The idea of creating a new paver patio is fun—but can also seem overwhelming, given the huge range of choices available today. Pavers are beautiful, durable, and versatile, and you can find pavers to match any architectural style. But selecting the right pavers is an important decision you do not want to regret later. Here are six factors to consider when choosing patio pavers in Wilmette, IL.
The type of project determines the type of paver. Driveway pavers tend to be thicker than pavers used on a garden path, for instance. Some pavers can be cross-functional (used for driveways, patios, and even walls), but you do want to be sure the pavers your choose are going to withstand the traffic they will receive (your landscape contractor can help you with the choice).
Texture is one element to consider that is closely related to how the pavers will be used. Some pavers are more textured than others, which provides not only visual interest but slip-resistance—an important consideration for pavers around pools or hot tubs.
Also consider durability. While natural stone was believed to weather more gradually than manufactured stone, today’s paver technology is changing that assumption. Today’s concrete pavers are made to withstand a wide range of weather conditions—and the passage of time.
Cost is a factor that may disqualify certain materials from consideration. For example, natural stone pavers are typically more expensive than manufactured (concrete) pavers that have a natural stone appearance.
Next, narrow your choices to pavers that complement your home’s architecture. That does not mean you have to match the style—you can create an interesting contrast—but in general, your style choices include brick, slate, tile, cobble, or flagstone. If you are stuck, your landscape designer can help you choose the paver style that doesn’t clash with your home and will help to create a cohesive space.
Shapes, Sizes, and Patterns
The shapes and sizes of pavers determine the laying patterns. You may prefer the cohesive look of precisely placed pavers—such as a herringbone brick pattern, straight lines, random patterning, or a circular effect. If you have a pattern you most find most appealing, that can help you narrow down your patio paver choice.
While the thought of adding a personalized touch to an accent area can be enjoyable, in general you may want to keep your landscape cohesive by using the same pattern throughout on all of your paver areas. Not all pavers are available in the shapes and sizes you envision, so this could narrow your choices further.
If you are going for more visual interest, consider mixing up to three styles of pavers: a main field paver and up to two accent pavers. You can mix shapes, sizes, and colors as you like, to express your personality.
Stone pavers come in many shades—primarily earth tones—ranging from light cream to brick red, a warm tan, charcoal, fog gray, chocolate, and multicolored. If your home has stone on it already and you can’t match the pavers exactly, choose a stone in the same color temperature (warm, neutral, or cool) and go bold with the contrasting effect if you’d like.
Stone patio pavers are relatively low maintenance—all that’s generally needed is regular cleaning as well as resealing, if you choose to have your pavers sealed.