If you’re looking for ways to upgrade your landscaping, there are many areas outside your home – from walkways and edging to driveways, garden areas, patios, and pool decks – that would benefit from the beauty and durability of paving stones, also called interlocking pavers.
At ME Landscaping, we’ve been the premier landscaping company in the Greater Toronto Area for more than a decade, specializing in innovative designs and professional installations for projects ranging from patios to pergolas and everything in between.
Interlocking patio pavers are made from a wide range of materials including brick, clay, concrete, natural stone, and poured and stamped concrete, and come in a near dizzying array of colours, shapes, and textures that will match any landscape design or architectural style you choose. Few hardscape surfacing materials offer as much versatility for designers, professional installers, or experienced do-it-yourselfers as pavers. Thanks to their durability, ease of maintenance and installation, and simple repairs, pavers are the ideal choice for any outdoor area.
Interlocking paving gives designers and homeowners the option of creating truly unique or theme-based patios in a way not possible with regular concrete or other materials. As with any outdoor project, homeowners need to understand the benefits of each option and what the project involves.
Key Questions you should ask your patio pavers
Before starting your project, we recommend the homeowner write down and answer a series of questions that will help them focus on the task at hand.
- What is the best type of interlocking paver material to use?
- Where will the pavers be installed?
- Are you interested in a specific colour range or style?
- How are pavers maintained and repaired?
- What’s my budget?
Materials for Interlocking Pavers
One of the best ways for homeowners to decide on what kind of material to choose for their paver patio or walkway is to see real life examples. At ME Contracting, we have several project examples you could review, not to mention customers we could refer you to for testimonial. Another method is to simply drive around your neighborhood or subdivision, as chances are good that a neighbor or someone down the street has used pavers for a recent landscaping project. Spring garden and home improvement shows normally have paver samples on display, as will your local home improvement retailer.
Here are the interlocking choices to think about:
- Brick interlocking pavers come in many colours, shapes, and sizes. Installation is simply a matter of setting the individual pavers into a mortar bed or a sand bed. The drawback to brick pavers placed in mortar is they are more likely to crack because of movement in the ground, particularly in regions with frequent freeze and thaw cycles. The main attraction is they are strong, durable, inexpensive, and easy to install. For the experienced do-it-yourselfers, brick pavers installed in sand are the most popular option for a variety of paving needs.
- Normally made from high quality ceramic shale, clay pavers are extruded or pushed into form and cured at temperatures up to 2,000°F. As a result, they’re tough, heat and water resistant, and not prone to fading with direct exposure to sunlight. If you’re looking to add warmth, elegance, and smoothness to high traffic areas like sidewalks, patios, plazas and roadways, there are few better options than clay pavers. They’re also environmentally friendly and hold up well to vehicle traffic.
- Sturdy concrete interlocking pavers are made in a factory to imitate the look of clay using two ingredients: cement and aggregate. They’re available in a wide range of colours and styles, but should be sealed after installation to increase their lifespan.
- Natural stone pavers are made from natural materials like limestone and flagstone. They’re also available in a wide range of sizes and shapes, with distinct colours and shades that vary from paver to paver. These are two of the most expensive paver materials on the market, and are usually featured in higher end luxury homes with custom landscaping.
- Poured and stamped concrete pavers may give homeowners and designers the most durability and greatest range of options to choose from. Once the concrete is poured, intricate designs and shapes can be stamped into the slab, giving the appearance of individual pavers while benefiting from the overall toughness afforded by concrete. Like any type of concrete, poured and stamped pavers need to be sealed to protect against minor surface damage and colour fading.
Other Considerations When Selecting Interlocking Patio Pavers
A new interlocking paver patio can add beauty and elegance to any home, often lasting for decades with simple and regular maintenance. Depending on the materials used, this type of project may be more expensive because of design features and the skill level and experienced needed for a proper installation, but there are other considerations before making a final decision.
- We always recommend that homeowners choose a paver that matches their existing architecture or landscaping. Even though interlocking pavers can blend in with different styles, they may not be the best choice for contemporary architecture, for instance. It’s also important to think about how much installation will cost, so don’t hesitate to ask for estimates based on different materials or where the pavers will be installed.
- Many customers ask about the possibility of doing the work themselves, and while we would never discourage a committed do-it-yourselfer, we strongly advise homeowners to choose a paver to suit their skill level. In most cases, individual pavers are easier to install than stamped or poured concrete pavers, which require concrete mixers and other specialized equipment.
- Finally, give careful consideration to how the weather may affect your pavers. Some materials are better at absorbing heat and reflecting sunlight, while others are better suited in colder environments. In extreme weather conditions, other paving surfaces like an asphalt walkway, for instance, may crack and require repair or maintenance. Interlocking pavers, on the other hand, are strong, easy to clean, and resist insects and weed growth while adding beauty to your outdoor area.
Are you looking for the best interlocking pavers in Toronto? Call M.E Landscaping today for a free consultation