Which Concrete Paver Should You Choose?

by Ben Bowen

Which Paver Is Best?

Concrete pavers continue to be one of the most popular materials for patios and walkways in Portland. They are a long lasting material that can be installed without a lot of special training or tools. As a result a paver patio may be half the cost of a stone patio!

I find that many of my customers agonize over their paver choice. There are dozens of pavers from several manufacturers (see below). How are you supposed to decide?

Landscape Paver Types

I see pavers as falling into three basic categories:

  • Modern. Modern pavers have sharp (not tumbled) edges. Smooth or lightly textured surfaces make modern pavers a very clean choice. A good example from Mutual Materials is here.

  • Old World. These pavers generally have rougher surfaces and tumbles edges. They often emulate cobblestones or other ancient materials. Here is an example from Basalite.

  • Natural. Natural pavers copy the look and feel of real stone. This type of paver has been around for a long time. Only recently, however, have they really become a good option. The paver we install most is Belgard Arbel.

So, which of these general styles is best for you? Look at your landscape, house, and other design choices. What fits your landscape design?

Once you have chosen a particular style you will still have a choice to make. To narrow the choice down further answer a couple questions. How will you be using the space?

Is it an informal gathering space or garden path? If so, you can choose a less formal paver. Smaller pavers, when installed have a lot of joints. This is fine for informal usage. Your bare feet or tennis shoes won't even notice.

Will you be entertaining in the space, maybe having wine tastings or formal gatherings? Now you need to steer clear of smaller pavers. You need less joints and minimal settling. Bigger pavers are better for high heels and dinner tables.

Now you know the style and usage- your selection is really narrowed down. Now for the hard part. What paver that meets these requirements appeals to you most?

Yes, when it comes down to it, you have to decide what you like. But at least we have made that easier for you!