Once you decide to add hardscaping to your yard to create a finished appearance, you may find yourself overwhelmed with choices. Not only will you have to decide where you want hardscape elements, but you will also have to decide how you want to implement each feature. For example, for a walkway you will need to decide between poured concrete and pavers, which are solid pieces of stone, brick, or concrete that are laid like tile. If you decide to install pavers, you will have five main choices to make.
Most pavers are cut from natural stone, made from concrete, or composed of brick. There are several stone options, such as sandstone, slate, or limestone, which vary in cost and quality. However, all stone pavers share a natural feel that can enhance a garden area.
Concrete pavers can mimic natural stone or look more modern and uniform. They are known as a cheaper option, costing $1-$12 per square foot, and have several different color and texture options.
Brick pavers are limited in color choices, but the colors they do offer are usually rich and look good in a variety of settings, making it easy to match the front of your home with your garden area.
Once you have decided on the material you want, you will need to consider possible colors. You should draw inspiration from your house, matching the pavers to the color of your roofing material, trim, or exterior wall color. You can also add a pop of color to your yard by selecting a brighter color, such as a purple or green, for your pavers.
Pavers that are a shade or two lighter than the color you are trying to match will tend to look muted and blend in, whereas pavers a shade or two darker will stand out and create a bold, statement look.
Concrete pavers have many different options for textures. You can choose pavers that look and feel like real stone, or you can opt for more synthetic textures. While texture provides visual stimulation, it also provides different feelings when you walk on it. Some paver textures also help prevent slipping when wet.
It is important that you touch the pavers you plan to use before purchasing them as opposed to looking at online samples in order to select the pavers that feel best to you.
Pavers come in a variety of sizes, and it is important to consider scale before you make a purchase. A current trend, being led by European paving, is to use larger pavers. Large-scale pavers have the benefit of making a smaller space appear larger and more open. It also allows the texture of the pavers to be featured as opposed to the pattern the pavers are laid in. Alternatively, smaller pavers can give an area a more classic appearance and can make a large area feel more luxurious.
Pattern refers to the way the pavers are laid. The running bond pattern is considered a popular, easy way to install pavers and involves lines of pavers with overlapping joints. However, a basket weave or herring bone pattern is considered more intricate and interesting to look at. These patterns often take more time and skill to lay properly. For truly unique patterns, you might consider purchasing pavers of different colors and sizes.
If you feel overwhelmed with your hardscape options, it is important to talk to local hardscape services or landscaping companies. They can show you samples of various pavers and create sample images of how your home would look with different options, allowing you to make your decision with more confidence.