Considering a New Hardscape Project? Choosing the Right Pavers
Are you thinking about taking on a new hardscape project? Before deciding on materials, make sure you understand the various types of pavers. There are so many choices, it can be overwhelming. In addition to doing your own research, your landscape designer can explain the differences and recommend the best pavers for your particular project. Here is an overview of some of the most popular types of pavers.
This is probably the most popular type of paver manufactured today. There are two different processes for making concrete pavers and each produces pavers with different qualities.
Dry cast pavers consist of a very dry mix of gravel, sand, cement and color. The mixture is poured into paver molds where it is then hydraulically pressed and vibrated. Because there is only a minimal amount of water in the mixture, the pavers can be immediately removed from the molds, freeing them up to be reused. This makes dry cast pavers quick and easy to produce. The pavers come out of the molds in their finished state but do still have to cure. Once they have set, dry cast pavers are extremely strong. They can easily exceed 8000 psi (pounds per square inch) and a vibratory plate compactor can be used for final paver compaction.
Wet cast pavers consist of a wet concrete mix. Poured into a mold, the wet cast material will need to set which takes a few days. This slows down the production process as the molds can not be immediately reused. Because the mixture cannot be hydraulically pressed, wet cast pavers average 6500 psi or less. While not as strong as the dry cast paver, wet cast pavers can be produced in larger sizes with more intricate textures. They are not strong enough to use a tamping machine for final paver compaction.
Unlike concrete pavers, brick pavers are made of clay. This naturally-occurring material is heat cured. The origin of the clay determines the paver color, which can vary from cream to very dark brown. It is typically shaped into a rectangle and then fired in ovens at extremely high heat. The result is a very hard and durable paver.
A more traditional hardscape option, brick pavers are finished with two different processes. Molded brick will be equally smooth on all sides. Extruded brick features a wire cut edge that provides textured, more slip resistant surface.
Cobblestone pavers are among the oldest and most decorative paving materials. Composed of pieces of natural stone and mesh, cobblestone pavers are often made of granite. They are also made of limestone, basalt, and porphyry. Extremely durable, cobblestone pavers are typically square, rectangle or octagon shaped and come in a wide variety of colors. Combining the different shapes and colors can create beautiful designs. Cobblestone pavers will give a hardscape project a touch of old world charm.
The Right Pavers for Your Project
The location you choose to install your pavers will determine which type is the best option. Durability is always a consideration, especially when it comes to driveways. Because they require something that can bear the weight of cars and trucks, consider a thicker paver. The industry standard is 60mm. However, Pavers are also manufactured with a thickness of 80mm, making them optimal for driveway use.
Shape is often a consideration when choosing pavers for a patio. These hardscape features are rarely a simple square or rectangle and focus equally on design and durability. With a poolside project, safety is the utmost consideration. While durability and beauty are important, poolside pavers should be slip resistant. You can either choose a textured paver or many of today’s smooth pavers feature a slip resistant surface.
Hire a Hardscape Professional
Just laying a few simple pavers around your flower beds could be a DIY project but for anything beyond that, it is best to hire a hardscape design professional.
From paver selection, design creation, installation, and project completion, David Ash Jr. Landscaping Contractors will ensure your hardscape combines both beauty and durability. Their experts use variety premium quality paver products from manufacturers such as Techo Bloc, Cambridge, and UniLock to create stunning hardscapes that will last for years to come.
What are you waiting for? Stop dreaming about that hardscape project and let’s get started on it together. Set up an expert design consultation today!