Natural stone pavers offer the strength of some of the most durable materials in the world for your landscaping project. The natural patterns and organic color variations seen on granite, travertine, and slate pavers will also add a unique decorative flair to your outdoor living space. Along with good looks, each type of natural stone paver has something to offer your residential or commercial landscaping project.
What is a paver?
Before getting into the different types of natural stone pavers, let’s quickly go over what a paver is. With a format similar to tiles, pavers are installed outdoors over a base material such as crushed limestone or gravel, along with a layer of sand. Pavers are cut to standardized sizes (such as 12”x12”, 12”x24”, and 16”x24”) and are laid out in interlocking patterns flush against one another. The joints of pavers are then filled with fine sand and then sealed with a binding agent.
Travertine is a versatile material and is a standard natural stone suitable for many applications. Associated with the look of Ancient Rome and the European Renaissance, and closely related to marble, travertine offers a similarly smooth texture. It also provides a rustic beautiful appearance with its natural pits and cavities, which are thanks to the bubbling of carbon dioxide when the stones were made by Mother Nature. A reliable choice for outdoor surfaces, the benefits of travertine pavers include:
- High-end look for outdoor applications
- Naturally durable and can last centuries if properly maintained
- A choice of layouts, including French pattern, which is a traditional choice that features interlocking pavers of various sizes
- A beautiful spectrum of colors, ranging from cream to gold to “noce”, which is closer related to chocolaty brown
Slate pavers are also decorative, featuring a wide range of color variations. Along with its stunning appearance, slate is a popular choice due to its naturally slip-resistant qualities. When slate it quarried, it’s split from the rock bed, lending to what is called a “natural split face”. This means that the surface of slate pavers tends to be texturally varied enough to be regarded as slip-resistant. Apart from this, the benefits of slate pavers include:
- Natural durability and can be used where a hard-wearing product is required
- Varied size options – 12″x12″x1 1/4″, 24″x24″x1 1/4″, 6″x12″x1 1/4″ are common dimensions, as well as random sizing
- Rich color range that includes gray, gold, amber, purple, and black
- Rugged yet decorative appeal
Granite has been a heavily relied upon natural stone material for centuries. A volcanic rock that is formed when cooling magma traps random minerals like quartz and feldspar, granite is incredibly tough. With a sugary, crystalline surface, granite offers a stylish appearance as well. Further to that, granite pavers offer:
- Superior hardness – granite is one of the hardest substances on earth
- Rich color ranges and a choice of sizes
- Natural resistance to all kinds of wear
- Lasting appearance and a sense of permanence
Choosing natural stone pavers
Natural stone materials like travertine, slate, and granite all provide durability, unique visuals, and practicality for landscaping projects. The beauty of natural stone sets it apart from other paver materials. When making your purchasing decisions, consider the following:
- Paver kits, which include pavers of standard sizing packaged in sets for square, circular, and octagon patterns
- What color of natural stone will work best with the color of your home and the other aspects of your outdoor space?
- Hiring a professional installer. Along with saving you money by avoiding costly errors, professionals can advise on which base material will work best, and other best practices
Once you’ve made your decision and have received your natural stone pavers, it’s a good idea to open all packaging and lay out a selection of pavers from each box in a “dry run”. Since natural stone pavers are tonally varied, this practice will help you get the most out of your particular batch of natural stone pavers.
Providing authentic beauty and superior durability, natural stone pavers are a simple yet sophisticated landscaping option. A great choice for walkways, driveways, and patios, natural stone pavers are a reliable design element that will withstand weathering and the test of time. All you have to do now is choose which type of stone you like best.
What type of paver will work best for your landscaping project?
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