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While most driveways are composed of basic concrete or asphalt, the use of pavers adds many advantages to the functionality and curb appeal of your property. However, your choice of material is not as simple as it may seem. Pavers offer a broad range of choices, and there are several things you should consider before choosing the type of material that is best for your driveway.
The first thing to understand about pavers is that they come in two basic types: modular and interlocking.
Modular pavers are similar to interlocking brick sidewalks. They have individual units that fit together to create a pattern or complete design. These can be installed almost anywhere, but you won't have the strength and stability of more permanent installations.
Interlocking pavers, on the other hand, are poured as a single piece and will not shift over time. They can be made from many different materials, but the most common type of interlocking paver is made from asphalt.
Pavers made from concrete or clay are both available in modular or interlocking styles. However, they may not be able to stand up to the same weather conditions as pavers made with heavier materials like asphalt or granite chips.
A popular choice for driveways is brick pavers that are made from clay, concrete, or other masonry materials. Like interlocking paver bricks, you can choose from a variety of patterns and designs and install them without adhesive. However, brick pavers should only be used on flat surfaces because they will not hold up well against changing weather conditions like other types of pavers. Generally speaking, brick pavers are considered the weakest type of driveway paver.
Granite and Slate Pavers
For a truly unique and beautiful driveway, consider using granite or slate pavers. Granite and slate come in a wide variety of colors, including gray, tan, pink, and even green. These types of pavers are usually installed in an interlocking pattern without adhesive to ensure a reliable and sturdy foundation. These can be used on both flat and sloped surfaces, but stones may shift over time if the ground is not completely level.
Granite or slate pavers are a more expensive option than other types of driveway pavers, but they also offer tremendous advantages in terms of weight, durability, and appearance.
Another type of interlocking paver is made from concrete. Concrete pavers are typically manufactured in one piece, either for an interlocking installation or as a modular system that can be cut to fit specific areas.
Concrete pavers are the most widely used type of driveway paver because they combine durability with affordability. However, you should be aware that concrete is heavy and may not work well on sloped driveways.
Cobblestone pavers are known for their unique appearance, consisting of rounded stones that look like giant rocks. They can be used to create a natural-looking driveway with subtle curves and ripples, but they require an interlocking installation on a completely flat surface.
Other types of cobblestone include split face or flagstone, which is made from a particular type of granite that has been split into layers. Like standard cobblestone, these pavers may not be suitable for sloped driveways.
Because they add such an interesting and appealing look to your driveway, it's important to choose the right type of cobblestone when you install it. While this material comes in a variety of colors, the most popular cobblestone pavers are gray or light brown.
If you do have a sloped driveway or other issues with uneven terrain, consider using a different type of paver that will hold up better against weather conditions and shifting soil.
One of the most interesting and distinctive driveway pavers is known as herringbone. This type of paver is created by cutting brick or stone along its diagonal axis, with one cut running lengthwise down the block and another running across it at an angle. The result is a pattern that looks like the skeleton of a fish, which can be further enhanced with mortar. Another method for creating herringbone brick or stone is to leave some rows unfinished so that you can see the exposed ends of each block.
Herringbone pavers are most commonly used in an interlocking pattern without adhesive. They require frequent maintenance because they are prone to damage due to their unusual shape, but they are incredibly long-lasting when correctly installed.
Herringbone driveway pavers can be used for both flat and sloped driveways, making them an excellent choice if you want to add a distinctive shape to your driveway's pattern. If you do install herringbone on a slope, make sure that the base of each block is completely level.
Advantages of Choosing Driveway Pavers
Pavers offer several advantages over traditional asphalt or concrete driveways, including:
Pavers are More Sustainable Than Concrete
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, one ton of asphalt paving material produces three cubic yards of landfill waste. On the other hand, interlocking pavers can last for centuries and never need to be removed.
They Provide a Cleaner, Safer Surface
Cracks and uneven pavement can lead to hazardous conditions for drivers. Pavers provide a clean surface with consistent traction that helps prevent hydroplaning and skidding in all types of weather.
Pavers Can Add Curb Appeal to Your Property
Driveways made from pavers come in many different colors, styles, and textures. Pick the style that matches your home's exterior to create a space that complements your landscaping. Having driveway pavers professionally installed is an excellent way to boost the curb appeal and the value of your property.
You don't have to settle for a boring, run-of-the-mill driveway. Pavers are an attractive, practical option that can enhance the beauty of your home and provide years of reliability. When you're ready to begin planning your new paver driveway, keep these tips in mind, choose your materials carefully, and enlist the assistance of an experienced contractor.