When it comes to landscaping and architectural design, pavers are an indispensable component. Acting as the foundation of our patios, driveways, and walkways, they provide not just functionality but also an aesthetic appeal that enhances the overall look of our outdoor spaces.
Pavers come in a wide variety of materials, each with its unique benefits and charm. From the natural allure of granite and sandstone to the manufactured sophistication of concrete and porcelain, there’s a wide array of paver materials to suit every homeowner’s tastes and needs.
To make the right choice, it’s essential to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of each material and choose one that best suits your specific needs. The right paver improves the visual appeal, durability and functionality of your outdoor space.
What Are Pavers?
Pavers are flat pieces of material installed over a base layer of compacted gravel and sand to create smooth, durable, and visually appealing surfaces. These materials range from natural stones like granite and sandstone to manufactured options like concrete and porcelain.
Natural stones are renowned for their robustness. Granite, with its characteristic speckled appearance and incredible strength, is perfect for high-traffic areas. Sandstone’s colour variation brings in a rustic charm, an excellent option for those seeking a more natural, earthy look.
Natural stone pavers, while beautiful and sturdy, require more maintenance than concrete or porcelain pavers. Granite and sandstone are porous materials, which means they can absorb water and other substances, potentially leading to staining. Regular sealing can help mitigate this issue, but it’s an additional step to consider.
On the other hand, manufactured pavers like concrete and porcelain offer a different set of benefits. Concrete pavers are versatile and economical, an attractive option for budget-conscious homeowners. Their ease of installation and low maintenance requirements heighten their appeal. Desiring a more sleek, modern look? Porcelain pavers are celebrated for their low water absorption rate and durability, making them a fantastic option.
Manufactured pavers like concrete and porcelain pavers are less prone to staining and can withstand harsh weather conditions better than natural stone. However, they may not offer the same level of aesthetic appeal as their natural stone counterparts.
Let’s take a deeper look at different types of pavers, both natural and manufactured.
Sandstone–a naturally occurring material composed of silicate grains–features many pigments and hues. Often yellow-orange or beige with swirls or stripes, these variations can create a stunning focal point in your landscape.
Sandstone pavers are also a popular choice thanks to their durability. In the harsh and unpredictable Australian climate, these pavers can endure a variety of weather conditions. Whether it’s a scorching summer sun or a frigid winter frost, sandstone pavers can withstand these extremes, maintaining their visual charm.
However, like any paving material, they also have some potential drawbacks. Sandstone can absorb water. In areas with heavy rainfall, this could lead to dampness and discoloration. Sandstone’s natural softness also makes it susceptible to scratches and chips.
Granite pavers are a distinctive blend of beauty and resilience. Resistant to scratches and other forms of wear and tear, granite pavers are an excellent choice for high-traffic areas. They bring an element of sophistication and character to the spaces they occupy, whether indoors or outdoors, with a wide range of colours available. Granite tiles can fit into any space, lighter shades of granite can create a sense of spaciousness, and darker hues can add depth and drama.
The advantage of granite pavers is their low maintenance requirements. Unlike some other types of pavers, granite doesn’t require regular sealing to maintain its lustre and durability. It naturally withstands harsh weather conditions, making it an optimal choice for outdoor living spaces. The colour of granite pavers doesn’t fade over time, contributing to their longevity and aesthetic appeal.
While granite pavers are highly resistant to scratches, they can be slippery when wet. This characteristic may make them less suitable for pool decks or other areas where slip-resistance is a priority. However, textured or flamed finish granite pavers can help mitigate this issue, providing better traction underfoot.
Limestone is formed over thousands of years from the accumulation of shells and skeletal fragments of marine organisms – an attribute which contributes to its natural look. From creamy whites and soft beiges to deep browns and charcoal greys, limestone pavers can complement a range of outdoor design styles. Whether you are aiming for a rustic country charm or a contemporary sleek look, limestone pavers can improve your landscape’s visual appeal.
Despite their soft, refined look, limestone pavers are remarkably resilient. They are capable of withstanding harsh weather conditions, from intense sun to heavy rain. Plus, they have a natural non-slip surface, a safe choice for wet areas such as pool decks or outdoor showers. However, they can be susceptible to wear and tear over time, especially in high-traffic areas. While resilient by nature, they may require a sealant to protect them from staining and erosion.
When you think of marble, what comes to mind? Is it the iconic statues of Ancient Rome or the grandeur of the Taj Mahal? This luxurious material has been synonymous with elegance and sophistication for centuries, and its use in paving is no exception. Marble pavers provide a distinct, captivating look that’s truly hard to match.
Marble pavers are known for their unique veining, adding a touch of elegance to any outdoor space. Each piece of marble has a different pattern, meaning that no two marble pavers are alike. Every installation is unique, the arrangement of different veins and patterns creating a design that’s entirely one-of-a-kind.
Being a natural stone, it can withstand heavy foot traffic, making it a perfect choice for patios, hallways, or showers. Moreover, it boasts a cool surface, an attribute beneficial for areas with hot climates as it provides a comfortable surface to walk on even in the heat.
On the other hand, marble does require some level of maintenance. It’s susceptible to staining and can become slippery when wet. Regular sealing can help protect against these issues, but it’s a factor worth considering if low-maintenance is a priority. Additionally, marble has a higher cost compared to other paver materials. It is a premium product, and its price reflects that.
Porcelain pavers have quickly become a favourite amongst homeowners and designers for their durability, low water absorption rate, and versatility. They come in an array of colours, sizes, and finishes, mimicking the look of natural stone, wood, or even cement, but without maintenance issues.
Porcelain pavers are engineered from high-quality, dense clay fired at extreme temperatures. This process results in a product that is frost-resistant, robust, and less prone to discoloration or wear and tear, making them an ideal choice for those living in harsh climatic conditions.
One of the key advantages of porcelain pavers is their low water absorption rate. This feature reduces the chances of mould and moss growth, an excellent option for damp areas or regions with high rainfall. This also means less staining and easier cleaning, an important factor for those seeking low maintenance options.
However, it’s important to consider the installation process of porcelain pavers. Although they are durable, they are also more brittle than natural stone or concrete pavers. This means they require a concrete slab or similar solid base for installation. Although this could increase initial installation costs, it’s a small price to pay for the long-term benefits.
Cobblestones hold a distinct place in the design world, with their alluring, and timeless appeal. Steeped in history and tradition, cobblestones were a common sight in the bygone eras, paving the streets of ancient cities and towns. Today, they are often found in heritage properties and modern homes alike seeking a classic touch.
One of the key advantages of cobblestones is their incredible durability. These stones are naturally robust and can handle heavy traffic, a perfect choice for driveways. Cobblestones are typically set in sand, allowing for flexibility with ground movements, reducing the likelihood of cracks.
Cobblestones also possess a high degree of permeability, a characteristic that sets them apart from other pavers like porcelain or concrete. This allows water to pass through and reduces the chance of water pooling on the surface. Cobblestones are an excellent choice for walkways and areas frequently exposed to rain. It also makes them a more environmentally friendly option, as they help in maintaining the natural water cycle.
Cobblestones may not be the best choice for every homeowner. Their uneven surface can make walking a bit tricky, particularly for those with mobility issues. Likewise, the installation process for cobblestones can be more time-consuming and labour-intensive compared to other pavers, so it’s important to consider your circumstances before committing to purchasing cobblestones.
Travertine pavers hold a coveted position in the world of hardscaping due to their unique appearance and outstanding durability. Extracted from quarries around the world, travertine is a type of limestone that has been formed over time by minerals dissolved in ground water and deposited by rivers and springs. This natural process contributes to its distinct beauty, characterised by intricate patterns and earthy hues from ivory to rich browns. This allows each travertine paver to add individuality to your outdoor space.
One of the best attributes of travertine pavers is their extraordinary heat resistance. Unlike other paver materials, such as granite or concrete, travertine does not absorb heat, making it cool to the touch even under the scorching summer sun. Along with its slip-resistant surface, travertine is an excellent choice for pool decks, patios, and other areas where barefoot traffic is common.
While they are robust and beautiful, they require a certain level of maintenance to preserve them. Being a porous material, travertine is prone to staining. It is recommended to seal these pavers to protect them from potential spills or stains. Travertine can be slightly on the higher end of the price scale, especially when compared to more affordable options like concrete pavers.
Buying travertine pavers in Melbourne? Paver Shop’s huge selection means whatever you’re searching for, we can provide it!
The allure of Bluestone lies in its unique aesthetic appeal that seamlessly fits into contemporary designs. Bluestone, a type of sandstone, distinguishes itself with its distinct bluish-grey hue, lending a modern and sophisticated touch to any space. Its versatility is noteworthy as it can be used for patios, driveways, pools, decks, and walkways.
What sets Bluestone apart from other paver materials, such as granite or limestone, is its unique thermal properties. It is notably cooler underfoot, which makes it an ideal choice for areas exposed to high sun, such as pool surrounds or sun-drenched patios. Furthermore, its non-slip surface makes it a safe option for areas prone to getting wet.
While extremely durable, Bluestone can be prone to chipping and scratching. As it can absorb water, this can lead to surface damage in freezing conditions. Regular sealing is recommended to preserve its sought-after qualities.
Concrete pavers are often affordable, making them an ideal choice for homeowners and businesses working within a budget. However, their appeal extends far beyond their cost-effectiveness. These pavers are also known for their ease of installation and low maintenance requirements.
It’s important to note that while concrete pavers are indeed durable, they may not offer the same level of robustness as granite or bluestone pavers. They can be susceptible to cracking under excessive weight or pressure, which is a crucial factor to consider if they’re intended for high-traffic areas or heavy-duty applications.
While concrete pavers are generally cheaper initially, potential repair or replacement costs over time may add up. That said, with proper installation and regular, minimal maintenance, these costs can be kept to a minimum.
Key Factors in Selecting Paver Materials
Choosing the right paver material goes beyond just picking the most visually appealing option. It’s a decision that requires careful consideration of various factors so the pavers you choose not only enhance your property, but also suit your specific needs as well.
Consider the local climate. Different paver materials have varying levels of resistance to elements such as rain, heat, and frost. For instance, if you live in a region that experiences extreme weather conditions, granite pavers, known for their high durability, may be an ideal choice. On the flip side, in warmer climates, travertine pavers with their heat resistance may be the preferred option.
Intended usage plays a role as well. If pavers are to be installed in a high-traffic area like a driveway, materials like concrete or cobblestone may be more suitable due to being able to withstand heavy weight. However, for spaces like a patio or walkway, where aesthetic appeal may be a higher priority, you might want to consider options like marble or bluestone pavers.
Maintenance requirements also play a part in your decision. Some materials like granite and concrete need minimal maintenance, making them a practical choice if you have a busy lifestyle. On the other hand, certain natural stone pavers may require more upkeep to retain their beauty.
Finally, your budget is a significant factor. Concrete pavers, for example, are known for their affordability, while marble pavers, though elegant, are more expensive. It is crucial to balance your aesthetic preferences with your budget constraints.
Manufactured and Natural Stone Pavers For Sale in Melbourne
Whether you’re drawn to the timeless elegance of marble, the rustic charm of sandstone, or the modern appeal of porcelain, you must consider the unique attributes of each material.
Finding the right paver material is a rewarding journey that combines your personal style with practical considerations. It’s more than just an aesthetic choice – it’s a long-term investment in the beauty and functionality of your home. So, take your time, weigh up your options, and you will find a paver material that catches your eye!
If you’re looking for a paver supplier in Melbourne, Paver Shop is the number one choice. With over 4 decades of experience in the paving industry, our knowledgeable and friendly team is ready to help you find the perfect paving option for your space. From first contact to installation, we’re committed to providing you with results that exceed your expectations.
For a free quote, call us on 03 9462 4325 or fill out our online form. You can also visit our showroom at 36/326 Settlement Rd in Thomastown to view our range in person. We look forward to helping you elevate your space with beautiful pavers!