Paving Ideas: 14 Popular Outdoor Pavers
Outdoor pavers add a bit of color, texture, and even pattern. There are various materials as well as paving ideas for both the flooring and pathways of gardens and backyards.
Here, we will go through 14 backyard pavers that you can choose from along with unique ideas to inspire you further in transforming your outdoor space.
Outdoor Pavers: Stone vs. Pavers
In general, flooring materials for outdoor spaces fall into two categories:
- Extracted stones such as slate and granite
- Composite material including bricks and prefabricated concrete pavers, which are processed and shaped while soft, then heated and allowed to dry completely
Due to the large number of flooring options that exist, there is no problem to find the one that suits your taste and condition. Of course, all paving ideas have their own pros and cons depending on the use and the location you have in mind. But do not worry, we will discuss the characteristics of each of them too so that you can make the best choice.
Without further ado, let us see what options you have:
Natural Stone Outdoor Pavers
Stone is among the most popular and even luxurious flooring materials. It is durable, versatile, and offers a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes. Features that allow you to choose among a world of paver patterns and designs. You can find them in geometric blocks and create a formal and elegant patio or go for irregularly shaped slabs for garden pathways.
However, if you are more interested in cheap patio paver ideas, this is not the best option. These backyard pavers could be quite pricy, so this is something to consider.
When purchasing a natural stone paver for your patio or garden, do not forget to check the thickness. For the paver stone patio to withstand heavy traffic and weather, it should be at least two inches thick.
If you love being barefoot outdoors, try to avoid rounded pavers and slabs that have polished finishes. As they are usually a bit hard on the ankles and slippery when wet. Additionally, go for stone outdoor pavers that are flat but have a natural surface, with some grip and texture.
If a paver stone patio seems suitable for you, we recommend going to the store so you can check the material, the color, and even the color when wet.
Sandstone Backyard Pavers
Another popular stone paver for gardens and patios is sandstone. These types of yard pavers are super resistant to any paving use. In addition, they are easier to cut and work with compared to granite, which makes it one of the cheap patio paver ideas as well.
Sandstone can be found in various patterns and colors, blue-grey and lilac grey being the most common ones. You can also find them in light grey, tan, soft golden cream, and orange-brown.
Yard Pavers with Gravel
Combining outdoor pavers with gravel to create paths in patios and gardens is quick and easy to install and has a nice texture, perfect for informal landscaping. It is also one of the budget-friendly paving ideas.
However, one downside of this solution is that it can get weedy and is a bit unstable to walk on. The weed problem can be solved by proper attending discussed in our previous posts. As for the issue with walking instability, go for gravel labeled “1/4 inch less”. Avoid rounded pea gravel. Sharp, angular, ungraded gravel is better since it will settle nicely.
his will help create a firm surface that will not shed, streak, or shift. With proper maintenance, gravel can last a long time among other paver patio ideas.
Slate Stone Paver Patio
Paver patterns with slate offer a smooth texture with equally subtle colors (shading from pastel blue-grey to muted reds and lavenders) that capture the attention.
Slate is easy to shape into partially flat pieces for various backyard pavers. But it is worth mentioning that, due to convenient molding, its durability is limited as an outdoor flooring.
In regions with heavy rains or freezing-thawing cycles, paver designs with slate could break off and splinter. Therefore, this option works much better in slightly more sheltered spaces or in regions with limited rainfall and temperate climates.
Paving Ideas with Granite
No material could beat granite in terms of durability and strength. Granite outdoor pavers and flooring is an elegant, formal option for outdoor spaces. They are usually accessible in cubes, brick-shaped pieces, and uniformly sized slabs.
Compared to other paver patio ideas¸ granite provides a wider range of colors as well including light to dark grey to blue-grey, tan, brown, honey-yellow, green, orange, pink and red, with or without visible spots and blemishes. A considerable feature that makes paver designs with this material almost endless.
Nevertheless, granite is nowhere close to cheap patio paver ideas because it is difficult to extract and shape. To avoid this, you can use colorful granite setts to accentuate other inexpensive outdoor pavers, either with unique patterns or as decorative borders.
Limestone Outdoor Pavers
Limestone has a fine texture, allowing it to take on a characteristic velvety finish when cut for paving. Its fine grain offers simple cutting to create various shapes.
The color diversity of these yard pavers is a little less than that of granite and sandstone, but it is more uniform than theirs. The most common colors you can find are dark grey, blue-grey, pale grey, cream, and tan.
Remember that due to its chemical composition, limestone is susceptible to damage by acid rain, causing significant wear over time. However, there is no need to worry unless you live where acid rains are regular.
Paving Ideas with Brick
Brick is perfect for both interior and exterior walls. Allowing us to use them for the facades as well as flooring, especially for patios or gardens.
Paving ideas using bricks have warm tones and a cozy texture that harmonizes incredibly well with all plants and any other pavement or construction material. Due to its size and uniform shape, it is easy to find, purchase, design, and install.
However, bricks vary in their strength. So, when purchasing, consider the condition and traffic. Like a paver stone patio, brick is an expensive option. Nevertheless, this material has become so popular that even reclaimed bricks, which used to be very cheap, are costlier now.
Concrete Paver Patio Ideas
Some time ago, concrete pavers were not favored by designers since they could not replicate brick or stone. Today, cast concrete pavers are actually widely common for their high quality, durability, and flexibility:
Precast concrete pavers offer beautiful texture and color either with their genuine nature, special additives and pigments, or pieces of natural stones. Concrete paving ideas come in various shapes and sizes, all of which hold up very well over time.
In addition to precast pavers, you can also go for poured concrete. This is one of the hardest and most permanent paving options as well as one of the most flexible. As mentioned earlier, concrete can take almost any form imaginable, so feel free to explore paver patterns to find your favorite.
There is also exposed aggregate that closely resembles gravel backyard pavers. Another advantage of concrete pavement (of any kind) is that it can be sculpted, textured, or mixed with other materials to fit any environment and decor.
If you choose stained concrete, be sure to check the dry sample first before pouring the pavement. Remember that the pigments can change significantly when the concrete hardens completely.
So, any mistake in paver designs will be very difficult to correct. The pouring process itself is not expensive in general, but transportation, installation, and labor altogether increase the cost.
Composite Backyard Pavers
Composite paving ideas provide considerable flexibility while being more affordable compared to natural stone. They are also easier to install than the paver stone patio because they are already molded and dimensionally set.
One of these options is poured concrete, which can create forms that would be impossible to replicate using stone. They also have a wide range of colors, textures, and patterns. We recommend considering the colors and style of the plants in your garden or the patio structure before buying any.
You could buy a small amount of the paving material for your garden or patio and see what it would look like. It is also a good idea to check it in both natural light and the outdoor lighting you have. Make sure you like it better than other paver patterns and that it matches perfectly with your house, the walls of the garden, and even the plants and patio furniture.
Keep in mind that outdoor pavers can be expensive to install. But you can count on their durability for a long time, depending on the chosen material.
Mixing and Matching Patio Paver Ideas
In addition to paving ideas above, you can also mix materials to create a unique design. By combining different materials, you can achieve creative patterns and textures that may not be possible to create using a single type of material. For example:
- You could install a brick or granite border to complete a concrete driveway. You could even try different shades of the same stone to achieve a focal point in your garden or patio.
- You could also raise the gravel a bit by adding precast concrete slabs. A splash of different materials could also highlight and even serve for dividing the space.
Such paving ideas could be much more than just decoration. They could prevent elevation, a functional choice for patios or multi-level gardens with different colors and paving materials. For smaller outdoor spaces, you could use two or three outdoor pavers.