Pavers, or paving stones, are flat construction units made from concrete, natural stone, or brick. They are a popular option for outdoor space flooring because they are visually appealing, durable, and low maintenance.
Pavers are used in:
- Outdoor fire pits
- Pool decks
- Retaining walls
Read on to find out more about pavers.
Advantages of Pavers
The following are the benefits of installing pavers:
Properly installed pavers can last up to 50 years. Pavers are also resistant to frost, root growth, and erosion. Additionally, they are not as vulnerable to cracks as other types of outdoor flooring.
Most types of pavers do not stain or crack. Staining is easily avoidable by applying a sealant. If one paving block cracks, all you need to do is replace it; there’s no need to redo the whole driveway or patio, as would be the case with a concrete slab or asphalt.
Pavers are also easy to clean.
Interlocking pavers are considered environmentally friendly because they allow natural biological processes to occur. They allow water to seep through and reach the bacteria between the blocks and the foundation below. That enables the removal of toxic substances before they get to water bodies.
A paved driveway increases your home’s value better than an asphalt or concrete driveway. According to real estate experts, pavers have a return on investment of up to 70%.
Types of Pavers
There are three main types of pavers:
Concrete pavers are the most common type of pavers for walkways and driveways. They come in various sizes, thicknesses, patterns, textures, and colors.
Concrete pavers are cheap, easy to install, and relatively durable. However, they are vulnerable to cracks when subjected to extremely cold temperatures. Additionally, they require regular maintenance to increase their durability.
The color of concrete paving blocks fades over time. Therefore, they require regular sealing.
Pros of concrete pavers
- Available in a variety of colors, sizes, shapes, and patterns
- Easy to install
Cons of concrete pavers
- Require regular maintenance
- Crack when subjected to extreme temperatures
- Color fades over time
- Less durable compared to other materials
Brick pavers are made from molded clay baked in a kiln. They are available in various color schemes, designs, textures, and styles.
Aside from the natural red color of clay, brick pavers are available in a wide range of colors that complement contemporary designs. In addition, the color of brick pavers is baked into the material, making it last a long time without fading.
Clay is a reusable material, making brick pavers one of the most eco-friendly paver options.
Brick pavers do not stain easily. However, there are small spaces between the pavers, meaning you might need to remove weeds more frequently.
Brick pavers are expensive, and they also break and chip over time.
Pros of brick pavers
- Available in a wide range of colors, designs, shapes, and patterns
- Low maintenance
- Visually appealing
Cons of brick pavers
- Fragile; they break or chip over time
- Weeds can grow in the gaps between the pavers
Natural stone pavers
Natural stone pavers are made from natural stone cut from quarries, such as limestone, granite, and cobblestone. They are visually appealing and come in various sizes, colors, and textures. They are also the most durable type of pavers.
The most common types of natural stone pavers are:
Bluestone is a sandstone used to make stylish and elegant driveways and walkways. It can be installed as massive slabs, crushed into gravel, or cut into tiles.
- It can be cut into different shapes and patterns
- Visually appealing color; royal blue that eventually turns into light grey
- Expensive and rare
Travertine is a sedimentary rock that provides a natural-looking and weather-resistant outdoor flooring. It is durable, easy to clean and maintain, and available in various natural-looking colors.
- Color remains consistent even when exposed to sunlight
- Easy to install
Cobblestone is a material that offers the best of both worlds; durability and visual appeal. Cobblestone pavers require little maintenance and can last up to 100 years.
- Available in a variety of shapes, colors, and patterns
- Long installation time
What to Consider Before Installing pavers
Aside from the type of pavers, there are a few other things to consider before installing pavers:
Paver installation standards
Abiding by the paver installation standards set by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) will ensure that your new pavers remain securely in place. To avoid mistakes and costly re-installation fees, consider hiring a paver installation contractor who knows the standards and is experienced in paver installation.
The foundation or sub-base material is one of the main factors determining the durability of your paved driveway or walkway. Some contractors will attempt to cut costs by convincing you to use a sand sub-base. But sand and water do not bond adequately to handle the weight of vehicles, equipment, and people.
The foundation material should be an ABC (aggregate base course) sub-base. This sub-base will hold the weight placed on the paved surface for many years.
Is the climate of your area sunny or rainy most of the year? Natural stone paver types like sandstone are more water-resistant than other pavers. Concrete is a solid material but vulnerable to cracks when subjected to extreme cold.
Talk to a contractor experienced in installing pavers in Orlando, FL, to choose the suitable paving material according to your needs, considering the hot climate.
Consider light-colored pavers for hot areas because they do not absorb heat as fast as dark-colored ones. When the paving blocks absorb heat, they are more likely to crack when the temperature suddenly drops.
To keep your new pavers visually appealing for years, you should apply a paver sealant regularly as needed after installation. The sealant keeps the sand between the blocks in place and prevents the paving blocks from shiting.
Before installation, reduce the risk of weeds damaging your outdoor flooring. After laying the ABC sub-base in the foundation, place a landscaping cloth to prevent weeds from getting through to the pavers.
Paver sealing helps protect the surface of your driveway, walkway, paved backyard, patio, or pool deck. The sealant is applied after paver installation and once every two to three years to keep the surface looking new.
The following are the advantages of paver sealing:
- Protects against discoloration, stains, water damage, and chemical damage
- Enhances the color of the paved surface
- Keeps sand between paving blocks in place, preventing shifting and sand loss
- Increases the durability of the pavers
There are many paver sealants in the market. The best options are water-based sealants that are either 100% acrylic or two-component urethane. These sealants are easy to apply, bond easily with paver surfaces, and protect against staining.
Before applying a sealant, the paver’s surface should be cleaned to remove stains and allow for better penetration of the sealant.
Professional Paver Installation vs. DIY
Unlike painting a wall or putting together a bed, paver installation is one of those projects best left to the professionals for several reasons:
- Patios, backyards, walkways, and driveways are located outside, where they have to withstand harsh weather conditions. If not installed correctly, the pavers will wear out quickly and cost you more money.
- Poor drainage in walkways, driveways, patios, and pool decks can result in the sinking and water pooling, both of which damage. Professional installers will ensure there is adequate drainage.
- Professionals have an eye for details during installation and will notice problems like sinking and unevenness and correct minor issues before they become big problems.
Cost of Paver Installation
The paver installation cost depends on the area, type of paver, and how much work is needed before the installation begins (digging, removing existing flooring, etc.).
Paver installation is cheaper in Florida (two to three times more than in other states) because pavers are common in the sunshine because homeowners want to make their outdoor spaces beautiful. Therefore, there are more specialized contractors, and the competition means more quality work.
The best way to know how much it will cost is to get an estimate from contractors near you. It is not always a good idea to go with the lowest bid, but a high price does not always guarantee quality work. Look for a licensed contractor who adheres to ICPI standards, can prove their experience, and has good reviews from previous clients.
Hire the Best Pavers in Orlando, FL
If you are looking for a professional paving contractor, you have come to the right place. Pavers of Florida, Inc., is a fully licensed and insured paving company with more than 17 years of experience in the industry operating in Orlando, FL, and surrounding areas.
Pavers of Florida is a customer-centered company that provides affordable paver stones services. We have an A+ rating on Better Business Bureau (BBB) and thousands of good reviews from previous customers.
Whether you need new pavers or want to remodel your patio, retaining wall, backyard, walkway, or driveway, we are one of your best options. We also provide paver sealing and custom paver services at a fair price.
Our primary services include:
Contact us today for a free estimate, to have our experts install pavers for you or for any other information on paver installation.