Unlike asphalt or poured concrete, pavers offer a tremendous amount of choice and versatility when it comes to installing or replacing a driveway, patio, pool deck or walkway. Pavers are durable, long-lasting and require relatively little maintenance. Unfortunately, the sheer number of available options can make it difficult to choose the right pavers for your project. If you're searching for pavers for your home, here are a few important things to consider.
The first decision to make is the kind of material you'd like to use. Brick is often the most popular choice thanks to its durability, affordable pricing and textured surface that provides added traction. This is especially important for pool decks and other surfaces where slipping is a concern. Brick pavers also tend to be smaller than other options; while this makes installation somewhat more time-consuming, it also affords more intricate and complex layouts. Finally, brick offers a more consistent color tone than many other paver types.
Other common choices include travertine and other natural stones. Travertine pavers are known for their striking appearance and smooth finish, though they can also be tumble-finished for applications where a slightly rougher texture is desired. Travertine and other natural stones are also durable materials that can stand up to heavy traffic and high weight loads. Finally, concrete pavers offer perhaps the widest selection of shapes, sizes and finishes. However, concrete requires more maintenance and may need special treatment before installing in colder climates (fortunately not a concern in Florida!).
After you've arrived at your material of choice, it's now time to choose a color. While your color choice is highly dependent on your personal preferences, there are a few things to keep in mind. Lighter colors tend to make your paved area look larger, brighter and more open while darker colors produce a more enclosed, intimate appearance. Light colors may be a better choice for areas that get a lot of sunlight since they absorb less heat and are cooler under foot. One popular tip is to match the color of your pavers to the color of your home's roof, creating a unique and cohesive aesthetic.
You may also opt to mix and match colors to create various designs and other aesthetic effects. In some cases, you may even wish to mix different paver materials together to create a truly unique surface. If you've chosen a natural material like stone or travertine, keep in mind that there may be significant color variation from paver to paver. Many natural pavers also contain subtle colored accents that are readily apparent only in direct sunlight, so be sure that you've chosen colors that work well with your particular application.
Finally, consider how you'd like your pavers to be laid out. This may be as simple as a standard repeating grid pattern or as complex as an intricate, multi-colored, multi-material design. The options are limited only by your imagination and your budget. Many paver materials are also available in various shapes, sizes, and finishes which can add even more variety to your driveway, patio, walkway or pool deck.
You can also use pavers to accent key elements of your home, whether it's an important piece of architecture, a prominent aspect of your landscape or a structure such as a gate, garden or wall. Repeating certain accents and patterns across walkways, patios, steps and other structures is a fantastic way to draw attention to certain areas and tie your entire home together. No matter how bold your vision or how ambitious your plan, there's likely to be a paver to suit all of your needs.
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