If you are looking for a very strong material for your next hardscape project – driveway, walkway, patio, and the like – look no further than granite pavers. If you create your project out of this material, you can expect it to outlast you, your children, your grandchildren…frankly, the material is pretty much indestructible. Suitable for any use – for both structures and for decorations – granite goes with nearly any decor, home style, and theme.
Granite is a type of natural stone paver that is quarried in nature. It is made up of three components: mica, feldspar and quartz. This material is actually magma, or lava, that has cooled and hardened. Obviously, since it is a natural stone with durable properties, it will resist all weathering and abuse that it can be subjected to. Think about it – do you often see mountains and other stone structures eroding away in your lifetime?
Indeed, granite has been in use for millenia by many peoples for the buildings, monuments, and other structures they’ve built. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, for instance, were well-known granite users. If you see an old or antique monument or statue, it’s very likely that granite was involved somewhere in its construction.
Types of Granite
Generally speaking there are five types of granite pavers you can purchase. Polished is the standard kind – it gives off a smooth and almost glassy look. The next is honed – this is less shiny and more ‘colorful,’ in that it brings out the natural qualities of the material. Diamond 8 and Diamond 10 change the quality of stone’s external appearance in terms of color and texture. The final type, thermal or honed, creates a rough finish on the granite, making it perfect for applications where people will be walking.
Uses for Granite Pavers
Granite pavers can be used for nearly anything inside and outside the home. From walkways and driveways to patios and pool decks, granite pavers can do anything due to their strength and beauty. Granite can also be used for statues, decorations, and indoor applications. Since these paving stones are not slippery when wet, they make a great pool deck or patio.
Designing with Granite
You can lay these brick in many different patterns, just like you can with concrete and brick pavers. Sample types include herringbone, running bond, and basketweave, all at different angles and with different borders. In addition, irregular patterns are also possible, along with other patterns dependent on the shapes of the stones. For instance, most homeowners use square or rectangular pavers, but other shapes, like octagons, can give other potential paving stone patterns. If you get special kits, you can also create fans and circles.
Benefits of Granite Pavers
As with other stone materials, granite is incredibly hard and tough. Thus, it will not be easily scratched, chipped, or damaged, even by the roughest conditions and abuse. Even if the paver are somehow damaged, you can easily remove and replace them as long as you haven’t used mortar to install them. In addition, the amazing polish given to the granite will also last a long time regardless of the surrounding conditions. Granite is also very prized after for its looks – in fact, you’ll pay more money for granite that looks the nicest since these types are rare. Given the stone’s amazing pedigree, you can be sure that adding granite to your home will add an old-world, ancient, and refined look to your hardscape and landscape.
Granite Pavers Colors
Granite pavers come in a variety of colors, everything from white through black granite. Some colors are rarer than others, and are thus used for statues, decorations, and monuments, and thus may be more expensive than the more common materials. Many of these granite pavers are also given a nice polish that will last for many years, keeping the colors vibrant and deep.
Installation of granite pavers proceeds just like the installation of other paving stones. A sub-base is laid and compacted, followed by a sand layer, and then by the pavers. Joint material, like sand, is then spread between the joints, edges are placed around the project, and the entire surface is compacted. More details can be found on other parts of this site.
Due to its strength and durability, you won’t have to do much maintenance to keep it looking great. You might consider sealing your granite installation, mostly to protect it against stains and to keep the colors vivid and ‘new’ for a longer period of time, but this is certainly not required if you have neither the time nor money.
Granite Pavers Price
The cost of granite pavers will be quite high – in fact, this is perhaps the most expensive material you can work with, not counting the high installation costs due to their heaviness and bulkiness. Expect to pay anywhere in the range of $10 to $60 per square foot for full installation. The type and cost of the pavers you obtain will depend on the suppliers in your area and what they have available for you, as well as the color and grade of granite you want. New stone is quarried all the time so new colors and new types of granite are constantly appearing, making it difficult to give blanket prices you might expect to pay. Note, of course, that since you’ll never have to install a new driveway, patio, etc. again, you’ll be saving money over the lifetime of the installation. Thus, this savings will reduce the total cost of the project when you consider how often you’d have to replace or repair concrete, asphalt, and other materials. You can also save money by getting recycled granite pavers if they are available in your area.