Pavers have taken on a new direction in creating the combination of functional and decorative values, especially for residential landscaping applications. During the last decade, the landscaping industry has been flooded with new design concepts, better quality in paver material choices and the durability aspects have also been much improved. The two main components of why many homeowners and landscape designers choose pavers as the exterior flooring product, is to create a cleaner and a safer directional walkways with the decorative addition of elegance and beauty to the overall landscaping presentation.
Pavers can be featured in many external flooring applications on residential properties, which include driveways, walkways, pathways, sidewalks, pool areas, patios, barbecue areas or just about anywhere that decorative and functional flooring is required outdoors. They are often utilized to highlight and accentuate garden border edges, pathway edges and tree rings. The versatility of pavers and how they can be incorporated within the landscape setting is only as limited as your imagination.
There are many types of pavers available on the market that vary in man made/manufactured pavers as there are also natural stone pavers. Although there are advantages and disadvantages in choosing the type of paver material, it comes down to personal choice, what your expectations are and basically what you can afford and what your budget allows.
For the industrious and hands on home owner there relatively simple methods of installing pavers yourself and do it yourself pavers projects.
The following are the more commonly used paver materials that are produced for residential, commercial and community applications; they are:
Concrete pavers are produced from cement, aggregates, sand and colored iron oxide that cast in moulds to produce pre-cast concrete pavers. There is a multitude of paver shapes, over 200 paver colors produced, various surface finishes and a wide selection in paver sizes available. One of the greatest advantages of concrete pavers is they are more affordable than natural stone and clay pavers but still have all the durability benefits, the strength attributes, all weather tolerances as well as long term exterior flooring performance values. The design flexibility of concrete pavers is exceptional and that is due to the extended range of paver shapes which can create basic laying patterns designs, irregular laying patterns and even very unique and abstract laying patterns.
The other advantage to mention, is concrete pavers are also specially produced to mimic the real look of natural stone and clay pavers but as the more affordable paver product option. They basically cost half the price when compared to natural stone and clay pavers. They are so well produced to mimic specific natural stone pavers with the latest technologies and advances, that only a pro would even know the difference.
Natural stone pavers are produced from real stone types which are quarried and mined from the earth’s surface from various countries worldwide. They are cut and chiseled into a large variety of paver shapes, styles, sizes and thickness from different types of stones which includes sandstone, flagstone, granite, marble, slate, limestone and bluestone. The variations in natural colors and textures will depend on the actual stone. Natural stone pavers are unlike man made pavers with the greatest advantage of not one paver will look exactly the same. They are very durable, very versatile, have high strength attributes and will not crack or chip.
Rubber pavers are made from recycled material such as old tires. First positive thought, they are environmentally friendly. Although they are not a dense product like concrete or stone pavers, they still offer high durability aspects with decorative paving application appeal. They are available in various colors, shapes and sizes to suit the individual consumer requirements. They can be featured on driveways, patios, courtyards and any exterior flooring location. The greatest advantage to rubber pavers is the safety aspects, as many home owners with young children feature this product as floor matting under children’s outdoor activity swing sets.