Are you struggling to choose the right paver?
Although landscape pavers don’t often get the same attention as plants or outdoor furniture, they’re just as important in creating a vibrant, welcoming and functional outdoor space.
Just like plants and your choice of furniture, the pavers you choose can add colour, texture, light and life to your outdoor space. So when you’re ready to relax outside on a hot and sunny Mornington Peninsula afternoon, your pavers can pave the way.
But there’s just one problem…
Choosing the right landscape paver is tough.
To make this choice easier, and to help you choose the paving material that suits your home, budget and aesthetic goals, we’ll be breaking down your options (and sharing some of our striking paving projects to inspire you).
By understanding what’s in front of you (or what’s underneath you) you’ll be able to make the right choice for your home, your budget, and your lifestyle.
What landscape paving options are available?
The most widely available paving materials fall into two broad categories:
- - Quarried Stone
- - Composite Material
Quarried stone, such as granite and slate, is dug and then shaped by splitting, cutting, or crushing. While composite materials like brick and precast concrete pavers, are man-made; processed and molded when soft, then fired or allowed to dry.
Each of these broad paving categories has its own advantages and disadvantages, so let’s unpack each option to find the right fit for you.
Quarried stone pavers
It’s tough to look past the beauty of natural stone that’s been cut from the quarry and finished into individual units.
Quarried stone encompasses a range of natural stones including cobblestone, bluestone, sandstone, limestone, travertine, slate and granite. As a natural resource, these paving types are strong and durable, offering longevity as well as a timeless aesthetic charm. Quarried pavers can also create one-of-a-kind outdoor spaces (so the neighbours will never be able to copy you).
Your range of optional finishes are also extensive, covering sandblasted, chiseled, honed and polished to name a few of the most popular finishes across stylish Melbourne homes. And as an added bonus, you can choose from quarried stone pavers in a range of sizes - for example large slabs are becoming more popular to create striking visual statements.
Check out our recently installed ‘Crazy Paving Pattern’ in organic round bluestone below.
Composite material pavers
Composite material pavers, in the form of brick and precast concrete, are typically cheaper than quarried stone, but you’ll need to decide if the lack of ‘WOW’ factor is worth the trade-off.
Both of these durable paving options bring their own pros and cons. For example, bricks retain colour and resist staining, so there’s less maintenance needed on your end.
In contrast, concrete pavers are an affordable option that can mimic stone for more design options, though concrete may crack in time and need replacing (this is more likely in areas of heavy vehicular traffic).
How to choose your paver shape or pattern
Pavers are available in a range of shapes, including rectangular, square and round.
The right shape for your Mornington Peninsula landscaping project will come down to usage. For example, will your pavers be handling foot traffic or vehicular traffic?
If your pavers are to be used on your driveway then you’ll need to opt for a smaller shape, at a minimum of 50mm thick.
In contrast, if your pavers are to be used in your backyard, for example around an inviting firepit or as part of an outdoor entertainment area, you’ll be able to make decisions based on design considerations.
Here are a few of our favourite design tips:
- - Rectangular pavers are better suited for wide areas and contemporary landscape projects
- - Square pavers have a more classic look that makes them more appropriate for smaller areas such as pathways, balconies and verandas
- - Outdoor spaces with minimal ornamentation and straight lines benefit from pavers installed in geometric patterns
There are also other options that can be used to add interest to a project, including crazy paving, cobbles, ashlar pattern and organic shaped units (also referred to as “rounds).
FOLIAGE LANDSCAPING TIP: Large format pavers can create the illusion of space in a small area, so be aware of simple design hacks to elevate your landscaping project.
How to choose your paver colour
The biggest mistake you can make when choosing landscape paver colour is to ignore the surrounding space.
Paver colour has a significant impact on how your space looks, feels and functions.
For example, consider how the colour tones of your pool or outdoor paving work with your garden’s elements, materials and plants. Just like colour matching inside, the same rules apply outside.
That doesn’t mean you need to match colour palettes exactly, but complementary tones can elevate a space and create a vibrant feel that’s warm, inviting and perfect for spending lazy Sunday afternoons with friends, family, or just you and a cool drink.
FOLIAGE LANDSCAPING TIP: Dark pavers can make a covered space feel smaller and more closed in, while dark pavers in an open outdoor space create a stylish and contemporary feel.
Don’t forget to take durability into account
Your pavers are going to be handling heavy foot traffic over the years.
Throw in the unique climate and weather conditions of the Mornington Peninsula, not to mention possible exposure to salt, chlorine and other chemicals if you’ve got a pool, and it’s clear the right landscape paver needs to be tough as nails.
For example, the right pool paving needs to be able to withstand wear and tear from frequent use during Victoria’s hot summer months, as well as furniture being dragged over its surface (some days just call for an afternoon bask in the sun). In the same way, a paved driveway needs to withstand the weight of vehicles driving on it.
Think about future heat and glare
It’s easy to pick your favourite paver colour from a website gallery, or picture how your new outdoor pool area will look based on images from Google, but make sure you’re thinking about the practical application of your landscape pavers too.
Consider how the surface of your pavers will feel underfoot on a hot summer’s day.
As with any material or surface, pavers left in the sun will eventually get hot, though some stone will be hotter than others. If your outdoor space is exposed to extreme sunlight - for example if you’re building a poolside area - consider selecting a lighter, denser paver. It’s also worth factoring in how much glare you’ll experience. Typically, the lighter colour the stone, the greater the glare.
How should my paving be laid?
For long term durability paving should be laid on a concrete base (known as ‘rigid installation’).
This helps to prevent weeds growing through the cracks of crushed rock which move over time, which also occurs when pavers are laid over dirt or sand. Although this means a higher short-term cost, you’ll be saving money in the long run because there’s no need to restore or replace pavers that have moved over time.
Outside of the foundation for your pavers, you’ll have the option of dozens of paver laying patterns to reflect your style. For example, some of the most popular paving patterns found in Mornington Peninsula homes include:
- - Herringbone (90°)
- - Herringbone (45°)
- - Stretcher Bond
- - Stack Bond
- - Running Bond
- - Spanish Bond
- - French Bond
- - Basket Weaving
- - Circular
- - Border
- - Ashlar
- - Large Format
Contemporary and modern paving designs
Your home is a reflection of your unique style and personality, why should your pavers be any different?
The right pavers are more than a low-maintenance and functional addition to your yard, driveway or outdoor entertainment area - they’re a way to elevate your space, add a touch of style to your landscape, and give you just another reason to look outside your window and smile.
Looking for help with your next paving project? Call us for expert advice today.