What are the Pros and Cons of Thin Pavers?

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  • Written By: Christian Petersen
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 15 February 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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Paving stones are a great way to add some style to your landscaping while also improving your property. Thin pavers are a good choice for many projects around the yard and home, including sidewalks, patios, edging, driveways and garden paths. They have many advantages over thicker pavers, but also have some drawbacks. Thin pavers are cheaper, lighter and easier to use, but do not hold up as well as thicker, heaver pavers.

A number of landscaping projects are suitable for thin pavers. Walkways, garden paths, garden bed edging, yard edging and light-use patios are good candidates for these types of products. Thin pavers are cheaper than thicker pavers of similar composition and dimension, and are easier to cut, if necessary. Less underlayment is needed for them and less fill is required between them.

Installing pavers with a thinner profile is usually less work, as well. Excavation is easier as less material must be removed in order to install the pavers flush with the surrounding surface. A large patio paved with thick pavers instead of thinner ones can produce several cubic yards (m3) more excavated material to remove and dispose of.

A thin layer of topsoil above a layer of hard pan, rocky or hard-packed soil can be a good place to use thin pavers instead of thick stones. Excavating these types of soils, especially hard pan, for the thicker pavers can be extremely difficult.

Some projects are not suited to thicker paving bricks or stones. Rough natural paving stone, like shale, can provide a pleasing texture when used to build a retaining wall, for example. Thicker pavers can, of course, be used to build such a wall but will not yield the same effect.

These types of pavers have some drawbacks, however. They do not hold up as well as thicker pavers and are not be suitable for driveways or even heavy use patios where something heavy, like a hot tub, is installed. Under some extreme conditions, man-made pavers will be more prone to cracking or warping due to variations in temperature. They can especially be prone to breaking at the corners.

Many home improvement, landscape supply and garden centers carry pavers and there are thousands of different styles. It is important to carefully compare costs and planned use before choosing pavers for a project. Consulting a landscape professional can help to make the decision easier.



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