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Paving & Hardscaping

Tips for choosing materials for patios, walkways, pool decks and driveways

  • Grace Design Associates in Santa Barbara, CA
  • Newtex Landscape, Inc. in Henderson, NV
  • Landscaping Network in Calimesa, CA
  • Accent Landscapes in Colorado Springs, CO
  • European Gardens in York, SC
  • Michelle Derviss Landscape Design in Novato, CA
  • Huettl Landscape Architecture in Walnut Creek, CA
  • Arcadia Design Group in Centennial, CO
  • Classic Masonry Ltd. in Putnam Valley, NY
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Shop Paving & Decking ProductsFor patios, paths or driveways, this curated collection of paving and decking products are a great place to start shopping for the right hardscaping in your yard.

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Paving is often the most expensive item in a landscaping plan - and one of the most permanent - so selecting the right material for your yard or garden is important. In addition to cost, you'll need to consider the style you desire, the functionality of the material and maintenance requirements.

A wide array of outdoor paving materials are available for residential landscaping projects, so you should have no problem finding one that fits your needs and budget. Most paving materials are versatile enough to be used on patios, walkways, pool decks and driveways. However, some materials are better suited for particular areas or applications, so think about how you plan to use the area you are paving before making a decision. Tile, for example, is great for paving a pool deck or patio but isn't durable enough for a driveway. Some paving materials, such as decorative concrete, offer more design versatility, permitting a broad range of colors and patterns. A professional landscaper can help you compare the options and give you design ideas.

Get these tipsIn this section, you'll find tips from landscape designers on:

  • The pros and cons of the most popular paving materials, including brick, stone, concrete, pavers, decomposed granite, gravel and tile.
  • The average cost ranges for various paving materials.
  • The benefits of using permeable paving to prevent stormwater runoff and replenish the groundwater supply.
  • Permeable paving options, including crushed stone, dry-laid pavers, open-celled grass pavers, and recycled materials.
  • An overview of the many applications for decorative concrete, including pattern stamping, staining, exposed aggregate and concrete overlays.
  • A step-by-step overview of what to expect when having a concrete pavement poured at your home.
  • Tips for choosing pavers to enhance your outdoor living space, including an overview of the many paver colors, shapes and sizes available.
  • Popular pattern arrangements for pavers and brick, including running bond, basket weave, herringbone and circular.
  • Tips for installing and buying interlocking pavers, along with a list of manufacturers.
  • Using sandstone, slate or limestone to enhance patios and walkways.
  • An overview of brick types, pattern options and installation details.
  • How to use cobblestone to create garden paths and borders with Old World charm.
  • Ideas for using decomposed granite or decorative gravel to create natural-looking patios, paths and driveways.
  • An overview of the popular types of exterior tile and tips for using tile to pave patios and courtyards.
  • How concrete, bluestone and pebbles can be combined for a beautiful backyard patio.

When selecting outdoor paving patterns and designs, it's important to think about your yard's site conditions and the effect you wish to create. For example, if you have a small yard and you want to make it feel bigger, simple patterns work best. Small pavers are great for creating beautiful designs and work well in large open yards, but in small spaces they will create a busy surface that will make a patio seem even smaller.

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