Paving stones are extremely flexible and adaptable to a large variety of jobs. Be it a simple stepping stone path, expansive driveway, patio, or spa and pool surround, Deck and Patio often recommends concrete pavers as a cost-effective choice.
3 Main Types of Pavers
There are basically three types of pavers: “interlocking,“ “slab,” and “permeable.” These three can frequently be used interchangeably, except when it comes to (1) driveways, where the durability of interlocking pavers is essential, and (2) where water runoff may be a problem and permeable pavers would be a much better choice.
What makes them so versatile is pavers come in many designs, shapes, and colors and are durable against weather, and traffic, so that they can virtually be used anywhere in a variety of ways.
“Plus they are wonderfully suited to the freeze/thaw conditions of the Northeast where we work,” adds Dave Stockwell, owner of Deck and Patio. “One caveat, however. Finished projects made of interlocking concrete pavers will not look quite as random in shade and shape as natural stone. Paving kits installed by experienced professionals, however, can be laid in attractive random designs even if they will have more similarities than natural stone would.”
The following Deck and Patio’s projects highlight these different paving stones.
We believe that using pavers will not only provide a beautiful pool deck, but they offer a safer surface that prevents slipping.* Here, we created five different patio levels around this pool using only interlocking concrete pavers and stepping stones (slabs).
Five feet above the main pool, where the backyard retreat renovation features cascading water into a new spa, even there we surrounded the spa with a patio made from concrete pavers.
In addition, we find that pavers maintain a cooler walking area and can handle moisture better than poured concrete surfaces. And because the pavers we recommend are stronger than regular concrete, they are extremely durable for frequent entertaining (high traffic areas).
In this design and build project we added a swim up bar in the main pool that features granite countertops, as well as in-pool bar stools, swim out steps, a slide, and pergola.
The durable and resilient interlocking concrete pavers we chose create a handsome pool surround that stands up to lots of foot traffic. The manufacturer in this case produces kits that ensure an attractive random pattern in lieu of straight lines and flat images, or in a running block pattern. The finished look is natural — a good accomplishment for such an expansive area.
Here we recommended to our clients they use one manufacturer’s “Rocka” (slab) steps, along with moss rock boulders and creeping plant material.
This combination handsomely stabilized a hill area without the need of a retaining wall.
The “Rocka” steps have a wide-walking slip-resistant surface* — key to any project that is part of a water feature.
We used interlocking concrete pavers for this pool and spa surround as well. The pavers offer an attractive alternative to asphalt and poured concrete.
These pavers are extremely durable and beautiful and won’t show signs of color loss or fading over time and have blemish-free surfaces.
We used Cambridge Ledgestone pavers (“Toffee Onyx” color, in random pattern) to create the natural rustic appearance seen here.
If you ever pass by Huntington Train Station (Long Island/NY) you will see a great example of the use of permeable pavers. Here Deck and Patio worked in cooperation with the Town of Huntington to beautify the landscape around the train station — all while capturing rainwater for irrigation.
In fact, where once was only a dirt path from the sidewalk to the train parking lot, the landscaped water feature and permeable pavers we added allow easy walking (arrow area pavers) while capturing and filtering rainwater for reuse. The pavers are Techo-Bloc Victorien Permeable Pavers.
Note: Of course, permeable pavers are very useful in private areas such as patios and driveways — wherever controlling or collecting water runoff is a key consideration.
If comparing the many different landscaping materials available seems daunting — indeed, viewing online photos can distort color and texture — Deck and Patio has addressed this by creating an outdoor display at our design center, so visitors can see many of the available materials close-up.
When visiting our outdoor display, those interested can walk-on them, and even touch various patio materials to get a proper sense of how a finished hardscape will look in natural light. Plus, if desired, our staff can explain the different benefits of each one — be it concrete pavers, permeable pavers, bluestone, brick, Travertine, etc.
*Note: Some pavers claim to surpass the slip resistance standards established by the American Disabilities Act. However, these manufacturers also say that some sealers on the market can decrease the friction coefficient of pavers under wet conditions. Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert therefore recommends speaking with a professional when considering sealing pavers where non-slip resistance is desired.