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10 Easy Pieces: Patio Pavers

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10 Easy Pieces: Patio Pavers

May 16, 2017

Patio pavers are the most important material to choose for your outdoor space; nothing matters more than what’s underfoot. Looking for landscaping ideas? We’ve rounded up sources for ten of our favorite surfaces—including bluestone, brick, marble, and concrete—plus photos of the finished looks:

Bluestone Pavers

Bluestone pavers come in many different shapes, sizes, colors—and  in two textures (natural cleft and sawn thermal). Read on to see which is best for your project.

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Above: Large bluestone pavers make a simple and dramatic impact on a patio. Photograph by Art Gray. For more of this garden, see Landscape Architect Visit: A Refined Family Garden with Flexible Play Zones in LA’s Pacific Palisades.

Natural Cleft Bluestone

With natural cleft bluestone pavers, &#8\2\20;Thicknesses can vary from one side of the stone to the other making for a harder installation,&#8\2\2\1; notes stone supplier Stone Farm Living. Photograph via Stone Farm Living. 
Above: With natural cleft bluestone pavers, “Thicknesses can vary from one side of the stone to the other making for a harder installation,” notes stone supplier Stone Farm Living. Photograph via Stone Farm Living. 

“This stone is typically used for a more ‘rustic’ or ‘natural’ look, as the surface shows the natural grain of the stone versus [the look of] thermal bluestone,” says Stone Farm Living. For specs and prices, see Stone Farm Living.

Thermal Bluestone

&#8\2\20;With a thermal bluestone, the surface is sawn and then treated, creating a stone with a much more uniform look,&#8\2\2\1; says Stone Farm Living. For specs and prices, see Stone Farm Living.
Above: “With a thermal bluestone, the surface is sawn and then treated, creating a stone with a much more uniform look,” says Stone Farm Living. For specs and prices, see Stone Farm Living.

Concrete Pavers

Manufactured from molded concrete pavers generally fall into two types. The first is the thick durable interlocking paver (often often used for driveways because it can support the weight of a vehicle). The second type is architectural pavers; thinner and more visually pleasing, architectural pavers are available in a variety of sizes and shapes and are the concrete of choice for a patio where aesthetics are important.

On Shelter Island, Suzanne Shaker and Pete Dandridge designed a patio with square concrete pavers set in a permeable based of decomposed granite. See more of the project in our new Gardenista book. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista.
Above: On Shelter Island, Suzanne Shaker and Pete Dandridge designed a patio with square concrete pavers set in a permeable based of decomposed granite. See more of the project in our new Gardenista book. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista.

Square Concrete Pavers

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Above: A 23-inch Gray Square Patio Stone (L); $8.98 at Lowe’s.

Molded Concrete Pavers

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Above: From Stockholm-based designer Caroline Brahme, standard size concrete pavers are available with different configurations and have molded planting holes. The Grey to Green collection is available from Greenworks. For more information and prices, email [email protected]

In Kinderhook, New York architect Steven Harris and landscape architect Lucien Rees Roberts laid a patio of Grasscrete concrete paving blocks originally designed for parking lots. Creeping thyme, a low-water ground cover with Mediterranean origins, grows between the blocks. For more of this project, see our Gardenista book.
Above: In Kinderhook, New York architect Steven Harris and landscape architect Lucien Rees Roberts laid a patio of Grasscrete concrete paving blocks originally designed for parking lots. Creeping thyme, a low-water ground cover with Mediterranean origins, grows between the blocks. For more of this project, see our Gardenista book.

Interlocking Concrete Pavers

Grasscrete makes Grassblock pavers with &#8\2\20;interconnecting lugs to help to form a tight interaction with neighboring blocks to limit movement,&#8\2\2\1; notes the manufacturer. &#8\2\20;A further benefit comes from the continuous concrete surround to each soil pocket.&#8\2\2\1; For specs and prices, see Grasscrete. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista.
Above: Grasscrete makes Grassblock pavers with “interconnecting lugs to help to form a tight interaction with neighboring blocks to limit movement,” notes the manufacturer. “A further benefit comes from the continuous concrete surround to each soil pocket.” For specs and prices, see Grasscrete. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista.

Limestone Pavers

“As a building material, limestone is both universal and timeless. Its use in architecture dates back thousands of years; many of the world’s greatest buildings (the pyramids of Egypt, the White House, the Houses of Parliament, the Empire State Building) are made of limestone,” writes contributor Ellen Jenkins in Hardscaping 101: Limestone Pavers.

With hundreds of colors, textures, and surface treatments available, limestone pavers are a versatile material for patios.

Garden designer Julie Farris used Valders Limestone (the same material as is on the kitchen floor) to connect indoors and out. For more of this garden, see Before & After: From “Fishbowl” Backyard to Private Oasis in Manhattan. Photograph by Matthew Williams.
Above: Garden designer Julie Farris used Valders Limestone (the same material as is on the kitchen floor) to connect indoors and out. For more of this garden, see Before & After: From “Fishbowl” Backyard to Private Oasis in Manhattan. Photograph by Matthew Williams.

Polished Limestone Pavers

Available in several colors, finishes (including Honed, Flamed, Sandblasted, Polished, and Bush Hammered) and sizes, limestone pavers also can be mounted on vertical surfaces to create a seamless transition from patio to retaining walls. For specs and pricing, see Valders Stone & Marble. Photograph by Matthew Williams.
Above: Available in several colors, finishes (including Honed, Flamed, Sandblasted, Polished, and Bush Hammered) and sizes, limestone pavers also can be mounted on vertical surfaces to create a seamless transition from patio to retaining walls. For specs and pricing, see Valders Stone & Marble. Photograph by Matthew Williams.

Brick Pavers

“As a building material, brick has stood the test of time. It’s hardworking, aesthetically versatile, easily maintained, and affordable,” writes contributor Ellen Jenkins. “Although it’s sometimes considered a formal look for a patio, that depends on the type of bricks, the color, the pattern, and the application.”

On Cape Cod, designer John Derian&#8\2\17;s mossy red bricks give a dining patio an aged look. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista. For more of this project, see our Gardenista book.
Above: On Cape Cod, designer John Derian’s mossy red bricks give a dining patio an aged look. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista. For more of this project, see our Gardenista book.
McNear Brick & Block, the oldest brick maker in California, offers dozens of colors and styles; 40 percent of the manufacturing materials are recycled. For specs and prices, see McNear Brick & Block.
Above: McNear Brick & Block, the oldest brick maker in California, offers dozens of colors and styles; 40 percent of the manufacturing materials are recycled. For specs and prices, see McNear Brick & Block.
For nearly 70 colors and sizes of red brick, see Belden Brick.
Above: For nearly 70 colors and sizes of red brick, see Belden Brick.

Marble Pavers

Marble is a material instantly elevates a space to elegant. Available in a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes, marble pavers will be the visual focal point of any space; choose other materials to place a supporting role rather than to compete.

Garden designer Brook Klausing paired imported marble pavers with wooden decking to set off their striking variation in pattern in color in a small Brooklyn backyard. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista.
Above: Garden designer Brook Klausing paired imported marble pavers with wooden decking to set off their striking variation in pattern in color in a small Brooklyn backyard. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista.

Black Marble Pavers

An \18-inch square Honed Black Marble Floor Tile is \$\24.57 from Lowe&#8\2\17;s.
Above: An 18-inch square Honed Black Marble Floor Tile is $24.57 from Lowe’s.

Off-White Marble Pavers

A lighter look; French Pattern Crema Pearl Tumbled Marble Pavers. For specs and prices, see Stone Mart.
Above: A lighter look; French Pattern Crema Pearl Tumbled Marble Pavers. For specs and prices, see Stone Mart.
N.B.: For more of our favorite patio pavers, see:

Finally, are you planning a Decks & Patios project? Learn everything you need to know on to get started with our Hardscaping 101: Decks & Patios 101 guide.

Also learn how to successfully use pavers in a landscape or garden project with our Hardscaping 101: Pavers guide.

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