Paver Options for your Outdoor Lifestyle

As the back yard metamorphosis into viable spaces for eating, cooking, playing and entertaining, a paver patio is one of the most popular flooring options available for outdoor living spaces.  The material used for the flooring is an important component to the overall design.

Here are a few materials that inspire many design options.

Limestone

The use of limestone in architecture dates back thousands of years, with many of the world’s most well known buildings being contracted of the timeless stone—think the Biltmore Estate and the Empire State Building.  While most can’t afford to clad our homes in limestone, it can be used to create a durable and elegant patio.

Limestone is a sedimentary rock formed mostly from calcium carbonate and smaller amounts of clay, silt or sand.  It is known for its strength and durability. Limestone is available in many textures and colors, from light and dark gray, to green, blue cream and white.  If a dark color is chosen, know that it will fade slightly over time.  Limestone is also known for its insulation properties, meaning you won’t scorch bare feet on a hot summer day.  When it comes to maintenance, limestone doesn’t require sealing.  A simple washing or scrubbing with water or mixture of water and bleach keeps the surface clean.

It is pricier than most materials, costing as much as $40 per square foot installed. (image courtesy of housetrends.com)

Bluestone

Bluestone is dense and strong sandstone that usually comes from quarries in Pennsylvania and New York.  Considered to be a great choice for patios since it resists cracking and discoloration.  Thanks to the rough texture that provides traction, bluestone is often used around pools and water features.

Bluestone is commonly found in a silvery blue color, but other hues including brown, tan, green and lilac are available.  Like limestone, bluestone doesn’t need to be sealed and cleans easily with water.  Stains can be cleaned up with vinegar or lemon diluted in water.

Bluestone costs range from $15 to $25 per square foot installed. (image courtesy of housetrends.com)

Travertine

Travertine a beautiful natural stone is often used around pool desks thanks to its ability to stay cool in the hot sun.  Travertine, a type of limestone formed in a mineral spring, has a smooth finish. 

This stone comes in a variety of shades and colors, from light ivory and beige hues to rich shades of brown and red.  No two pavers are alike, which allows for a truly one-of-a-kind patio.  Travertine is durable and is also able to withstand the yearly freeze-thaw cycles.  Industry experts recommend a sealer to help protect the stone from stains and to help making cleaning easier, but sealing is not necessary.

Travertine is similar in price to bluestone, but cost also depends on the custom options chosen for the patio.  (housetrends.com)

Concrete

Concrete pavers have come a long way and hold their own in making any design spectacular.  Many styles, colors, texture and patters are available-making the customization options virtually limitless.  Manufacturers such as Reading Rock are creating authentic looking pavers that stand the test of time, daily wear and tear, and extreme weather changes.

Concrete pavers are also considered to be more durable than regular poured concrete.  Manufacturers offer pavers specifically for high-traffic areas.

Thanks to modern technology, manufacturers are now producing pavers that resist fading.  Although sealing helps to preserve color and prevent staining, it is best to get the recommendation of your contractor.

When it comes to pricing, concrete pavers can cost anywhere from $5 to $10 per square foot, not including installation.

Clay Brick

Looking for the authentic New England or Colonial garden, then clay brick pavers are the choice.  The best thing about brick is that it can last well beyond a lifetime and it is virtually maintenance-free.

Brick are available in earthy hues of red, buff, orange, brown and even green.  A variety of patterns can be installed achieving a truly custom design.

Clay brick pavers can cost from $0.50 to $3.00 per brick-depending on the shape, color and size of the paver.  This does not include installation, which makes a brick paver patio a bit more expensive than a concrete paver patio.  (housetrends.com)

2cm Porcelain Tile

If it’s a modern design you need, then porcelain tile is a great option.  Tile is designed to provide an amazing aesthetic effect.  Mixing of colors add drama to your design.

Tile pavers are available in a broad range of colors, styles and sizes.  They are virtually maintenance free, fade and slip resistant.   Tile is resistant to stains and usually only need water to clean them.

Porcelain tile pavers range from $9 to $10 a square foot, not including installation.

 

SIX STEPS TO BUILD A LASTING PAVER PATIO (housetrends.com)

1-Dig Deep – The first step is excavation.  Experts recommend digging down below the root level of grass or other vegetation, usually at least six inches.  Areas prone to clay soil often require deeper excavation.

2-Be Weed Free – Installing landscaping cloth to create a barrier between the ground and the new paver base.  The cloth will help minimize the amount of weed growth that will encroach upon the patio.

3-Create the Base – Fill the excavated area with a paver base material or sand.  Be sure to pack the base material with a tamper.  The base needs to be solid, level and smooth before the pavers are installed.  It is important to repack each layer until the base is ready.  Your contractor can help you determine the appropriate material suited for the paver you are installing.

4-Proper Drainage – In addition to being level, it is important that the patio drains properly.  Make sure the patio slopes away from the foundation and toward an area that can handle additional moisture.  Plan for a ¼-inch drop in elevation for every two feed of patio.

5-Restrain the Edges – To help keep pavers in place, use an edge restraint that is secured underneath the pavers or drive long spikes into the base material around the outer edge of the patio.

6-Pack it in – Apply a layer of joint material or sand between the pavers to set them in place, inhibit week growth, and allow for drainage.  Be sure to take into account the paver material being installed—some pavers, such as natural stone, require mortar mix in order to prevent shifting.