When it comes to landscape paving, the choice of paving materials available today is overwhelming. Each paving material comes with its own pros and cons and the choice must be made carefully based on the location and usage. While purchasing paving material and designing landscape paving, there are various factors to take into consideration. Understanding and exploring all available options is the only way to make an informed decision based on the setting and budget.
Stone – Stone is the most popularly used paving material for landscaping. Stone is extremely versatile and durable and is available in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes. While purchasing stone for paving, it is important to keep a few aspects in mind.
- If your area experiences extreme weather conditions or if the area you are paving has to support a lot of foot traffic, it is important to choose stones that are at least two inches thick.
- For such areas, it is best to avoid flagstones with honed or polished finish and rounded cobblestones as such surfaces can be slippery in wet weather and can be hard on ankles. The best thing to do is to choose stones that offer texture or grip with a natural cleft, flat surface.
- It is also a good idea checking for color of the stone when wet as some stones may show up bolder patterns when wet while some others could change color when exposed to moisture.
The most popularly used landscape paving stones include sandstone, gravel, slate, granite and limestone.
Sandstone – Sandstone is popularly used for paving as it is easy to work with. Sandstone is also very affordable as compared to other types of stones like granite. This stone is available in plenty and is offered in many different colors and shapes.
Gravel – Those who are on a stringent budget choose gravel. This material is ideal for informal landscapes and lends an appealing texture. Gravel is easy to install and must be maintained regularly to avoid any weed growth. “1/4 inch minus” gravel offers a firm footing and is easy on the foot. A firm surface without shift, furrow or spill can be achieved by interlocking unsorted, angular, sharp gravel.
Slate – Those who are looking for aesthetic color and texture choose slate or landscape paving. This stone is known for its visual appeal and comes in a riot of pastel color palette such as lavender, muted red and blue grey. If the landscaped area is exposed to thaw/freeze cycles and/or heavy rainfall, it is recommended to avoid using slate as this material can chip or flake under these conditions. This may lead to uneven surface which will retain water and if the stagnant water freezes in winter, may cause accidents due to tripping. Slate is ideal for milder climates and regions where rainfall is limited.
Granite – Nothing can beat granite when it comes to durability and strength. This stone is offered in brick shaped pieces or cubes and is ideal for formal outdoor spaces. It comes in a riot of attractive colors ranging from grayish blue, dark grey, light grey, green, honey yellow, brown, tan, red, pink and orange. As granite slabs are very expensive, gardeners usually opt for this stone to set as decorative accents in combination with other stones.
Limestone – Limestone offers an elegant and attractive velvety finish when paved as it is fine textured. As compared to sandstone or granite, limestone comes in limited colors, such as cream, pale grey, blue grey, dark grey and tan. Limestone is easy to cut into decorative shapes due to its fine texture and is ideal for paving paths and patios. If your area is exposed to acid rain, it is recommended not to use limestone as this material is susceptible to damage from such rain and can wear excessively in a short period of time. Unless you live in an area prone to serious acid rain, you can use limestone to create attractive and vibrant paving at affordable prices. Hope you get all above point keep in your mind while Designing Landscape Paving.