Which paving is right for you?

 

Paving can add colour, texture, and pattern to your garden and driveway, as well as improving accessibility into and around your home. There is a huge choice of paving materials available and it can be hard to decide what’s right for you, so we’ve compiled this handy guide to the pros and cons of the most popular paving materials.

 

Quarried stone

 

Material Advantages Disadvantages
Sandstone Popular and widely available

Tough and long-lasting

Wide colour range

Easy to work with

 

Colour can vary within each batch; also prone to blotches and/or band of different colours in each piece.
Gravel Inexpensive

Attractive texture

Easy to install

Security benefit – you can hear people walking on it.

 

Uneven surface makes it less suitable for children, the elderly and others with mobility issue.

Prone to weed growth; we strongly recommend laying a weed control groundsheet under the gravel.

 

Slate

 

Attractive texture and colour

Easy to shape

 

Less durable than other materials – can chip and flake, especially in wet and cold weather.
Granite

 

Strong, hard and highly durable

Huge colour range

 

Difficult to work with

Expensive

 

Limestone

 

Fine texture gives it a great finish

Evenly coloured

Easy to shape

 

Fewer colour choices

Susceptible to acid rain

Availability varies by region

 

 

Composite materials

 

Material Advantages Disadvantages
Moulded concrete paving

 

Wide variety of colours, sizes and textures

Easy to work with

Durable

 

Sometimes viewed as inferior to brick or stone
Poured concrete

 

Tough and durable. Can also be reinforced for additional strength.

Flexible – can take on almost any shape, texture and colour.

 

Labour intensive to install

Difficult to change

 

Brick Easy to work with

Widely available

 

Can vary in strength and resistance; some are not suitable for paving.

Relatively expensive.

 

 

If you’re torn between two or three different paving materials, it might be possible to combine them; for example, a brick or stone border can make all the difference to a plain poured-concrete driveway. We can create a design that is beautiful, practical and unique to you.

 

 

With grateful thanks to Andrew Schulman, Fine Gardening issue 114

http://www.finegardening.com/choosing-right-paving-materials

2017-03-14T10:06:15+00:00