One primary element of every landscape is the hardscape - areas like patios, driveways and walkways that use hard materials like concrete, flagstone and paving stones as the primary material. Interlocking paving stones, paving stones or just pavers are common terms for a hardscape material that is rapidly becoming the most desired choice. There are many reasons for this including versatility, durability and beauty. If you are considering a driveway, patio or walkway, pavers may be your best choice.
Paving Stones are concrete blocks or stones that are manufactured to fit together to form a solid surface. They are designed with edge restraints, a ridge, that creates a joint that when filled with sand hold the blocks together. Though they can flex, they can not move independently from adjoining stones. This ability to flex provides a key benefit - the movement of earth (earth shift) won't cause cracking, bumping or hollows common with regular poured concrete. In the Northwest, shifting earth is common because of temperature changes, rain and water tables. Paving stones provide a durable surface many times stronger than concrete and without the concerns of cracking, bumping and hollows. Pavings stones are commonly used for driveways, walkways and patios.
Paving stones have many unique benefits as well as the basic benefits found in other paving processes and materials. The basics, of course, are creating a hard, flat surface that allows for easy access, maintenance, durability and comfort. But, interlocking pavers provide many more.
Paving stones come in hundreds of colors, styles and sizes. When combined with installation customized to fit your personal preferences and lifestyle your patio, driveway or walkway will truly be one-of-a-kind.
Paving stones provide flexibility for a variety of uses and solutions to complex challenges. A large driveway can become a work of art full of geometric texture. A walkway that snakes through trees and gardens will be both visually attractive and provide a firm, smooth, safe footing. A interlocking paver patio can be designed with color and curves that will create an inviting outdoor room.
Concrete can be very slippery when wet. Unsightly tire marks from a car that loses traction or a painful slip as you walk to your front door are circumstances that require a conscious effort to prevent when walking or driving on slick concrete. Pavers are manufactured with a non-slip surface making them care-free to walk and drive on.
Paving stones are one of the only hardscape products that will instantly increase the value of your home.
Pavings stones are, at the minimum, four times stronger then regular concrete. They will quite literally last a lifetime. Because they are created to interlock so they won't move independently but have joints designed to cushion earth shift, they provide a smooth, consistent surface without cracking, bumping and hollows.
If, for what ever reason, a paver gets damaged, it is a simple process just to replace that stone. Concrete, on the other hand, requires, at the minimum, patching or resurfacing and often a whole section or slab must be removed and replaced. Patching and resurfacing can result in mismatched coloring becoming an eye-sore rather than eye-appeal.
Paving stones generally require little care but there are some situations that require maintenance.
- You may need to add sand to some joints as pavers settle especially in the first year or two after installation.
- Weeds, moss and grass can grow in the joints making it necessary to apply weed killer or weed by hand.
- If a stone or stones settle or crack they may need to be replaced or a new layer of bedding sand applied.
Generally you will pay a bit more for paving stones then standard concrete but about the same, maybe a bit less, than stamped concrete. A concrete slab may cost a bit less upfront the long-term costs for repair and/or replacement will most likely outweigh the initial savings.
The installation of paving stones is intensive. A quality, long lasting paver project requires quality, knowledgeable installation. In brief, here is the process for installing paving stones:
- Excavate & grade the area
- Compact the sub-base
- Install Geotextile fiber over the sub-base
- Install and compact a rock base and bedding sand
- Lay the pavers one at a time
- pCut the border stones & set them in border restraints (commonly a concrete bond beam)
- Sweep sand into all joints and compact the paver stones
- Do a final sand sweep to fill any joints after compacting
Paving stones offer benefits not found in any other hardscape product. They attractive, can be used for a variety of purposes, safe, add to the value of your home, durable and low maintenance. Reynolds Landscape can design and install a interlocking paver driveway, walkway or patio that will not only be beautiful but useable and last a lifetime.
If you are interested in paving stones or any other landscaping need, Contact Us here