Whether it’s a first-time project or a routine
update, paving your patio is an exciting opportunity to update the overall look and feel of your home and to fit its exteriors to your lifestyle. Whether your patio is a place where friends and family congregate to spend time together or simply a quiet space where you like to lounge, there’s a type of paver out there that’s well-suited to the way you use your outdoor spaces. That being said, it can be overwhelming to wade through a sea of paver options – which is precisely why we’ve put together a list of the 7 most popular patio paving options, outlining the unique features and best uses of each in order to help you choose the ones that work best for your home. To learn about your patio paving options, keep on reading.
A classic material used to pave everything from patios to pool decks and driveways, brick is a widely popular option due to its long-lasting, durable nature. Though it’s on the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to up-front costs, brick pavers will pay for themselves in the long term: they require very little maintenance and are able to withstand heavy traffic, leading to minimal wear and tear over time. If you have little ones running around, brick is a particularly good option: its abrasive surface makes it highly slip-resistant.
If you’re looking to upgrade the look of your home with your pavers, then concrete might be a great option for you. Offering a wide range of versatile looks, concrete pavers are also renowned for their durability and ability to wear well over time. A lower-cost option than brick, concrete isn’t as slip-resistant. That being said, its versatility and durability make it a popular paver option among home- and business owners.
If you have or are thinking about installing a pool in your backyard, travertine pavers are an excellent option to consider. Travertine pavers are designed to maximize friction even when wet, making them very slip-resistant (making them an excellent option on rainy days, as well). They’re also designed to stay cool, allowing to enjoy your pool and patio comfortably even on the hottest days (a perk that most other paver options don’t offer).
By far, one of the biggest perks of granite pavers is how low-maintenance they are. Requiring very little upkeep in order to maintain their appearance, granite is a fantastic option if you’re constantly busy or on-the-go. Granite’s durability is also a major selling point for those who go with it: the average granite paver is about 5 times stronger than the average brick paver. Considering the strength and durability of brick pavers, this is no small feat!
Non-slip and frost-resistant, limestone rivals travertine as an option well-suited to homes with swimming pools. That being said, limestone is most commonly used in commercial pavers because of its high density and resistance to wear and tear. Limestone pavers can also come in an array of colors, allowing you to tailor your pavers to the look and feel of your home (instead of the other way around).
Similarly to limestone and travertine, flagstone pavers are slip-resistant – but this material take it up a notch. Flagstone pavers are naturally moisture- and humidity-resistant. This means that they don’t just prevent you from slipping on a wet surface; they prevent those wet surfaces in the first place. Flagstone is also highly resistant to heat, keeping your patio comfortable even in the most intense Florida summers.
Last but certainly not least is slate, a naturally slip-resistant material that’s widely chosen by homeowners with small children. Though pricier than the average paver, slate offers an array of qualities that make it adaptable to your home’s changing needs for years to come: durability, varied design, and moisture resistance. Updating your patio is an exciting opportunity to revamp your home’s outward appearance – and to re-evaluate what pastimes you want your patio to be best equipped to accommodate. By knowing the qualities offered by each of the most popular patio paving options out there, you’ll be set up for success in choosing the perfect pavers for your home. To learn more about paver installation and repairs, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’ll give you a free quote on your patio paver installation.
If you want to increase the curb appeal of your home, a tidy-looking paver walkway is a fool-proof option. Not only do the pavers create an even surface for walking, but you can choose contrasting colors and shapes to add a bit of drama or class to this often overlooked area.
If you want a more natural or rustic look to your paver surface, choosing irregular shapes is one way to achieve that look. You can select natural colored stones or use multiple colors to coordinate with other items in the space. Consider wider gaps between the pavers to highlight the shape and position of each piece.
Vast paved areas are common in outdoor spaces, but you can also divide up the patio with different pavers to create multiple zones. For example, you can section off part of the space for lounging, eating, cooking, or a fire pit to make the area feel larger and more defined.
Simple brick patterns make excellent, cheap paver patio ideas. This patio is a nice addition to a small backyard. This particular outdoor space enjoys a nicely incorporated firepit for relaxing on chilly nights.
The patio brickwork is as traditional as it comes. The bricks are laid in a herringbone fashion for the main sitting area, while the border is a pencil-line inlay. The half wall behind the firepit is built with stone bricks laid in a running bond fashion.
There’s not much better than sitting on the patio by the sea on a beautiful summer day. The sweeping curves and sharp angles of this patio and the sea make an interesting layout for entertaining and lounging.
We want to draw special attention to the beautiful concrete pavers used for this sitting area. The pavers are laid in a non-traditional pinwheel pattern, using a few different sizes to cover the walkway and seating area. Also, the inset firepit area with its slate-tile inlay is a nice touch against the concrete border.
Sometimes simple is best. This beautiful paver patio is a prime example of that thought. The running-bond style brick paver patio envelopes the firepit, giving this patio a classic and timeless design like cobblestone streets in a colonial city. The stone stairs cascade down into the patio area between banks of fieldstone. This is an excellent design for large backyards that are slightly sloped.
WORKING TIME: 8 - 12 Hrs
TOTAL TIME: 4 - 7days
SKILL LEVEL: professional
ESTIMATED MATERIALS COST: $2000 to $3,500
Patios are a valuable asset to any home's property. Nothing can be better than enjoying the fresh air and a beautifully landscaped yard in the company of family and guests or simply finding quiet time to yourself with a book and a glass of wine.
But you need a good, hardscaped place for all of this magic to happen. Dirt and grass are poor surfaces for chairs and tables. Landscaping rock and pea gravel are economical and simple to install, but they tend to scatter. Concrete slabs are labor-intensive and expensive. But there is a compromise: patio pavers installed in conjunction with a remarkably handy product called polymeric sand.
Working With Polymeric Sand
Pavers are the do-it-yourself patio paving solution that nearly any do-it-yourselfer can handle. But how do you manage the seams between the pavers? Dirt or loose-fill gravel is quickly infested with weeds. Exterior stone mortar effectively blocks those gaps but can be difficult for an amateur mason to apply properly. Polymeric sand is the seam-filler between the pavers that pours like sand but solidifies like mortar.
The concept behind polymeric sand is that you will install the pavers on a sand and gravel base, then sweep the polymeric sand across the top to force the sand into the seams. All polymeric sand must be removed from the paver surface before wetting the pavers with water. The water reacts with the polymeric sand, forming a tight, cohesive mortar-like joint.
Polymeric sand can be tricky to work with. If you get one step of the process wrong (clearing sand from the surface), you risk marring the pavers. But if you get it right, polymeric sand is a joint filler that will last for years to come, with little maintenance and few worries.
• Filler that doesn't easily come out
• Easier than adding traditional grout
• Sweeps in; no troweling
• Joints must be tight
• Must be perfectly swept into all joints before wetting
• Can mar paver surfaces if not done correctly
What You'll Need Equipment / Tools
• Two-by-four lumber, about 8 feet long to use as a screed
• Several lengths of 1-inch diameter PVC pipe
• Twine, string, or lightweight rope
• Wood stakes
• Spade or shovel
• Hand tamper or plate compactor machine
• Bubble level
• Tape measure
• Utility knife
• Dust mask
• Hammer or rubber mallet
• Hose and sprayer nozzle connected to a water source
• Hammer and masonry chisel (if cutting pavers) or a circular saw fitted with a diamond blade
• Leaf blower
• Landscaping edger tool (optional if installing the patio in the grass)
• Crushed stone or paver base
• Paver sand
• Polymeric sand, such as Sakrete PermaSand
• Landscape fabric
• Plastic edging and spikes
• Design Patio
Patio pavers are only as good as their base. You will need a 5-inch layer of crushed gravel or paver base, topped with a 1-inch layer of paver sand. The pavers rest on the sand; then, polymeric sand is swept in the seams between the pavers. Your intended patio's width and length multiplied by the required material depths will tell you how much gravel base and sand to order.
Site length and width (area) partially determine how many pavers to purchase. Your choice of patterns can increase or decrease that amount. Simple grid or brickwork patterns use the least amount of pavers, while complex patterns such as pinwheel or herringbone use more pavers.
You may want to purposely size your patio so that you can use full-sized patio pavers and avoid the painstaking process of cutting them. If doing so, be sure to account for a 1/4-inch gap between the pavers.
Check on Permits and Utilities
Call your local Call-Before-You-Dig hotline to schedule a technician to come by your home and mark the ground for possible electrical, gas, sewer, or other sensitive lines. Speak to your local building permit office to determine whether you need to have a permit for this project.
Stake Out Work Area
Drive a stake at each of the four corners of the intended patio site. Run the twine or string around the four stakes to form a square or rectangle. With your tape measure, measure two intersecting diagonals of your patio area to check for square. If both diagonals are the same length, your area is square (meaning, all four corners are at 90 degrees).
Dig Patio Perimeter Area
Dig out the perimeter of the patio area by first making a channel about 6 inches beyond the marking string. If cutting into the grass, it is helpful to use a landscaping edger: a flat, straight tool similar to a shovel that is capable of cutting straight lines in turf. However, you can use a spade, too. Dig a channel that is about 7 inches deep.
Now, with the perimeter established, remove your marking string but leave the stakes in place.
Dig Inner Patio Area
Remove the soil or turf from inside the perimeter area, digging down a full 7 inches. Place the unwanted materials in the wheelbarrow and dispose of it in a compost bin or another part of your yard. Keep checking your depth, since you want to keep it as close to the 7-inch mark as possible.
Add Landscape Fabric
Snip any stray tree roots. Remove large or sharp rocks. Use your manual tamper or rented plate compactor to tamp down the soil in the patio area. Then roll out two layers of landscape fabric, with the top layer positioned 90 degrees to the bottom layer. Overlap the patio perimeter by about 4 inches.
Add Gravel Base
Put on your dust mask. Pour out about 2 inches of the gravel base material to the patio area. Spray it down lightly, then tamp it down flat. Add two more layers, each layer 2 inches thick.
As you are adding these subsequent layers, begin to slope your patio area to promote drainage. The slope should run at a ratio of 1:4 (vertical to horizontal). Check the slope with the bubble level. Make sure that the slope runs away from the house.
Add Sand Base Layer
Your final bed is a layer of sand that acts as a soft place to set and adjust the pavers. First, roll out a layer of landscape fabric on top of the base gravel to prevent the sand from sifting through the gravel.
To maintain a perfect 1-inch depth for the sand, lay down the two lengths of PVC pipe parallel to each other and about 6 feet apart. Pour sand between the pipes, covering them.
Screed Sand Base Layer
Lay the scrap two-by-four across the tops of the PVC pipes, then screed it toward you in a gentle raking motion. The sand will move to the side and over the top of the screed board. Continue moving the PVC pipes and screeding until the entire area is finished. Finish by tamping down the sand, working backward so that you cover up your footprints. A light spray of water will help the sand settle and compact.
Lay Patio Pavers
Re-attach the marking string to the stakes. Start your pattern at the edge of the perimeter, setting each paver stone flat into the sand base.
Follow with a gentle tap with the rubber mallet or with the hammer and an intervening scrap of two-by-four to avoid breaking the paver.
Continue setting the pavers so that they are 1/4-inch apart from each other.
Avoid Paver Lippage
• Be sure to keep adjacent pavers level with each other to avoid lippage, which can cause trips and falls.
Cut Patio Pavers
You may need to cut some of the pavers to fit the perimeter. If so, the least expensive way to do this is with a masonry chisel and hammer.
Please use your safety glasses and hearing protection.
Score an establishing line on the paver face with a metal straight edge and the edge of the chisel. Draw the chisel across the paver in the same way you might cut cardboard with a utility knife.
Remove the straight edge and use the chisel and hammer to deepen the groove to about 1/8-inch.
Position the chisel in the groove.
Lightly rap with the hammer down the length of the groove until the paver breaks apart.
Add Plastic Edging
Place the plastic edging around the perimeter of the patio. Secure the edging to the ground by pounding the included spikes with the mallet or hammer, spacing the spikes about 12 inches.
Add Polymeric Sand
Sprinkle the polymeric sand over the top of the patio pavers, alternating by sweeping the sand across the pavers. Keep adding sand and sweeping until the gaps between the pavers are filled.
Add Water to Polymeric Sand
Before adding water, it is critical that you remove all polymeric sand from the top of the pavers. If not, the sand will bond to the paver faces, marring them. Running a leaf blower is the best way to blow off sand without removing sand from the gaps.
Set your spray nozzle on a light mist and spray your patio paver. Do not drench it with too much water; otherwise, you run the risk of dislodging sand from the gaps.
Wait For Sand to Set
Wait about 24 hours for the patio pavers to be fully set. Cut away the overlapping landscape fabric with the utility knife.