A Buying Guide to Pavers

You’ve decided pavers are the right fit for your project. Now what?

Types of Pavers

Stone, Clay and Concrete

Choose a type of paver based on if the area will receive heavy foot traffic or act as a decoration.

Do you want to use natural stone, brick (or clay), or maybe concrete? Depending on where you are putting the pavers—is it a high traffic area like a walkway or just decoration amid the landscape—and what look you want to achieve, you’ll want to weigh your options. And, if you’re looking to use pavers in several areas, you may find you want to use a mixture of paver styles versus other materials.

Natural stone comes in a variety of textures and several colors that blend with the landscape, but they may crack under a lot of pressure and are one of the most expensive types of pavers. Brick pavers—made of clay—are extremely strong with a naturally bold color that takes years to fade. (Beware: some “brick” pavers are actually a manufactured concrete mixture that is dyed to look like real brick; however, these colors can fade.)

Manufactured concrete pavers, unlike concrete, have joints between each paver, eliminating cracking. However, concrete pavers need to get frequently resealed to maintain their color and may not be the best option for high-traffic areas like driveways as they may crack under excessive pressure.

Once you’ve settled on a material, you can also decide if you want the pavers to form an elaborate pattern (good for larger areas like driveways) or a simple design.

Planning and Preparation

When starting a project with any type of paver, remember to factor in the cost of a solid foundation. A base layer of sand and/or gravel is essential. You’ll need to determine the quantity of pavers you need in addition to how much sand and gravel you need. If you’re adding edging around the project, you’ll need to measure that as well.

Because pavers can get quite heavy, you’ll likely need to pay for the cost of delivery. And, unless you’re a commercial landscaper or happen to have tools handy, you may find yourself in need of rental equipment. You’ll of course need to prep the site by excavating to the proper depth, removing any rocks or roots that may be underneath the surface of your project site.

Installation

Plate Compactor

Use a plate compactor to make sure all pavers level on the ground.

Set pavers into place with a plate compactor (you may want to rent one of these as they cost hundreds of dollars), level the pavers, and then cover with more sand until the joints between the pieces are filled. Factor in a bit more time (and cost) for cleanup.

Over time, you’ll find you may need to occasionally clean your pavers by sweeping them or hosing them down.

You may also want to purchase a few extra pavers to have handy in case you need to replace one; while it can be easy to find the matching size and color of your paver, it’s less of a hassle if you already have some extras. Often, it’s easier to swap out a noticeably cracked paver than to try and patch it.

You may consider sealing after installation to protect your pavers from staining. Just remember you’ll need to reapply the sealer every couple of years.

Contractors

If you’re a contractor or operate a commercial landscaping business, you’ll find we have pavers in a variety of shapes, patterns, colors, and materials. No matter your project, we’ll have the supply you need to complete your project.

If you’re starting a do-it-yourself project, we’ve got you covered, too. Come in today and check out our display—it may give you some ideas. We can talk to you about what’s best for your project and more. Call Ricardo Corporation day at (508) 992-0169.