Landscape Designer Tips: How To Choose The Best Stone For Your Patio.

Paver or stone? Concrete or natural block? It can be hard to know which patio stone material to choose, with so many options out there. Use this helpful insider guide, full of new techniques and trends and the benefits of every materials option, for your perfect outdoor living room.

– Carol Arand, Expert Landscape Designer


When I talk to a client at the beginning of a meeting for their patio, I ask how familiar they are with their patio stone paver options. Many people don’t know what materials are out there and the benefits or of each. Here is an overview, the most expensive to least and my insider advice to help you obtain the best result!

Economic Concrete
Clay Paver
Higher-End Concrete Pavers
Natural Stones

 

Economic Patio Stone

Coming in at a small 4×8 inches, the most economic holland stone concrete paver has been around for a long time. You will notice a lot of older patios have bricks with white speckles showing through. That is the concrete wearing thin and showing the aggregate material. This wearing away can make the patio stone brick look old very quickly.

Pros
Well priced and widely available.

Cons
Economic stone doesn’t have a lot of color retention. The sun usually fades them to a lighter shade.    

 

Trends: If you have an older patio that was built with economic small pavers, you can give it an easy upgrade by mixing the old and new together. You could use new bricks as a border, reuse the older bricks in a less visible location (such as the side of the house).

 

 

If you’d like consistent color, from installation to all weather conditions year after year, clay may be the option for you! Clay bricks retain their hue, because they are a natural product — what comes out of ground is what you get. This can either limit you in your design or give you longevity.

Clay Patio Stone

OUTDOOR TRENDS

While current home trends are showing grey exteriors, these clay bricks are a natural earthy browns or red. We usually recommend clay bricks for traditional homes with classic styles. In elegant outdoor settings, clay bricks can give the impression that the home has been around awhile. Brick patio stone also don’t come in very large sizes otherwise they will crack.

Pros

  • Classic look
  • Longevity
  • Durable color

Cons

  • Limited color options
  • Cost increase
  • Smaller size

 

There are high-end concrete and economic concrete pavers. The high-end concrete pavers are large and more expensive than the economic concrete options because of their size, color retention, and manufacturing process. Concrete companies have been getting more and more creative to mimic natural stone. Meeting the high-end look that consumers are looking for, concrete blocks are increasing in size with elaborate patterns. Blocks are also being made thicker so they don’t crack as easily.

Concrete Paver Patio Stone

COLOR RETENTION

As companies have experimented with their own trademarked color retention offerings, these high-end patio stone pavers maintain longer color than its concrete counterparts. While each brick company uses their own system for color retention, they all follow a similar manufacturing process. More color dye is added to smaller aggregate pieces. The smaller and fine pieces are scattered through the paver along with distributed dye. As the paver wears from the elements, color is ever present in deeper and deeper levels to combat the issue of fading.

Pros

  • Cost conscious
  • Enhanced design
  • Larger square footage
  • Widely available
  • Durable

Cons
Economic concrete displays color loss over time

Trends: For stoops that have fallen apart, settled, or suffered from animal uprooting, we recommend that homeowners start over with a poured concrete pad.  As the new stoop is created, we love to add bricks to cap the steps on top or apply larger stonework to the edges. Note: The larger the patio stones, the more concrete adhesive can be applied to preserve the structure and keep the stonework from shifting.

 

 

For your high-end home, consider using beautiful natural stones for their depth of color and durability.  Natural stonework stands the test of time and battles the elements well. While every stone is unique, you will have a wide range of height, size, and color.

Natural Patio Stone

INSTALLATION

You will want to vet your installation crew thoroughly due to the high level of attention required to puzzle-piece the patio stones together. Over time, if the pieces move there is added maintenance to keep the patio level.

Pros

  • Durability
  • Color preservation
  • High-end look
  • Classic design

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Requires skilled installation crew

Trends: Many patio designs are also incorporating vertical walls with dry stacked stone that backsplash the house or sloping landscape. Keep in mind that these modern, clean layouts require very skilled crew who understand the patio stone materials. There is an art to sizing, cutting, and mapping out the stonework. We have been pulled in to fix other company’s installation because the installers did not have the expertise required.

 


 

 


 

 Before After Patio Stone

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