A patio is one of the best additions you can make to a home landscape. A well designed and built patio becomes an outdoor room: a place to sit and relax, eat dinner with family and friends or gather around a fire pit on a cool evening.
Choosing the right materials is one of the most important considerations. There a several material options that meet all of the basic requirements for good landscape construction. Your decision should be based upon the style and character you want for your outdoor space, while keeping in mind how it will fit in with the rest of your landscape and home.
Here are some of the best patio materials.
Flagstone usually refers to any stone that has been cut or shaped for use as a paving material. The actual type of stone varies from region to region.
Most types of flagstone have more or less the same qualities, so choice is often guided by colour preference. Slate, limestone and sandstone are all commonly used; colors include all shades of brown and gray. Some flagstone has naturally occurring shades of red or blue.
Although this material is natural, and therefore hosts a good deal of variation from piece to piece, these surfaces can still give a formal appearance.
Randomly cut and shaped flagstone typically has an informal look. Using mortar in the spaces between stones will provide a smooth, even surface; turf between widely spaced pavers results in a more casual look. Square cut flagstone with mortared joints provides the most formal character.
Installation of this material is generally more difficult than that of a manmade material, due to the size and shape variation possible.
Concrete unit pavers come in a wide range of colors and shapes. Considered by some as a substitute for brick, they actually have more versatility and available options than standard brick pavers.
Manufactured interlocking pavers are extremely durable. They include standard rectangular shapes and a variety of geometric shapes that interlock to form a continuous surface. Typical colors for interlocking pavers include various shades of red, gray and brown.
The variety of shapes and colors means there are lots of choices in creating a style of patio that is most appropriate for your landscape. Concrete paver patios can range from a formal look to something fun and playful. Interlocking pavers are designed to be used without mortar. The space between pavers is very small and is filled with sand or fine aggregate.
Interlocking pavers are popular for DIY homeowners; they are relatively easy to prep for and install.
In general, a patio constructed with interlocking pavers will be less expensive than one built with flagstone. That is primarily due to the cost of the actual material. Working with irregular shapes, varying thicknesses and the use of mortar will all increase labor costs. Every patio and situation is different, though. Talk to your garden supply center or landscape contractor to get an estimate for your patio.
Every home and yard should have a comfortable place to spend time outdoors. A patio is one of the most versatile and rewarding projects for the home landscape. Size, shape and materials are all important considerations. With so many excellent options for patio materials, you are sure to end up with an attractive, functional patio that will last for years.
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If you’re having trouble evaluating different materials for your next landscape project, stop by our location in Burlington or Oakville. There are many options for your to consider, and our knowledgable employees can help guide your decision.