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Pavers: Applications and Options

If you stop and think for a moment, pavers are a beautiful commodity. Their [paving stones] discovery has brought so much diversity and beauty to landscape design. Just think about how bland the options were before the use of pavers.

The uses for pavers are endless. They range from everything from lining streets, driveways, and pathways to retaining walls, patios, and surrounding pools. Not only are pavers beautiful, but they are very durable and easy to repair. They are actually four times as strong as poured concrete. Concrete is tested to withstand 2000 psi; whereas, pavers exceed 8000 psi. Additionally, if they become damaged, it is very easy to replace just one or two at a time.

Paving stones is a term that encompasses multiple materials. Pavers come manufactured out of concrete, slate, limestone, granite, brick, sandstone, stone, travertine, flagstone, grass turf, bluestone, and rubber.

Installation varies depending on the product. Some pavers are interlocking, whereas others need to be set in concrete or sand. A crucial part of the installation is the preparatory work. Lay at least three layers of hard rock such as gravel or road base, and compact each layer to create a solid bed. Establishing non-movable borders before laying the pavers is essential to preventing movement and instability. Over the bed of compacted rock, lay between one and two inches of sand. Make sure your sand is not too fine as a coarser variety will compact to a harder surface. The next step is to lay the pavers onto the sand. After all pavers are in place, the cracks are filled with sand and then sealed to keep the sand in place.

The colors of pavers are quite diverse, offering many elegant options to choose from. Choose from deep reds to pale creams, with a wide array of pastels and browns in between. Finishes differ greatly as well. Some are quite smooth, others more porous, while still others are very rough. Selecting just the right paver is determined by your personal preference, the application it is being used for, and the availability of certain products. Work with your licensed contractor to turn your yard into one of those eye-catching paver marvels.

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