular, granite, travertine, and bluestone pavers are known to have a non-slip surface, which is ideal for around pools. Additionally, travertine and flagstone have very low heat absorption, so the surface stays cool on your feet. For heavy traffic areas such as driveways, granite and slate work best.
Natural stone pavers are extracted from a quarry and cut into paver shape for easy installation. Like brick pavers, stone pavers may be set in a sand bed or in mortar. They can also be set on top of a soil surface with little preparation.
One of the main highlights of natural stone pavers is their wide variations in color, texture, shape, and size. Stone pavers range in shades of blue, red, brown, and gray. They also can be finished to have a smooth matte, high gloss, or ultra rough texture to match the style of your home.
While stone pavers will not fade, initial sealing is advised to enhance colors and preserve luster. Stone pavers are easy to maintain: a simple rinse with a high-powered hose will remove any dirt or stains.
Stone pavers have a higher purchase price than concrete and brick pavers because they must be mined from a quarry. Their prices range from $15 – $30 per square foot, depending on the type of stone. Professional installation is usually priced around $30 – $35 per square foot.
• Simple patterns like running bond work best in small areas and can make paths look longer or wider. For larger spaces, multiple patterns can be incorporated to add variety and interest.
• Laying pavers at a 45-degree angle to the lines of your home draws attention to the area.
• Curves add a unique, decorative value, but involve lots of cutting; this means extra labor and wasted materials and could increase your overall cost.