Choosing paving is like standing in front of a pick & mix stand – with so many options compared to 10 years ago when we were limited to concrete slabs, asphalt or grass.
Whether you need paving for public or communal areas –when looking for the right external surface may you consider;
- Permeability, an increase in rainfall means most drains cannot cope with the amount of rainwater we get. Using conventional paving surfaces adds to the ‘heat island’ effect caused by an increase in the amount of land being built on or paved over. Planning laws have been amended to encourage the use of permeable paving.
- Accessibility, paving an area for everyone addresses many practical issues like putting the wheelie bin out!
- Aesthetics, whilst paving is required to be functional and practical, there is increasing demand for them to be cost effective, attractive and safe. If the surface requires a design choose has flexible paving with a vast colour range to achieve this.
- Longevity, opt for a supplier that offers a substantial guarantee, which doesn’t diminish over time and has maintenance guides and, technical support provided post-installation. Choose suppliers recognised by trade organisations or that adhere to any national quality standards.
are both low cost, durable and low-maintenance options – but honestly, not very pretty to look at.
usually made from moulded concrete, clay bricks or natural stone, which can also be permeable. While colours are limited, you can create nice patterns. The joints will need maintenance to keep them free from weeds. Poor quality bricks can be slippery and if not laid properly will leave an uneven, potentially hazardous surface.
(also known as ‘scatter coat’) is a non-permeable, single stone layer surface. Created by scattering clean, dry aggregate to a film of resin that has been applied to the surface. Because the aggregate is only on top of the surface it will be rough and become loose over a short period of time.
used for hardscaping, a stone and resin thoroughly mixed together and laid onto a stable surface. This surface is permeable, durable, accessible and low-maintenance. Its flexibility and come in a variety of colour and textures making it ideal for reproducing logos and letters into a surface.
some made from recycled lorry and car tyres and can be combined with natural stone like , to ensure durability. It eliminates the need for excavation work because it can be laid straight over the old surfaces; saving time and money.
are available in a variety of materials; from cost-effective concrete to luxurious natural marble and granite. The downside to paving slabs is that they can be slippery when wet, potentially hazardous if not laid properly and will require ongoing maintenance to keep joints free from weeds.
falls in the mid-range price bracket and has an attractive, natural appearance. Unfortunately, in the UK’s lovely damp and wet climate, timber requires continual maintenance to give it longevity.
possibly the cheapest options around and ideal for a quick fix. Loose gravel migrates, and needs constant sweeping. You could consider ‘‘ binder, it’s a clear resin that will hold existing loose gravel in place and still allow the water to pass through – becoming hugely popular!
While the days of paving options being limited to concrete slabs, asphalt or grass are long gone and the choice is always growing, one thing you can be sure of is that paving options are definitely more fun than they ever were, so enjoy using them!