What types of products can be used for a patio or walkway? While our preference is pavers, there are numerous materials that can be used for your patio or walkway project.
Most pavers are made out of concrete or clay. Popular brands, in the Triangle, are Cambridge, Belgard and Techo-Bloc. Another brand, Azek, has developed a paver with up to 95% recycled product making it the most “green” of paver types. Pavers come in a wide range of shapes, styles and colors.
Brick is a type of material that has been around for centuries. Brick tends to come in just a few colors and patterns and can have either a formal or informal appearance. Used brick has been on the rise as a re-use material for outdoor projects.
There are certain types of tile designed for outdoor spaces. While tile isn’t as durable as either paver or bricks, it does come in the most variety of shapes, styles and colors. If you consider using tile for your outdoor project, keep in mind that tile will get very slick when wet. Tile is most often used in pools and pool surround accents.
If you combine wood fibers with plastic polymers, you get composite decking. Composite decking is made to last years and years without a lot of maintenance – it won’t splinter, is mold resistant, is insect repellant and has excellent tracking. However, composite decking can be fairly pricey.
No more boring gray concrete. Concrete now can be installed in a variety of colors and stains. Concrete can has also be stamped, texturized or embedded with materials such as pebbles or sea glass. The downside to concrete is that if the concrete cracks, repair can be more difficult. However, concrete remains a top choice among homeowners.
River rock, Chapel Hill grit, pea gravel, recycled rubber mulch and recycled glass are considered examples of loose materials that can be used for a patio or walkway.
Natural stone or flagstone is also a very popular hardscaping material. If using natural stone, you will be dealing with bumps, ridges and varying heights and weights. Irregular flagstone pieces have a more rustic look, while cut, geometric shapes are more formal.
Wood is still one of the most economical hardscape material choices out there. While wood does require more maintenance than composite decking, you can paint or stain the wood to your preference. Just keep in mind that you will need to re-seal the wood every few years.