Paver DesignsProfessional tips for selecting pavers for a walkway, driveway or patio
Paver installations with blended colors have become popular, but can be complicated to install. Landscaping Network in Calimesa, CA
Paver Designs by Area
The appeal of concrete pavers and clay brick is the wide range of colors available. This offers endless opportunities for unique design that fits a broad spectrum of landscape styles.
Designer Devin Brunke explains the importance of choosing the right color. "We always begin with the home's architectural materials and reflect that in our exterior paving. Here in Colorado where the region is dry, our paving tends toward grays and browns with muted tones. In general we shy away from the reds of concrete pavers which are different from those of brick. It's often the client's preference too. I ask them, how much attention they want to draw to the paving, because when it's too bold, this can overwhelm the space. I want the paving to compliment the space, so to make the overall feeling of the space work better with planting, we stick to the softer earth tones."
Brunke also warns against the newer blended colors. "It complicates the installation process and you have to separate out all the colors in order to set them into the right patterns. When there are a multitude of different hues, that really drives costs up. We find that blends in the edge soldier course and another coordinated blend in the fields just gets complicated. And frankly, these blends may prove the thing that visually dates a job many years down the road."
Pros and Cons of Precast Unit Pavers
- Unit pavers allow water to move through the gaps rather than sheeting off.
- Properly installed unit pavers won't crack like concrete.
- Many paver manufacturers offer a product warranty against crumbling or cracking.
- Quality pavers will withstand 8000 PSI - many times stronger than poured concrete.
- Pavers provide a non-slip, non-skid surface.
- Cost is similar to that of stamped concrete without the problems of fading and cracking.
- Longevity eliminates the need to renovate or replace over the long term.
- Repairs may be made with existing or new pavers for a seamless result.
- Paver colors and patterns may be combined for striking one of a kind effects.
- Joint sand must be added every few years to keep gaps filled.
- Weeds may crop up in gaps between pavers.
- Dye lots of manufactured paving stones can vary.
- Unless properly installed, pavers can settle with repeated freeze-thaw.
- Pro Tip: Our preference is to stick with squares and rectangles in a repeating pattern that gives us a lot of variance in the joint lines. This may involve just one rectangular unit, one that is square, and a third which fit together easily. This is cost effective and produces a timeless result.-- Devin Brunke of Arcadia Design Group in Centennial, CO
In Maryland, concrete pavers are 65% of all paving, says Cedric Pittman of The Stone Store and Stone Scapes Design. "We've seen this area grow quickly over just the last few years. People aren't taking vacations so they're making outdoor rooms instead. That creates demand so we try to offer the widest range of choices to our customers, and it's rare when we can't supply something they want. Manufactured concrete pavers allow us to supply a tiny patio or a 20 thousand square foot driveway. But all those options can make it hard for a customer to choose. Often we remind them that an exact match to interiors is unrealistic. It's not like carpet. There are limitations."
- Pro Tip: We're now on the third generation of paver design. The first generation was the clean straight paver, second was the tumbled paver for the aged look. Now they're wet casting the pavers and putting a slate textured surface on top. Not only does this look like stone, wet casting makes a stronger paver.--Cedric Pittman of The Stone Store and Stone Scapes Design in Hanover, MD
"We're also seeing more requests for heating coils in the paving systems (see a paver driveway with a snow melt system in Lakefront Landscape with an Asian Twist). Our older clients can't shovel snow any more so they're willing to pay for this feature. Our climate also creates a demand for top end pavers by Techo-bloc that are resistant to de-icing salts. They cost more but people will pay for a safer surface," says Pittman.