In the past, the options for a stone patio were limited to natural materials or whatever was mined in your area. Thanks to the modern marvels of technology and distribution, choosing the right stone for your patio can be both exciting and overwhelming. Whether it is a small project or one that will cover all your green space, making the right choice is about more than just aesthetics.
A stone patio is not just a weekend project; it can be a huge investment, and one that may affect things like your yard drainage, the value of your home and the maintenance that you’ll have to perform. It’s a big decision, so make sure you know which materials are best for your area, landscaping, and your climate, so you aren’t disappointed.
A natural stone, Flagstone is one of the most common types of stone patio materials. It comes in many colors including blue, red and slate. The appeal of a Flagstone patio is in its traditional and elegant appearance. Providing a very earthy feel, it makes any outdoor area look upscale.
Flagstone is an excellent material for someone who is looking for a more “natural”-looking patio. It doesn’t have a defined shape, so each stone comes in different shapes and colors, which adds variation and texture.
The biggest disadvantage to using Flagstone is that it is difficult to work with unless you are a professional, and it needs a little more expertise than a weekend do-it-yourselfer might possess. It is also more expensive than some other options. Being more susceptible to splitting and erosion makes it a more delicate material and less hardy for areas that experience freeze and thaw cycles or large amounts of precipitation.
When laying a flagstone patio, drainage is the key to ensuring that it lasts a long time. So, if you are going to use it, it’s best to have the help of a designer to ensure that you are laying it correctly to provide good water flow.
Another disadvantage of flagstone is that it absorbs heat from the sun. If you want to use it around pools or for areas that are primarily in the sun, it becomes hot to the touch and can cause headaches for both little and big feet.
Clay brick is one of the oldest and most traditional brick patios material there is. It is a highly malleable aesthetic material that matches almost any type of backyard and house, from traditional to contemporary.
One of the advantages of using brick is that it is highly resistant to fading and it’s easy to work with. Having straight edges and consistency in sizing, it makes an excellent patio material for the newbie do-it-yourselfer. If you want to get creative, it is also a great material to make different patterns and put your own personality and spin on your patio’s flair.
Cheaper than flagstone, you have the option of buying new brick clay or repurposing old. Ironically, recycled clay can be more expensive, but it has a greater color variation and more “old world” charm. The other advantage that brick clay has is that it is excellent for freeze-thaw locations and it provides excellent drainage, which keeps it looking beautiful over the long term.
Patio pavers come in many varieties and materials. They can be made from clay, stone, recycled plastic, or even concrete. Made out of very hardy materials, they will last a long time in almost any climate if laid correctly.
The biggest advantage to patio pavers is that they’re an excellent option for beginner do-it-yourselfers. A cheaper alternative to many other patio materials, depending on which one you choose, they can also have a very aesthetically pleasant appearance.
Gravel is one of the most natural looks that you can have for a patio, and it’s also the easiest to install. Good for any climate, it provides excellent water drainage and requires little to no expertise. Coming in many shapes, sizes and colors, it is practically maintenance-free. With no need to worry about splitting, chipping or being misplaced, it also helps to stave off any weed growth. As it’s also a very inexpensive patio material, even a novice can’t go wrong.
The right type of patio material for your project depends on your level of expertise, the climate you live in and your own aesthetic taste. Whichever you choose, a nice patio gives you more space to enjoy the great outdoors.