Garden Paving Slabs: What You Need to Know

Adding garden paving slabs and garden pavers to your garden is a great way to enhance the look and feel of your creations. The mixture of stone and concrete, made by the hands of humanity, meshes well with the beauty of plants produced by nature.

The benefits of garden paving are enormous. The aesthetic benefits are obvious but no less important – you can frame and highlight the features of your garden that you like, perhaps providing visitors with a path to wander through your landscape. The other benefits are functional – you can provide a path for you to walk through or wheelbarrow through or move materials through that will not get muddy or dirty in any way, preserving the beauty and order of your garden.

Types of Garden Paving Slabs

Every garden paving slab is different, as they come in a variety of sizes and thicknesses. The first major choice you need to make is on the material of the paving slab. Concrete paving slabs are a very popular option, as they are cheaper than others, last long, and look great besides. Others pay extra to get natural stone paving slabs, giving their garden a natural look in the process. There are many different types of stone, from sandstone pavers and bluestone pavers to granite pavers and marble, each with its own benefits and design possibilities.

Before you select the material of paving slab, find out the specific properties of the type you’ve picked, as they all will react differently to the elements. While some may lose their fade and their finish over time, others will look ‘new’ longer. Whether or not this is a good thing depends on the look you want for your project. A weathered, aged look could look great in some places but terrible in others, while a new installation can look weird in other projects. It all depends on the specifics of your application.

Garden slabs also come in a variety of colors depending on the needs you have for your garden, landscape, or other hardscape features. There are different finishes you can select as well, from rough to smooth, depending on the look you want to portray. In addition, some paving slabs can be made with imprints or etchings, either stock or custom. As you can see, there are a ton of things to consider when purchasing these slabs. You will have many options whether you pick concrete or natural stone slabs, so ultimately it will be up to you to make the choice

Whatever your tastes, pick the type of slabs that best fit your needs for the garden’s traffic, looks, and design requirements. No matter what you pick, however, you largely won’t go wrong.

Installing Garden Paving Slabs

Installing paving slabs is similar to installing other hardscape materials like paving stones and concrete flags. Many homeowners will benefit from getting these slabs professionally installed, especially if the install area is troublesome in some way. Other homeowners should be able to install them by themselves, however, for only a little work and expense. More information on installing pavers can be found here.

Some garden paving slabs are installed like concrete pavers, as they are made to interlock and be compacted close together. These should be installed on an aggregate and sand base like concrete pavers or natural stone pavers would be. Others however could be installed with large gaps in between, gaps to be filled with grass or dirt of some kind. Still others could be installed like stepping stones, with very little connection and much material lying between each slab. The choice is up to you.

When installing them in your garden, consider the possibilities for expanding their use to other parts of your yard. For instance, using them in your driveway, backyard patio, walkway, pool deck, and other areas may be a great way to spread your designs further, while also maximizing the efficiency and lowering the cost of installing the hardscaping overall.

Note that these slabs can be very big. This is great for installation, as it requires fewer brick to cover a certain area. However, moving these heavy slabs can be challenging for one person, so assistance may be required to safely manipulate the material.

Maintenance of these slabs, if they are installed correctly, is quite easy, as they will last many years without serious work. Periodic sealing can help keep them looking new for a long time, and a slab can be easily replaced if it is cracked or stained. Sweeping and washing down with water can help prevent stains and dirt from marring the surface, though sometimes that look may be desired depending on the project.

Garden Paving Slabs Ideas

If you are inclined towards design, you can certainly design your garden paving area yourself. However, you may also hire a contractor or designer to design the ideal project for your space. Here are some general ideas to spur your creativity and get you started:

You have many options about the pattern of hardscaping you lay down. Ultimately the pattern options available to you will depend on the sizes and shapes of the paving slabs you select. You can pick more regular patterns, based on regular shapes, or you can pick irregular patterns made up of a variety of shapes or paving slabs that are themselves cut irregularly.

A walkway is a great way to lead guests through your garden. If you’d like, use an irregular pattern and put bigger landscape pavers in places where you want people to ‘stop and smell the roses’ – in other words, places where you’d like people to stop and admire your handiwork.

You could also consider using garden paving slabs as patio slabs in the middle of your garden. It’s easy to make a fire pit or barbecue too, and even add a waterfall in the area, to complete the look and provide you with a great place to gather and relax.

You could also use the paving slabs as a border between different areas of your garden. This can serve both an aesthetic and a functional purpose.

Garden Paving Slabs Price

The price you’ll pay for the product will depend on a number of factors, most notably if you buy concrete or natural stone pavers, among many other factors that have been well documented on other parts of this website. If concrete is poured to form slabs on site, the price will be still lower, though this will probably require professional installation unless you have experience working with concrete.

10 Great Garden Paving Ideas

Adding concrete pavers, cement pavers, brick pavers, or other hardscape materials to your garden is a great choice. However, you may be overwhelmed with all the options and design possibilities. Here are some things to consider when planning your next garden paving project.

Note that this site also contains many other articles detailing paver design ideas as well as ideas concerning other project types. Here is a brief listing of the articles that you might find helpful for more inspiration:

8 Wonderful Patio Ideas

Ideas for Using 24 x 24 Concrete Pavers

10 Cheap Paving Ideas

12 Front Yard Walkways Ideas

10 DIY Patio Ideas

Now, on to the ten ideas!

Ten Garden Paving Ideas

1) The type of material you choose is very important. Price, quality, and durability will vary depending on the material, brand, and manufacturer. We here at Concrete Pavers Guide recommend garden paving stones for your next project for many reasons that can be found all throughout this site. Just to mention one, concrete paver installations stand up well to the use and abuse that they can be subjected with. The garden paving stone is a very durable critter. Freezing and thawing cycles, for instance, can cause havoc with normal garden paving slabs made out of concrete or some other solid material, as they provide no protection against cracks or fissures. Pavers, on the other hand, will rise and fall with the freezing and thawing with no cracking or structural damage to the installation. More information on this article can be found all throughout this site – it is called the Concrete Pavers Guide after all!

2) One of the best garden paving ideas is installing a walkway through your garden or landscape. You can tailor this walkway to fit the dimensions of your garden, and you can use it to provide a walking path for your visitors through your front or backyard creation. They thus serve a dual use, which all great home improvement project should – aesthetics and function (looks and use).

3) Be aware of all the color options available for your pavers, as you will surely be able to find a combination that complements your landscape features nicely. It would be quite beautiful, for example, to have flowers with a color that matches that of your paving stone project. You can choose from single colors or double and triple color blends.

4) Create a backyard patio that centers within your landscape. Your scene will thus frame your beautiful patio, and the two will nicely complement each other. Imagine entertaining friends and family in your own backyard paradise! A paver patio is one of my favorite projects, as it adds so much to a yard.

5) Garden paving is often a good DIY project for those with little experience, as many of these installations need to be purely functional. You can then practice installing pavers or other materials without fear of marring your front walkway, driveway, or back patio. After you’ve gained facility in installing pavers, you can then move on to tackling projects with more aesthetic restrictions and needed skills.

6) If you are on a budget, you may want to consider other options for materials for concrete pavers. They are expensive, and so is the labor and time required to install them properly. You may choose to obtain garden paving slabs, despite the problems listed above. If the slab is small, you may see less cracking over time. However, your design options will be limited, especially if you create a walkway or patio out of these small slabs.

7) Don’t forget the idea of enclosing your patio and/or your garden. An enclosed patio is a great way to increase the ways and time you can use your patio and enjoy your backyard landscape and garden.

8) Landscape pavers can be used in many ways, ways that are only limited by your creativity. For instance, you can use them to edge different areas of your garden or landscape. You can also use them to build retaining walls; retaining wall pavers can be in the same color and style as the pavers you use for other projects around your yard. You can use other materials, such as landscape timbers, for your wall, or you can just use the plain poured concrete wall as well.

9) Adding structures to your backyard – such as statues or fountains – is a great way to increase the class and elegance of your home and garden. You can buy them preformed, of course, or you can find concrete molds for sale and make them yourself – as long as you feel proficient with pouring concrete!

10) Finally, consider using pavers to raise a particular area out of the ground. This can be done to create a raised paver patio, for instance. Building a paver patio doesn’t have to be hard, either, even if you are raising it, though most people will want to hire a contractor for the work.

If you have any other garden paving ideas, or other questions or comments, leave them below!

Garden Pavers – Add Beauty and Functionality

Of the many possible applications for paving stones, garden pavers are among the most interesting, due to the potential stylistic and thematic connections between the many paver sizes, shapes, colors, and designs of paving stones and the garden’s inhabitants and style that you’ve already set up. Garden paving stones can complement many gardens in aesthetic design while also increasing the functionality of the garden, either by providing walking spaces or by protecting the valuable plants inside it.

Garden paving slabs and stone are essentially equivalent to that used for other projects – driveways, walkways, pool decks, and the like. The only difference is in its functionality in the garden itself. The walkway, patio, or garden edging pavers both contribute to and are affected by the design of the garden. Using outdoor pavers not only can protect and beautify the fruits of your hobby, but they can also increase your enjoyment of the home itself, as well as represent a financial investment since the brick, if installed correctly, can increase the property value of your home.

Reasons to Use Garden Paving Stones

Note that there are many kinds of garden paving stones available; each has its own pros and cons. The three main categories of pavers include brick, concrete, and natural stone; a comparison of these materials has been made elsewhere on this site, in particular in the comparison of stamped concrete vs pavers and other paving materials. The major difference you’ll see, aside from looks, is price – landscaping with stone, like cobblestone for instance, will be much more expensive than using manufactured options like concrete.

Pavers, as discussed elsewhere, are strong and durable. You won’t have to reinstall them for many decades as long as they are properly installed. They will stand up to the rigors of their environment, especially if this includes close contact to soil and gardening chemicals.

One advantage of pavers that is important for garden applications  is the balance they strike between smoothness and roughness. They are not too rough as to be uncomfortable if one walks on them with bare feet but they are also not too rough as to be worn down by the elements. Their roughness also makes them less slippery when wet – an important feature if they are installed around pools or gardens. On the other hand, many concrete paver brands retain their smooth finish over time, keeping them beautiful and new looking for many years.

Another good reason to install these pavers is if you park your car, machine, or other equipment in the garden area. Driving and parking over grass and dirt will eventually create a messy area, one that could clash with the beauty of your garden. There are many dedicated grass pavers that are subtle, environmentally friendly, permeable to water, and durable to stand up against any kind of traffic. If you have a high traffic garden (in terms of feet or wheels) you may benefit from installing these kinds of pavers in addition to the typical walkways, borders, and the like.

Garden Design Ideas with Paving Stones

Image labeled for reuse - found on http://www.wickedlocal.com/franklin/fun/gardening/x1194167052/Home-Help-Add-curb-appeal-to-your-home?img=2 through Google image search.As stated above, garden pavers can be used for many applications in your hardscape and landscape. One potential application for these pavers, and perhaps the simplest, is their use as garden edging. These borders made from landscape pavers can  delineate and protect the boundaries of your garden. This will prevent people (or animals) from walking through fresh planted gardens. In addition, the pavers can be used to mark off particular sections of the garden – and the color and style you choose for each section can nicely complement each section as you see fit. Functionally, the garden edging  can prevent dirt and mud from escaping from the flower bed and mucking up your patio or walkway (or your yard or garden itself).

Aside from simple edging, you can mark off the boundaries of your garden by installing  walkways to mark off the garden and provide a place for visitors to walk; another strategy is to install walls or retaining walls if a more heavy duty solution is needed, or if a wall would fit better with the theme you are trying to create in your yard. You can thus use these walls as part of your garden fencing ideas – if you need to keep people or critters out of your garden, you can use beautiful and regal walls instead of or in addition to the normal fences you might use. You can use the same garden brick for flat projects (walkways and patios) as you can for walls, so you won’t have to worry about mixing and matching brands.

Of course, your garden edging ideas don’t simply have to be purely functional – don’t forget about the aesthetics of your garden as well as the experiences it can provide to you and your guests. If you have a large garden, installing a walkway or patio can help you create a special garden space, through which you, your friends, and family can travel or simply relax. Your garden can thus be more than functional, but also aesthetic – you can create a space for contemplation, relaxation, or conversation with the judicious use of a garden pavers walkway or patio. You could also create a central space in your garden to hold parties or bar-b-ques. The only limit is your imagination.

Don’t forget that there are other paving options at your disposal besides pavers. You can also use stepping stones to fulfill many of these functions; garden stones are cheap and easy to install, so they make a great DIY project if you want to lay down a hardscape quickly. You may also find rubber pavers that may be of benefit to certain garden applications.

Note that all decisions should be made in concert with professional landscapers and gardeners who may be able to give you additional backyard landscaping ideas in addition to those you’ve read here or thought of yourself. The more eyes and ideas that come into a project, the better the project will turn out – as long as you have the funds to pay for these services, of course.

Laying Garden Pavers  – DIY or Contractors

Overall, installing pavers, either in a small or large project, may be a great addition to your home and garden. If you are installing the concrete pavers yourself, make sure you follow the directions, and pay special attention to the problems of grading, as you want to make sure water leaves the garden area in the right ways – you don’t want any flooding to wash away all your hard work. If you’re having a contractor install them, make sure he or she knows the specific needs for garden pavers installation, and that they have experience in that particular application. Note that the cost for installing these paving stones will be similar to what you’d pay for any hardscape project, like walkways, driveways, and the like, though you may have to pay more if you need to protect your delicate creations during the process, as this will require more effort and time. You can also lower the overall price you’ll pay for the installation if you lay the material yourself; you can also save money if you find cheap pavers for sale, a subject that is discussed in that link.