Paving is nothing new. The technique creates durable and magnificent paths and patios and has been around for thousands of years. Over 4,600 years ago, Egyptians paved a road from a quarry to a lake connected to the Nile to facilitate transport of stones to temples and pyramids under construction. That road is still used today. In 500 B.C., the Romans began paving using flat stone to build roads, chariots and horses could travel easier. In the 1940s Holland used paving to build roads since the ground was constantly shifting. The pavers were more durable than previously used concrete.
What does all that mean for you? It’s a bit of history of paving. But more importantly, it tells us that paving is the best way to build durable paths and entertainment areas in your landscape. The long history of paving means you know your projects will stay beautiful and functional in your yard for many years.
Today’s paving materials are interlocking stones that are laid in a variety of patterns. You can have a variety of colors and textures that will enhance your yard or patio. You can mix the pavers to create borders on walkways. You can even use paving to create short planters for flowers or fire pits on your patio.
One of the best things about paving is that you can create beautiful curves in walkways and patios to draw a person’s eye to a focal point in your yard.
How to Pick Paving Material
With all the options paving offers you, you have a lot of decisions to make. See, the thing is, all the money in the world won’t make the wrong paving material look good. Doesn’t matter if you’re talking about a pathway, driveway or walkway around a pool. If you choose a paving material that doesn’t meet all these qualifications, you will likely run into disappointment somewhere down the road.
Unless you have an unlimited budget for paving material, every criterion that follows will be subject to affordability. The point of this guide is not to steer you toward one choice or another. Let it be stated baldly, however, that you must work within the guidelines of what you can afford. With that in mind, target your dollars to choosing paving material of the highest quality that also meets the following qualities of perfection.
Durability means choosing paving material that can stand up the longest to elements within your control and elements outside your control. Whether you are choosing gravel, brick or flagstone, make sure that the choice is durable enough to withstand the extremities of weather. You don’t want paving material that will buckle under the power of the sun nor crack like ice when the blizzards hit. As for elements under your control, paving material that must stand up to foot traffic need not be as durable as pavement that must stand up to SUVs and pickups.
Clearly, you can upgrade to a more durable and expensive paving material when it will be used for a driveway than a walkway. Unless that driveway may potentially become a basketball court in the future. The point being that if foot traffic is going to be any kind of issue, the perfect paving material is one that feels good beneath your feet. Feeling good beneath your feet doesn’t just mean a smooth, flat surface rather than an abrasive one. Comfort also means paving material that isn’t like walking across hot coals during the hottest summer afternoons.
Going to be driving on that paving material after a snowfall or an ice storm? Some paving materials are safer than others. Don’t go thinking that choosing the perfect paving material for a driveway lets you off the hook if traction isn’t that big a problem. You may be dealing with a situation where choosing the wrong paving material leaves you with a dangerous glare at certain times of the day. Pulling into a driveway with a glare that blinds you even for a few seconds is definitely not a sign that you chose perfectly.
How often do you want to pull out the hose to clean off your paving material? For that matter, will a rinse with a hose even be enough? Selecting the perfect paving material also raises the issue of repair. Are you ready to deal with some major cracks that need to be repaired after just a year or two? Choosing paving material based solely on affordability or looks are two very easy paths toward winding up with a maintenance monster constantly demanding your attention.
Finally, the perfect paving material should be in perfect symmetry with the materials surrounding it. You do not want the paving material of your walkway to clash with the material you used to pave your driveway. Be aware of how colors of paving materials can change as a result of weather conditions. Also, take into consideration how the texture of the paving materials conflict or contrast with the exterior building materials of your home.
Now that you know exactly what to look for in choosing the perfect paving material, let us guide you toward making the perfection a reality.
The Perfect Paving Material
When the next big garden project is set to begin, and you’ve got all of your shrubs and flowers picked out, their location, their color, their price, etc … why wait to choose a paving material until last? After all, the paving material you choose is going to last much longer than the plants. It will have to work with all of your color palette choices, and ultimately, you’ll be building everything around it anyway. So why not pick it first?
Here’s what you need to know about stone paving materials:
- Sandstone: Great all-around paver, and one of the most popular. Inexpensive and easy to work with. Available in a broad amount of shapes and colors.
- Gravel: The perfect choice for those on a budget. Easy to install and adds a rustic look. Often used for short-term installations or to separate grounds.
- Slate: A common flagstone, easy to walk on. Slate is visually soft and uniquely colored: blue to gray and muted reds and lavenders. Not recommended for harsh, unsheltered environments because it has been known to chip.
- Granite: The super stone. It’s strong and durable and lasts seemingly forever. It also comes in a huge variety of color and is a very popular choice to add elegance to a backyard.
- Limestone: A great paving stone for walkways because of its toughness and color. A familiar paver in most towns and cities, limestone’s colors range from dark gray to cream, and it’s easy to cut and shape as needed.
If you’re uncertain as to what would look best, we recommend mixing and matching to achieve your desired look. Pea-gravel along a walkway. Granite pavers around a limestone walkway for pizazz? Why not? It’s your perfect garden, you can design it however you’d like.
Paving with E.P. Henry
Paving projects require planning, skill and the right materials. E.P. Henry is known throughout the northeastern part of the United States for providing the Cadillac of concrete paving materials. With over 100 years under their belt, precision and detail of paving materials are their specialties.
Why E.P. Henry Pavers Beat the Competition
One reason Irwin Stone carries E.P. Henry pavers is because this supplier offers more than just pieces of stone. Years of experimenting and testing show how pavers add a whole new dimension of natural beauty for outdoor living. Their crafted pavers can only be described as works of art, shaped and ready to use for the discriminating buyer. Here are some of the unique types of pavers that make E.P. Henry stand above the rest.
- Bristol Stone adds texture and depth to a patio on a grand scale. A slate top with natural creases delivers a soft and graceful floor and looks great against a manicured lawn.
- Eco Permeable Pavers are not only stately in appearance, but allow your lawn to accept rainwater through joints that hold small stones. This natural filtration system uses the interlocking pavers as a source of absorption, making an eco-friendly method of removing pollutants.
- DevonStone turns a large outdoor area into a picturesque work of art. An exclusive of E.P. Henry, cast stone slabs transform into natural looking limestone, blue stone or slate. Your outdoor living area will appear as precious imported stone.
- Cast Veneer Stone gives the look of real stone, but at half the cost. Using a variety of natural rock, these molded beauties cannot be distinguished from the real thing. Lightweight and easy to install, they can masquerade any unsightly wall with the look of perfected masonry.
Quality stone makes all the difference in a chic-looking outdoor patio or walkway. E.P. Henry is just one of the many suppliers that Irwin Stone offers for adding the highest artistic quality to your paving project. For more information on selecting the perfect pavers, contact us for professional customer service in planning your outdoor project.