Have you ever seen a paver walk or patio that has a charmingly weathered or textured appearance that reminded you of the old narrow streets or large piazzas in photos of Europe (or perhaps from a visit to Europe), and thought ‘where can I find a paver like that for my patio’? They are not hard to find if you know where to look.
Such a paver may be natural stone like travertine. Or it could be a paver manufactured from concrete to resemble the look of aged stone. Manufacturers of concrete pavers have been creating pavers with great detail to reflect the rough-hewn or cleft surfaces of the natural stone used long ago to pave streets, plazas, and courtyards.
Their rich color and tactile qualities can certainly enhance the visual appeal of an outdoor space.
Your Outdoor Space Has a Floor
Do you think of the walking surface of your outdoor space as the ‘floor’? It actually is the floor, and we selected examples of some of these unique concrete paver styles that can give it a classic, textured old world feel. Depending on the choice of style and overall appearance, these pavers create floors for elegant spaces as well as casual.
Some resemble natural bluestone, some have a slate-like appearance, and some denote a worn or aged edge. Colors typically run in ranges of earth tones, blue-gray, and grays. And because these concrete pavers are a uniform modular shape, they typically can be installed in less time than natural stone which can be irregular in thickness and is more labor intensive to install.
These examples of paver projects are dry-laid (sand joint) installations, and typically are less expensive than mortared installations, which would require an underlying concrete slab and a skilled mason. Depending on the quality of materials that your supplier stocks, a dry-laid concrete paver project may be slightly less expensive (your cost will be effected by the paver you choose) than the same project using natural stone. If you need to get price quotes for the different materials you are thinking about using, do an apples-to-apples comparison using the same application, such as a price for dry-laid concrete pavers vs. dry-laid natural stone pavers.
Two Factors We Think are Important for You to Consider
That’s not to say there are only two factors to consider, you will have your own to consider, but we feel these are some things a homeowner may not think about beforehand:
- A good thing to keep in mind is your walking comfort with a paver surface that is not smooth. Before you make your purchase, ask the paver supplier if a small mock up (some suppliers already have displays set up for homeowners to see what a paver field would look like) could be set up for you so that you can walk on the paver style you are interested in, with and without shoes, to see if it meets your expectations. If you have ever walked barefoot on a seagrass rug, you’ll know why this may be something you want to consider – some people may think a surface is too rough under foot and some won’t be bothered by it at all.
- something else to think about is that some non-smooth paver surfaces may be too uneven for outdoor furniture to set on – some pavers may work better for a driveway than a patio
As you might imagine, paver projects can add value and enjoyment to your home.
Photo credits: betterOutdoorLivingatHome, Belgard, Paverlock, Techo-Bloc, Unilock