Patio Pavers – Facts to Know Before You Get Started
Patio-the word conjures up warm weather memories, leaning back in your lounge chair, sipping a cold drink, sighing relief and relaxing. It’s a spot where on Saturday night you can wile away the hours watching the grass grow or throw a barbecue. Having a patio in your yard offers a chance to really enjoy the warmth of the outdoors. Though you need to build yourself a patio before you can relax. This leads to the question: How are you going to pave your new patio? Learn about LA Paver and Remodeling Group.
The most important decision you need to make when you decide to pave an outdoor area is whether to use unit pavers, slab paving or crushed stone. (Using crushed stone or pea stone on top of a compact base is a viable third choice if you’re on a tight budget and the patio won’t be used for entertainment.) While pouring a concrete slab might seem the easiest thing to do, the benefit of using patio pavers is that they won’t crack like a concrete slab is likely to. The explanation for the crack is that the earth below us is not frozen in place. When the soil expands and contracts it moves. The most noticeable signs of this process of expansion and contraction are the frost heaves. A solid concrete is not flexible, and can break when it has mounted expansion joints, like a pavement. The joints (spaces) between the unit pavers give your paved surface versatility. Unit pavers can be laid in designs that make your patio look special and built to match your needs.
Patio Pavers come in a range of forms, colors and sizes. Bluestone, flagstone, bricks, and cobblestones are among the best and most common options.
Bluestone is a nice but costly paver for use in your patio. Bluestone typically comes in 10 x 14 inches or bigger standard versions, and in thicknesses varying from 1 inch to 2 inches. It has two simple finishes-natural thermal and cleft. Thermal is typically more expensive and has a smooth surface which can be slippery. In formal garden settings Bluestone looks fantastic.
Flagstone is a flat cut stone, less costly than bluestone and comes in red, blue and brown shades depending on where it was quarried. It’s a finer stone than bluestone and comes in irregular shapes. It’s sort of an old-fashioned material — used in the mid to late 20th century, in many walkways and patios. It was typically poured into a concrete foundation and mortared, rendering it not quite eco-friendly.
Bricks are made of clay, and they are possibly the most common kind of unit paver. Brick is warm in colour, and if you choose to combine materials for your patio plan, it can be beautifully combined with bluestone or cobbles. Clay bricks are not uniform in size and installation takes longer. You can even look to buying antique bricks to give a special historical look to your patio. You must use outdoor-designed bricks, not masonry bricks, which appear to flake and crack when used as pavers in outdoors.
Cobblestones of granite, which we use a lot in New England, come in 3 different sizes and are most commonly used to surround brick and bluestone paving and/or build design highlights inside a brick or bluestone patio. They build a very bumpy surface that is not so compatible with furniture and high heels when used alone.
Concrete patio pavers now come in many different styles. Some are built to look like real stone, but most of the brands I’ve seen really look hideous. There are uses for concrete pavers, they can be cheaper per unit than the others; and installation is easier, since they are uniformly sized. Others are designed to interlock. I might suggest concrete pavers for a driveway, but not a patio or a walkway.
A more exciting reason to use concrete pavers is that you can paint them with colour. This stainability can lead to very creative patio design. Right now, the hottest trend for colored concrete patio pavers is to create “area rugs” from colored concrete unit pavers laid out to imitate a rug pattern. You may also score concrete for making patterns or imitate pavers for units. I have a client who made a concrete driveway that was scored and painted to look like it’s made from gray granite and red brick. Wow! Just yeah!
Patio pavers will never get their joints mortared. Mortaring between unit pavers is an outdated method which loses popularity to the more environmentally friendly technique of using porous materials such as sand or stone dust. It is known that when properly built, using a porous material in between your patio pavers actually keeps them together like cement, and the porous material allows superior drainage of water.