Paver stones are a landscaping material used to line driveways, walkways, and patios. Pavers are made of several different materials and are also produced in a multitude of sizes. The most common types of pavers are brick, concrete, and stone.
Brick pavers are a sturdy product made from sand, cement, and water that is mixed together and fired in a kiln. Though red is the most common color for brick, the sand used in the manufacturing process along with dye additives actually determine the color. More versatile than the traditional brick used in building construction, brick paver stones can be molded before firing into curved or rounded shapes for walkway edging or even swimming pool decks. The benefits of brick pavers include low maintenance, durability, and strength but the brick will fade over time as it ages.
Concrete pavers are another option for landscaping. This type of paver stone is often used in commercial applications due to the low cost and ease of installation. Made of mixed concrete that is poured into molds to form the desired shape, concrete pavers are most often manufactured a pale gray color, which is especially helpful when the surrounding landscape is dark. A simple cleaning with a pressure washer periodically is usually all that is required to keep concrete paver stones looking like new.
Stone paver stones are a more recent addition to the available options of paver stones. Stone pavers are not manufactured but instead mined from stone quarries. Since this type of paver stone is naturally occurring, the shapes and colors are endless, but due to the significant expense involved in mining the stone, the cost is typically much higher than brick or concrete.
The most popular types of stone used in pavers include limestone, sandstone, granite, flagstone, and slate. Stone pavers are often used for driveways because they are highly durable and can withstand heavy weights without cracking. Maintenance is extremely low and the colors rarely fade.
Regardless of the type of paver stones chosen, installation is remarkably similar. The area to be paved is excavated, so once the pavers are placed they will be even with the rest of landscaping instead of sitting above. A base material of crushed stones such as limestone or gravel is spread to create a firm foundation.
A border or edge restraint is laid to keep the pavers in place, then a layer of sand is spread evenly over the entire area. The paver stones are placed as close together as possible in a pre-designed pattern. Fine sand is then brushed into any cracks using a stiff push broom so the total surface is covered and the pavers do not shift around.