What are the Different Types of Patio Paving Stones?

B. Turner

Patio paving stones offer a flexible and easy-to-install alternative to poured concrete and other traditional patio finishes. The right patio pavers help homeowners expand outdoor living space for entertaining, meals, and other functions. When choosing patio paving stones, buyers should balance cost, appearance, installation, and maintenance requirements to find the best materials for each particular project.

Moss growing between cobblestones on a patio.
Moss growing between cobblestones on a patio.

Solid stone offers a natural, attractive finish for all types of patios. Using materials such as bluestone, flagstone, or even granite, homeowners can create any size or style of patio, porch, or walkway. While stone represents one of the more expensive options for paving a patio, it's also one of the strongest and most durable, resulting in lower replacement and maintenance costs over time. One of the drawbacks to using natural patio paving stones is their irregular shape and size, which may require the work of a professional installer. Stone patios are often installed using mortar, which can further complicate the installation process for do-it-your-self homeowners.

A layer of gravel about 4 to 6 inches in depth should be laid under the patio when installing patio pavers.
A layer of gravel about 4 to 6 inches in depth should be laid under the patio when installing patio pavers.

Brick patio paving stones serve as an affordable and easy-to-install alternative to natural stone. While brick tends to be softer and less durable than stone, it still feature a high level of strength compared to many other finishes. Brick also features a natural, richly-colored appearance for those looking to maintain an earth-toned color scheme. Compared to natural stone, brick patio paving stones offer a much more uniform construction, allowing homeowners to install these pavers without mortar. Buyers looking for interlocking patterns or unique designs should seek out alternate materials, as brick pavers only come in square or rectangular shapes.

Concrete pavers offer a balance between the high cost of natural stone and the limited design selection of brick pavers. Manufacturers produce these pavers using special molds to create a highly uniform shape, allowing for easy, mortar-free installation. Unlike brick, concrete patio paving stones come in many shapes and sizes, including round and interlocking designs. Concrete pavers also offer many finish options, with plenty of variety in terms of color, texture, and appearance.

In addition to the many material options available, buyers must also choose from different shapes and design patterns when selecting patio pavers. Some of these products are designed to be loosely-laid over gravel or sand, while others are designed to fit tightly together in a bed of mortar. Buyers also have the option of keystone or herringbone patterns, as well as pavers designed to resemble traditional cobblestones.

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