Last Updated Apr 13, 2017 · Written by Rob Schneider
You can create a simple paving pattern or you can use your imagination and create something extraordinary. Here are some inspirational ideas for paving for you to think about.
Pavers come in a variety of materials and sizes. Some of the most common materials include:
Natural stone pavers include a variety of natural stone materials. Sandstone, travertine and limestone are two of the most popular.
Clay pavers come in a variety of sizes and colours, from light colours to deep reds.
Brick pavers continue to be a popular material. Like clay pavers, brick pavers come in a variety of colours.
Concrete pavers are a cost effective way to get the look of natural stone without the cost. Concrete pavers are made in moulds and colouring agents give them a variety of colours.
Another option for large areas is stamped and stencilled concrete resurfacing. The concrete can be laid over an existing or new concrete driveway or patio. Concrete resurfacing can look like natural pavers.
It's good to start with an understanding of the basic paving styles. You may want to improvise, but knowing the standard paving styles will help you discuss your project with your paving contractor. These are the basic styles. They can be laid straight or diagonally:
Stack bond is simply pavers laid next to each other. The lines between the pavers will be straight in both directions.
Stretcher bond starts with a single length of pavers. The next row of pavers is laid halfway between the previous row of pavers. The pattern is repeated.
Herringbone pattern is a little more complicated. A rectangular paver is laid in one direction. The next paver is perpendicular to the first paver and placed at the edge of the previous paver. A herringbone pattern uses pavers that are twice as long as they are wide.
Basketweave starts with two pavers side by side. The next pavers are also side by side, but facing in the other direction.
Circular paving is just what it sounds like. Usually, the largest area is a standard pattern. Cutting the pavers creates a circular pattern and pavers are laid around the circle in a different pattern.
Variations on these basic styles can include using pavers of different colours or mixing patterns for a more interesting effect. For example, you can use a herringbone pattern and mix it with other patterns.
More elaborate styles are available, too. Pavers come in a variety of shapes and a good paving contractor can create an innovative style. Using pavers of different sizes and colours, you can create a pattern that might be basically a herringbone or basketweave style, but also have square pavers to break up the pattern.
As you can see, you can start with a basic pattern, but innovate to create something new and different. Most paving contractors can show you photographs of their previous work to help you choose a pattern for your driveway, patio, pool surround or pathway.
Not all pavers are square or rectangular. Some come in different interlocking shapes while others can be natural stone or concrete in random shapes. The former can cover a wide area and give your paving project a distinctive look.
If you choose random shapes, a good paving expert can fit stones in close proximity and fill the space between the stones with concrete.
Really, you can do almost anything with pavers. You can create a neat pattern or create a more random, natural pattern. Combine the two by using random stones in the centre and lining them with rectangular or square pavers.
Paving pathways gives the opportunity to improvise in the best way to flatter your landscape. You can create a solid pathway with different sizes of the same pavers or mix pavers. A solid pathway may be a good way to pave a path to your front door.
Pathways don't have to be filled in. If pavers are spaced to allow you to take a step at a time, surround your pavers with pebbles, moss or even grass. Edging can help hold pebbles in place, allowing your garden to come to the edge of your pathway without spilling over into the pathway.
Also think about combining different pavers on a pathway. For example, you can use natural stone pavers in the centre of the path and line the edges with square or rectangular pavers to create a stylish natural pathway.
You have to keep the weight of cars in mind when paving driveways. Hire a professional driveway paving company for best results. They will know what type of underlay to use and will recommend patterns for your driveway that will not shift under the weight of cars. Professionals can create stunning designs that withstand the test of time.
Pool pavers are usually large format pavers. Since the pool area will get wet, they are usually sealed with a non-slip sealer. Your pool builder may lay your pool pavers or you can hire a pool paving specialist.
Paving a patio can transform an ordinary patio into a stunning patio. A more formal patio might have large format pavers placed in a standard pattern.
You can also improvise to create a more interesting patio. Some patios combine different types of pavers at different levels to create zones. You might want an elevated area under a patio cover for dining and entertaining. Take a short step down and you have paving for relaxing in the sun or enjoying your garden.
When you consider the number of materials you can use and the different ways you can combine them, you can do just about anything with pavers. It really depends on the look you want to achieve. Large format pavers can be combined to create unique shapes, yet still be functional.
Or you may want to use freeform pavers and place pebbles and low plants between the pavers. Then again, you might want to create a pattern using different types and sizes of pavers. Combine the pavers with pebbles and you can create a beautiful area to highlight a garden feature.
If you need help with your design, a garden designer or landscape architect can help you create pavers for your garden that will complement your home and landscape. When you get quotes from paving professionals, have a look at their portfolios. That may be the best way to find inspiration for your paving and find the right paving expert for your project.