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.




Attractive texture and colour

Easy to shape


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


Strong, hard and highly durable

Huge colour range


Difficult to work with





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



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